Alta is regarded by many people as being the gateway to Finnmark and the starting point for onward travel to other places like Karasjok, Kautokeino, Hammerfest and the North Cape.
Why not pay a visit to Karasjok or Kautokeino? The Sami inhabitants of northern Norway are a modern race with a unique culture and history. They are regarded as being Norway’s indigenous population and although many Sami people currently work in service and other industries, some of them have retained their traditional style of living and are involved in reindeer herding.
After Sami culture and rights were placed on the agenda in Norway during the 1980s, their language, handicrafts (duodji) and history have become more evident. The Sami Parliament, which is located in Karasjok, was set up and has been tasked with looking after Sami rights and supporting the work being undertaken to preserve Sami culture.
Although Alta is not one of the traditional Sami municipalities, it still contains traces of Sami settlements and traditions. One of these traditions is the Bossekop Market, which is held twice a year in the old centre of Alta, and the Alta Court Case is also well known nationally. If you would like to know more about this, please visit the Alta Museum website.
If you are unable to leave Alta, but would like to experience a taste of Sami life, you should pay a visit to the Boazo Sami Siida which lies just outside the centre of Alta. There you will be able to meet reindeer, see traditional costumes, taste traditional Sami food and listen to stories.
The North Cape, located at the very top of Europe, is also just a few hours by car from Alta. The Cape has fantastic cliff-top views and provides you with the opportunity to experience the outstanding Arctic landscape.
On your way to the North Cape we would recommend stopping at the world’s most northerly town of Hammerfest or one of the small fishing villages en route in order to acquire a taste of the coastal culture.
Alta is uniquely located between these places and provides visitors with the opportunity to use the city as a base for exploring other places in Finnmark.