In the 15th century, people believed that Vardø was the entrance to Hell — and for that reason, a large number of witches were found there. 91 people, mostly women, were burnt at the stake. An intriguing monument has been erected in memory of the victims at Steilneset in Vardø.
During WWII, Kirkenes was a vast theatre of war, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers involved. The whole dramatic story is explained at the Borderland Museum in Kirkenes.
A hotel made from snow and ice, igloo-shaped rooms and an indoor temperature of -4°C — but in good sleeping bags, you will sleep better than you've ever done. Snowmobile trips, the Gabba Reindeer Park, dog racing… Kirkenes Snowhotel also offers plenty of exciting excursions and activities.
Hornøya, Norway's easternmost point, is one of Norway’s largest nesting sites, with 150,000 birds, including puffins, razorbills, guillemots, sea eagles and many more. You can go ashore and study the birds from a secluded bird hide.
Øvre Pasvik National Park
Part of the ‘taiga’, a coniferous belt that stretches across Siberia to the Bering Strait, Øvre Pasvik National Park is home to the largest bear population in Norway and unique flora and fauna.
Varanger National Tourist Route
The National Tourist Route in Varanger leads past the historical relics of Mortensnes, the airship mast and the Kven Museum in Vardø, the bird rock at Ekkerøy, the fishing village of Kiberg and the moon landscape at Hamningberg, one of the few places in Finnmark that survived the war. The Varanger National Tourist Route shows three cultures in an Arctic landscape.
Vardø has been Norway's eastern border since 1307, and the Vardøhus fortress is a well-preserved, star shaped edifice built in 1734. In front of the commander's residence stands Vardø's only tree, which is wrapped up every winter.
Várjjat Sami Museum
Sami sea heritage in the Varangerfjord, including fishing, hunting, farming and duodji (handicrafts), is well documented in this museum. Mortensnes is nearby, with historical sites dating back 10,000 years.
The world's northernmost mainland lighthouse, the Slettnes Lighthouse at Gamvik, towers over the rugged, untamed Finnmark coast, giving clear views of the horizon and the midnight sun in the north.
This remarkable cliff stands tall, erect and elegant at the entrance to Kjøllefjord. If you sail past with the Hurtigruten cruise in winter, the Finnkirka stone formations are illuminated in myriad colours set to music – all part of an ambitious art project.