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Reindeer herd on Finnmarksvidda, Norway Photo: CH/Innovation Norway
Photo: CH/Innovation Norway
Photo: CH/Innovation Norway
Photo: CH/Innovation Norway
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life/Innovation Norway
Photo: C.H./Innovation Norway
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life/Innovation Norway
Photo: Casper Tybjerg/Innovation Norway
Photo: Johan Wildhagen/Innovation Norway
Photo: Johan Wildhagen/Innovation Norway

Finnmarksvidda

Finnmarksvidda is one of Norway’s largest mountain plateaus and the home of the Sami people.
Tallest mountains
Čohkarášša - 1,139 meters above sea level Bieggevatgaissa - 1,117 meters above sea level Čaravarre - 887 meters above sea level

Covering a vast area from Alta, Kautokeino, Karasjok and parts of Porsanger, Finnmarksvidda offers challenges for those who seek the great outdoors. This is a great place for hiking in the summer and autumn, and for cross-country skiing, snowmobile safaris and dog sledging in the winter. Every winter Finnmarksvidda is the arena of the world’s northernmost sled dog race – Finnmarksløpet.

Enjoy the magical midnight sun during the summer months. During the autumn and winter when the sky is clear, you can experience the unforgettable sight of the northern lights.

There are two national parks in the area of Finnmarksvidda:

  • Øvre Anarjohka National Park - the remote and untouched southeast part of the plateau
  • Stabbursdalen National Park - the northernmost pine forest in the world

Most popular hiking and cross-country skiing trails

The trip from Alta (Stilla) to Karasjok, and the trip from Áissároaivi to Stabbursnes through Stabbursdalen National Park. Another popular trip is the trip between Gargia Fjellstue and Suolovuopmi.

Flora and fauna

The plateau is luxuriant with flowers and plants. The plateau includes extensive birch woods, bogs and glacially formed lakes.

Finnmarksvidda is the home of bred reindeer. Elk, wolverines, mountain fox, hare, lynx and a small population of bears are also present. Most lakes and rivers hold trout. Grouse, golden eagle and gerfalcon are the most special of all the birds that live here. 

Accommodation

The State has built mountain lodges along the old traffic routes which are either staffed, have permanent residents or are unstaffed. They were originally meant to be used by migratory Sami and public servants on official business, but are now mostly used by the local population or visiting hikers and skiers.

Some of the mountain lodges have been taken over by private individuals. The cabins are equipped with table linen, kitchen utensils and bedding. The standard is relatively simple. The tenant farmers are not obliged to serve food, but many of them do offer meals or sell canned goods, margarine, milk and bread. Meals should be ordered in advance.

You can stay in town/village centres in hotels, or you can try something different like Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel outside Alta, or Engholm Design Lodges in Karasjok.

For a unique opportunity to get to know the Sami way of life, you can join a Sami family out on the plateau and help herd reindeer. You stay in a Sami lavvu, a traditional tepee, and get to see how Scandinavia´s aborigines live and work. No prizes for guessing what is on the menu.

Camping

Many hikers on the Finnmark plateau take tents to fully experience the wilderness.
If you plan to sleep in a tent (or caravan/mobile home) you may do so anywhere, except in cultivated fields and lay-bys. You can stay for as long as you wish, as long as your tent, caravan or mobile home is no closer than 150 meters to the nearest house or cabin.

Maps

Detailed maps of the area can be bought at the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT), local bookshops or the local tourist information offices. 

Getting to Finnmarksvidda

Whether travelling by air, car or bus, or perhaps a combination of all three, it is relatively easy to get to Finnmarksvidda.

Those with a real spirit of adventure and time to spare can drive north from Oslo on E 6, the main north-south road in Norway. It runs from the southern tip of Sweden and through almost all of Norway right up to Finnmark. But do check for weather conditions before setting out as during the winter months some sections of the road can be closed. The distance between Oslo and Alta is 1,910 kilometers.

From Oslo it is only a two-hour flight to Alta. Both SAS and Norwegian fly here. Alternatively you can fly to Lakselv with SAS.

Or you you can take Hurtigruten (the Norwegian Coastal Express) from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting ports and harbours on the way.

From Kirkenes you can drive or catch a bus to various starting points of Finnmarksvidda.

Getting around

Once at Finnmarksvidda, the best way of getting around is walking, skiing, cycling and riding. You can of course drive your car on certain of the plateau’s roads, use a snowmobile in certain areas or catch the local buses.

Book your stay and transportation now

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Last updated:  2012-12-19
Dog sledging across Finnmarksvidda, Norway - Photo: CH/Innovation Norway
Dog sledging across Finnmarksvidda, Norway
Snow Mobile Safari at Finnmarksvidda, Norway - Photo: Bård Løken/Alta Igloo Hotel
Snow Mobile Safari at Finnmarksvidda, Norway
Sami family herding reindeer out on Finnmarksvidda, Norway - Photo: CH/Innovation Norway
Sami family herding reindeer out on Finnmarksvidda, Norway
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Alta in Norway - Photo: visitnorway.com/Chris Lorang Arnesen
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Alta in Norway

Interest:  Arctic Norway, Mountains

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Reindeer herd on Finnmarksvidda, Norway - Photo: C.H./Innovation Norway

Finnmarksvidda

Finnmarksvidda is one of Norway’s largest mountain plateaus and the home of the Sami people.

Finnmarksvidda

Source: Visitnorway

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