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ALTA

The Northern Lights City

Wondering what Arctic living is all about?

This town off the beaten path in Northern Norway, brings you to the middle of it all.

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta .
Photo: Frikant
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta .
Photo: Frikant

A hotel that melts away in spring?

It's true. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is a luxury hotel situated beside the world famous Alta River. Both the interior and exterior of the hotel are made of snow and ice. It even has ice glasses in the bar.

Say good night and crawl into your warm sleeping bag. It feels like being on a genuine Arctic expedition!

Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta .
Photo: Frikant
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta .
Photo: Frikant

Or maybe you just want an ice drink in the bar?

Spending the night at the Arctic Wilderness Lodge can be just as exotic.

Here, you have panoramic views of the Alta River, forests, and plateau (where the kitchen also sources many of its ingredients).

Sorrisnova Arctic Wilderness Lodge in Alta .
Photo: Sorrisnova
Sorrisnova Arctic Wilderness Lodge in Alta .
Photo: Sorrisnova

Go outside. Look up. 

In Alta, you can marvel at the northern lights in autumn and winter, and bask in the midnight sun in summer.

A visit to the Northern Lights Cathedral, the city's architectural landmark, is also a must.

Did you know that the world's first permanent northern lights observatory was built here in Alta at the end of the 1800s?

Nordlyskatedralen Cathedral, Alta .
Photo: Anne Olsen Ryum / nordnorge.com
Nordlyskatedralen Cathedral, Alta .
Photo: Anne Olsen Ryum / nordnorge.com

Get close to nature on a dog sled on Finnmarksvidda, Norway's biggest plateau.

Dog sledding in Alta .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella - Visit Norway
Dog sledding in Alta .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella - Visit Norway

Go on a snowmobile adventure over several days. Stay in a cabin or lavvo, a traditional Sami tent, which indigenous people have been using for over 2,000 years.

Finnmarksvidda .
Photo: CH / Visit Norway
Finnmarksvidda .
Photo: CH / Visit Norway

Alta has been a meeting place for multiple indigenous communities since the Stone Age.

Alta .
Photo: CH/visitnorway.com
Alta .
Photo: CH/visitnorway.com

If you have never spent the night in a dome before, you can try this wonderful style of glamping at Glød Explorer's Aurora Canvas Domes.

If you're really lucky, you can watch the northern lights dancing across the sky from your bed.

Dome under northern lights in Alta .
Photo: Sara / GLØD Explorer AS
Dome under northern lights in Alta .
Photo: Sara / GLØD Explorer AS

Visit The World Heritage Rock Art Centre, Alta Museum, and see some of the roughly 6,000 UNESCO-listed rock art paintings and engravings at the Hjemmeluft World Heritage Site. Some of the works are as much as 7,000 years old.

See how many animal species you can recognize in the art!

The Rock Carvings in Alta, The Alta Museum .
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com
The Rock Carvings in Alta, The Alta Museum .
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

Or travel on two wheels through Northern Europe's biggest canyon, Alta Canyon.

Biking in Alta .
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com
Biking in Alta .
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

Another fun way to experience the canyon is on a traditional river boat.

Once you are out on the Alta River, you should also cast your fishing line. It's one of the world's best salmon rivers!

Just remember to buy a fishing permit first.

River safari, Alta River .
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com
River safari, Alta River .
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com

There are many small, family owned businesses that would love to take you out on an adventure in nature.

Experience the peace and tranquility of the forest at Trasti & Trine Boutique Hotel. Wake up to the scent of freshly baked bread from the bakery, before joining some happy and enthusiastic dogs on a trip into Finnmark's fantastic nature.

Trasti og Trine, Alta, Finnmark .
Photo: Sara Johannessen / Visitnorway.com
Trasti og Trine, Alta, Finnmark .
Photo: Sara Johannessen / Visitnorway.com

Alta offers both an Arctic adventure and a city break in a single destination.

The view of the surrounding nature is amazing, even when you're in the city centre with its hotels, restaurants, and shops.

When in Alta, you're not far from another Arctic city, Tromsø

You can get there in 35 minutes by plane, and to Norway's capital Oslo in less than 2 hours.

Alta town .
Photo:
Alta town .
Photo:

This was just a sample of what you can experience!

Scroll below to get more good tips on accommodation, activities and restaurants.

Dog sledding, Finnmark .
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life - Visitnorway.com
Dog sledding, Finnmark .
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life - Visitnorway.com

Things to do in Alta

Northern Lights activities

Food and drink

Food and lodging

See it for yourself

Getting here and around

Get in-depth travel information at Alta’s official website.
Plan your trip to Alta with Entur.

Top things to do in Alta
Come for a day visit to Sorrisniva! The Igloo Hotel is the place for those who want a different experiene in a unique hotel made of pure snow and ice.… Read more
Experience Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel
Northern Europe's largest canyon. There are many possible how to get to see this beautiful canyon, whether hiking, in a riverboat, canoeing, guided… Read more
Alta Canyon
Discover the unique Norwegian Lapland landscapes on foot, by ski, canoe or cycle, even with a team of huskies. Cross the Finnmark mountain plain,… Read more
GLØD Explorer
3-DAY NORTHERN LIGHTS DOG SLEDDING TRIP ON FINNMARKSVIDDA MOUNTAIN PLATEAU price: 10 800,- per pers. January 2022: 20-22 / 25-27 / 29-31 Read more
Trasti & Trine 3 days dog-sledding on the Finnmarksvidda Mountain Plateau
Storekorsnes Ferie & Fritid offer family, friends, business or a loved one to experience a wonderful nature both in summer and winter. Northern Lights… Read more
Snowmobile Safari
Storekorsnes Ferie & Fritid offer family, friends, business or a loved one to experience a wonderful nature both in summer and winter. The good… Read more
Boat safari/fishing
At Haldetoppen, also called "Sukkertoppen", there are two historical buildings, observatory building, led by Kristian Birkeland in 1899 and used for… Read more
Halddetoppen
Discover how northern lights research is strongly intertwined with Alta’s history, and delve deeper into the science behind the Aurora Borealis. This… Read more
BorealisAlta - an interactive experience
This tour takes you outdoors for a cozy “slow adventure” – a perfect way to spend an evening in good company. Read more
Sleigh ride - The dining experience
Enjoy skiing or snowboarding in or cosy familyfriendly winter park with slopes for everyone. Read more
Alpine Skiing under Arctic Light
Unforgettable outdoor activities through a picturesque scenery with a large portion of exercise included for good measure. Choose between day tour,… Read more
Fatbike
We offer two different snowshoeing adventures. We will be joined on both trips by one of our three Alaskan Huskies – Javri, Phelps or Lund. They… Read more
Snowshoeing - Glød Explorer
Sami Culture at Sorrisniva This is a unique and intriguing experience amid breathtaking scenery at Sorrisniva in the Alta valley. The Sami family will… Read more
Sami Culture at Sorrisniva
Parken Gaard Husky is a family run farm. We make our income on production of milk from our cows and dog sledding. Read more
Dog-sledding in the countryside
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    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS
    • Alta plane

      By plane

      Alta Airport has direct connections to Oslo, Tromsø and several towns and communities in the region.

      From Oslo, the flight time is less than 2 hours. From Tromsø, the flight time is 35 minutes.

      Ad: Widerøe - the largest regional airline in Scandinavia

    • Alta car

      By car

      All roads are open year round, but some mountain passes may close for short periods in winter.

      From Tromsø, follow the E6 to Alta.

      From Hammerfest, follow RV94 to Skaidi and then E6 to Alta.

      Check out more information on driving to Northern Norway. 

      Ad: AutoEurope - always a smooth rental experience

    • Alta bus

      By bus

      Careful planning is essential when travelling by bus in Finnmark. There are buses connecting most communities in the region, but departures may be infrequent.

      From Hammerfest to Alta there are 1–3 daily departures, and the travel time is 2.5 hours. From Honningsvåg, there are 1–2 daily departures, and the travel time is 4 hours.

      Kirkenes to Alta will take 11 hours by bus, and there are 3 weekly departures. From Tromsø to Alta there is one daily bus, which takes 6 to 7 hours. Find more information on travelling by bus to Northern Norway.

    Search for trips with Entur and receive suggestions based on the entire Norwegian public transport system.

    Seasons and climate

    Due to the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream, Alta has a much milder climate than other parts of the world at the same latitude, such as Alaska and Greenland.

    Alta has good climatic conditions – little precipitation, pleasant winters and relatively warm summers.

    January and February are the coldest months, with an average temperature of -8°C.

    July and August are warmest with an average temperature of 13°C.

    April and May are the driest months, with an average 19 mm of rainfall. July is the wettest month.

    Strong winds can occur.

    Get the latest weather forecast on yr.no. Read more about the northern lights.

    Travel through Northern Norway

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    Alta also offers ...

    There is no need to wait until you’re here to find out what you’d like to do. Filter your search and check out the offers below.

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