The Northern Norwegian town of Alta is one of the top winter destinations in the world.
Have you ever experienced the Aurora Borealis? These northern lights bathe the snowy landscape in a mesmerizing green, pink, and yellow light. It’s just one of the many magical things you’ll experience in Alta, where the Norwegian Sea meets the barren Finnmarksvidda.
In Alta, a town with just 20,000 inhabitants, you can experience the true meaning of winter. In spite of its reputation as a dark, foreboding season, winter is an ideal time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. Just make sure you dress warmly.
Alta is known for its northern lights, and it’s the perfect place to see the sky light up when charged particles collide with one another high up in the atmosphere. Your chances of seeing them increase exponentially if you sign up for one of the northern lights tours (small groups, best time from November to February).
But if you want to make the most of your winter experience, Alta has much more to offer than simply northern lights. Join an adrenaline-packed snowmobile safari through a stunning winter landscape and spend the night in a traditional Sami lavvo teepee. Or take the family on a dogsled tour of the Finnmarksvidda, the largest mountain plateau in Norway. Both of these activities provide unforgettable adventures through breathtaking winter scenery.
If you want to experience the good life, spend a night in Sorrisniva, the northernmost ice hotel in the world or just enjoy a warm drink and a guided tour of the accommodations. For the more adventurous, strap on some snowshoes and venture out onto the ice and try your hand at ice fishing, either on your own or with a guide. Surprisingly enough, cycling is even a popular winter pastime in Alta, and there’s nothing quite like a ride through the beautiful scenery on a Fatbike. The bike’s extra-thick wheels and studded tires grip the road and ensure a safe trip.
If you want to experience a magical winter and take home priceless memories of incredible scenery, Alta, with its fantastic accommodations, food, and cultural activities, should be near the top of your list.
Text by Daniel Björk