To discover the wilderness of northern Norway is to discover Finnmark; a vast, captivating land of never-ending valleys and intense coastline within the Arctic Circle. Occopuying the northernmost point of mainland Europe and claiming the title of the largest region in the country with the smallest population – Finnmark is truly a tale of extremes. Here, the landscape and wildlife reign supreme and you're
guaranteed to come back with more stories than souvenirs. Along the north and west coast on the Barents Sea, acquaint yourself with this wonderful wilderness: beautiful bays; fjords and straits; raw, rugged islands and lands dominated by colonies of seabirds, mountains and glaciers. Small, colourful fishing villages dot the coastline and stand out from the barren landscape like a flare in the night sky. Visit one during your Finnmark and Arctic holidays and you’ll likely be the only out-of-towner around. In the east, dense spruce and pine forests extend out as far as the eye can see; welcome to the territory of the brown bear, lynx and elk, where you’re more likely to spot a wild animal than a fellow traveller. The county’s heartland is dominated by the Finnmarksvidda Plateau, an expansive region of vast, flat land that’s punctuated with stunning lakes, valleys and mountains. It remains the preserve of the Sami, the oldest indigenous people of the country, who mark the change in season between winter and summer with the epic migration of reindeer across the striking land. A stay in Finnmark is inevitably an outdoor sports paradise, with husky safaris, snowshoe expeditions, ice fishing and snowmobile-driving all part of the experience. The white desert of winter reveals its true supernatural powers at night under the lights of the aurora borealis – an elusive natural display of colour that fill the sky as if by magic. Enter the realm of northern Norway and discover a region that will captivate and enchant.
Contact one of our Norway specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Just home from the most incredible trip to Northern Norway. We had it all from clear skies and bright sunshine to full snowstorms, and saw plenty of the northern lights.
Thank you again to The Voyageurs Collection for organising such an incredible experience for us.
What you can find in Finnmark and the Arctic that you won’t find elsewhere:
Within the Arctic Circle at the northern tip of Norway, Finnmark stretches its icy lands into both the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. Here you’ll find the wildest, most northerly point of the country blessed with splendid fjords, glistening sandy beaches, pristine mountains, far-reaching lakes that mirror the skies and a whole world of exploration just waiting for you. It’s a landscape that invites contemplation and wonder, with many geographical records to tick off your bucket list. Head to Hammerfest, an unexpected urban oasis in the desolate coast, and you can say you’ve visited the northernmost town in the world, while on a visit to the Knivskjellodden peninsula you will have reached the northernmost point of Europe. Standing at the edge of this deserted, untamed region, it’s easy to imagine you’re the only person left in the world.
Who are Finnmark and the Arctic holidays best for?
Intrepid families will delight in the unspoilt natural surroundings, fresher than fresh air and countless marked paths ripe for hiking that zigzag across Finnmark - both inland and on the coast. The nature in Finnmark is truly something else. Bird watchers will be in their element visiting the north-eastern peninsula of Varanger, where birds not seen elsewhere in Europe or Norway - including the Egyptian vulture, greater spotted eagle, stilt sandpiper and white-winged lark - come together. Those who want a different perspective of the landscape can explore the chain of islands that hug the coast via boat, where you’ll be able to dip and dive between the countless beautiful bays and inlets. And for those who dream of the legendary Northern Lights, the clear skies of Alta - the largest town in Finnmark - are one of the best places to experience the ethereal glow of colour as it streaks across the sky.
Experiences in Finnmark and the Arctic
Climb aboard a Hurtigruten cruise to discover the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian coast by sea. Sail through epic fjords - including the deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord, one of the most stunning in the country - cruise past countless breath-taking geological sites and discover the bold land in person during many stop-offs along the way. Hunt for the otherwordly aurora borealis as you travel, before finishing in Finnmark, where you’ll be greeted by a sensational snowy playground to dive into. For a Scandinavian tour of grand proportions, head to Lapland via Sweden and Norway and pass through the North Cape, a viewing point where you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve reached the end of the world.
Special things to do in Finnmark and the Arctic
- In western Finnmark lies the North Cape, a popular viewing point and one of the most visited tourist spots in the county (but still somewhere you’ll be able to nab a spot of your own). Savour a slice of pure serenity at the viewing cliffs while staring out to sea and dreaming of the frozen Arctic in front of you.
- Marvel at the phenomenon that paints the northern sky; the famous, mythical and mysterious Northern Lights. Best viewed inside the Arctic Circle, many points in Finnmark will give you the opportunity to glimpse this evasive natural light show that infuses the sky with vivid shades of pink, green, yellow, violet and blue.