The phrases 'Northern Lights', 'Midnight Sun', and 'husky dog-sledding' are some of the most evocative in the travel lexicon, but there are few places where it's possible to combine all three. A holiday in Northern Norway - and Finnmark in particular - offers just such a combination.
Oh, and while you're there, why not try your hand at diving for king crabs and snowmobile safaris or meeting indigenous Sami people, all while staying in a snow hotel. Not a bad haul of activities to notch up in a long weekend up north.
The action in Finnmark is centred around two regions - the city of Alta, and the North Cape, both of which offer a wide range of wacky things to do and decent hotels. The gateway to this vast region is Alta, known as the City of the Northern Lights. There are a couple of places to stay here, and this is also the place to enjoy dog-sledding and snowmobile safaris, either as day trips or including overnight stays in wilderness cabins. Dog-sledding is one of the most magical experiences imaginable, and seeing the huskies' sheer exuberance and desire to run is very special.
In North Cape divers can enjoy a truly original experience. Back in the Sixties Soviet scientists hoping to increase yields for local fisheries introduced king crabs in to the Murmanskfjord near the border with Norway. Since then, millions of these enormous crustaceans (which can reach six foot in length!) have spread west into Norwegian waters and now qualified divers can join professional crab fishermen for the ultimate catch of the day. The lunch that follows is predictably delicious, as the crab meat is served up with fresh bread and a delicious homemade dressing.