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.