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Destination: Jawohl; great news for you Germans planning a trip nach Alta, Norwegen

It was a surprise last summer in Finnmark. Or perhaps not, really. In any case, I came across large quantities of converted fire trucks, Volkswagen T2s, T3s, T4s, and Unimogs. I've always found it charming; you Germans with your highly creative vehicles, often originating from decommissioned military airfields. Well, I digress a bit. Because the reason for this article is to celebrate that soon there will be a direct route from Frankfurt to the exotic Alta, Norwegen. In fact, Discover Airlines will start their direct route to Alta in the winter of 2024. But it's not only in winter one should explore arctic Norway.

A landscape in Arctic Norway

Considering that it takes about 35 hours with your Unimog, and now perhaps only 5. I sincerely hope to encounter you en masse in the far north in 2024.

So, it's high time to raise the flag for Alta and give you an introduction to what awaits you here. First, I'll provide you with a list of the coolest places to stay in Alta for at least the first night, assuming you also want to explore the rest of Finnmark.

  1. My personal favorite is tucked away among tall pine trees. A beautiful little sanctuary with highly comfortable beds: GLØD Aurora Canvas Dome.

  2. You might hear some barking occasionally, but that won't surprise you given the name. The accommodations (for guests and dogs) are in excellent order. And the staff excels in providing excellent service, making your stay a very pleasant experience: Holmen Husky Lodge.

  3. Right by the river, bathed in luxury. For that, you can easily go here: Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge.

  4. Straightforward and with an excellent hotel breakfast. For that, book a night at: Thon Hotel Alta.

Now that your accommodation is sorted, it's time to tell you a bit more about Alta itself. As you may know, the Alta Museum is world-famous. This is due to an enormous amount of exceptionally well-preserved rock carvings (by chance discovered by a Norwegian boy playing hide and seek way back in the 70s).

The Alta rock carvings, incidentally on UNESCO's World Heritage List, contain thousands of images engraved in the rock by early inhabitants. These drawings are more than 6000 years old and provide insight into the life and culture of that time. Incredibly fascinating and sometimes very moving to see. I can't imagine what it must have been like living there. I can't barely imagine what it must be like living there today (joking of course).

The Northern Lights Cathedral of Alta is well worth a visit. This imaginative building was inaugurated in 2013. The Christian symbolism inside the church is abstractly designed, giving the church a very unique atmosphere; not so traditionally Christian, which personally puts me more at ease.

And take it from me; reserve a dinner table at Trasti & Trine. So cozy, you can't even imagine.

Furthermore, the true allure of Alta and the region lies in the untouched nature. Rarely have I felt so insignificant and, at the same time, so 'alive' as during my time in Finnmark. My top recommendation is to rent a car in Alta and drive into the wild tundra. First, set course for Havøysund and be overwhelmed by the breathtaking route to get there. This is part of a total of 18 routes spread throughout Norway that are designated as particularly photogenic.

Along the way, you'll find yourself pulling over more than average to take in the stunning landscapes. A golden tip for when you arrive in Havøysund: have lunch or dinner at Havets Smak. An amazing restaurant with incredibly good dishes in a place where you really wouldn't expect it. And another thing; almost no one knows about it.

If you decide to drive even further east, then I recommend reading the article I wrote about Vardø and Hamningsberg and the surrounding areas. I'd suggest you do so and deliver back your car in Kirkenes and fly back to civilisation from there. Because believe me, it's worth it. It really is.

**Getting there: it is most likely you'll arrive at Alta Airport (ALF). Due to popular demand especially during summer, it is most wise to reserve a car (long) in advance.  Check here for availability.


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