Ultimate Arctic Norway Tour
Your winter holiday begins in the Northern Norway Capital – Tromsø. It is the home of the northernmost university and has the Arctic Sea as its closest neighbour.
Tromsø is situated above the Arctic Circle and right in the centre of the Northern Lights zone. After enjoying the pulsating cultural and urban life of Tromsø, the Hurtigruten cruise will take you for an unforgettable journey further up north along the Norwegian coast line.
When you thought this winter experience couldn’t be more maximized, you will check in at Alta Igloo Hotel – a hotel completely built with snow and ice.
In this modern city in the Arctic, nature and culture go hand in hand. Tromsø has many activities on offer, from an aquarium and several quality museums to the world’s northernmost botanical garden. The city is also a popular place to observe the majestic phenomenon of the northern lights.
Tromsø is located 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and is the largest city in Northern Norway. From September to March many people come to Tromsø to see the northern lights.
From 20 May to 20 July the midnight sun makes it possible to do as the locals participate in various activities around the clock. In general, Tromsø has a mild climate for such a northerly destination because of its seaside location and the warming effect of the Gulf stream.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, Tromsø city centre is conveniently located just around the corner from seemingly untouched wilderness, which offers many opportunities for activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, dog (husky) sledding and whale safaris.
Human settlement in the Tromsø area dates back thousands of years, though the city itself was founded only about 200 years ago. Tromsø soon became the centre for trapping in the Arctic region, and in the early 1900’s it was the starting point for expeditions to the Arctic. Hence its nickname: “Gateway to the Arctic”.
Experience Norway’s beautiful fjords, charming ports, and rare wildlife under the Midnight Sun or spectacular Northern Lights. Our daily departures take you on voyages where no other ships go. No matter the season, all cruises with Hurtigruten are thrilling adventures filled with amazing scenery and active “friluftsliv” experiences. These journeys are a treat for all your senses!
Honningsvåg with its 2,800 inhabitants is the capital of the North Cape. Walking through Honningsvåg you’ll find excellent shops, Arctic dining experiences and other exciting activities. Check out the Perleporten Kulturhus (the local cultural centre), the Once Upon A Dream art gallery, and the Artico Ice Bar. A visit to the church is highly recommended: it was the only building left standing in Honningsvåg at the end of World War II.
The North Cape
Naturally, the most popular attraction in Honningsvåg is a visit to the North Cape. Stand at the edge of the cliff with the iconic globe monument and look out across the ocean. Only the Svalbard Islands separate you from the North Pole.
With clean, crisp air and vistas that extend to where the sea meets the horizon, North Cape feels like the end of the world.
So, it’s no surprise that the cliff is a major tourist attraction. In fact, the first tourist arrived here in 1664, and visitors have been coming ever since.
It is known as Europe’s northernmost point, making it a destination for all world travellers. Kinnarodden and Knivskjellodden are both a little farther north, but North Cape is more accessible.
Due to its location, the Cape ranks among the great places to watch the northern lights. There is also a visitor centre here with modern facilities. Inside, visitors will find a museum and a restaurant that serves finger food and beverages.
In the summer, visitors might encounter the indigenous Sami people before witnessing the midnight sun. In the spring, the Norwegian Army’s landing craft transport around 3,800 reindeer across the Magerøy Strait to their summer pastures on Magerøy Island. However, during the autumn, when it is time for the reindeer to return to the snow-clad plains of Karasjok, the animals and their calves swim across the 1,800 m wide strait.
Enjoy the magnificent landscape as you cross the 71st parallel on our journey towards the North Cape, the northernmost point on the continent. In summer, you might come across herds of grazing reindeer and a small camp belonging to Sami reindeer herders.
In winter the endless white plains and snow-capped mountains are highlighted by dramatic weather and that special arctic light.
The last part before reaching the cape, the bus has to follow the snow plough. The North Cape plateau itself rises 307 meters almost vertically from the Arctic Ocean.
“The globe” sculpture has become the symbol of the North Cape, and is always a popular place to get that all-important picture. At the North Cape Hall you can see an impressive 180° panoramic film about Finnmark and the North Cape. Inside the cliff you also find a souvenir shop, a viewpoint, a small chapel and a museum.
Alta is the largest town in Norway’s northernmost county and lies at the inner reaches of the Altafjord. Although located far north, Alta is fairly easy to reach by plane or by road.
The area offers forests, mountain plateaus, and coastal landscapes, and you have numerous opportunities to spend the days – and nights – outdoors and go hiking, biking and fishing.
In the winter, you can try dog sledding or join a snowmobile safari, framed in the brilliant blue light that is so distinctive for Finnmark. The blue season in Alta lasts from November to January, after which the days get gradually longer.
During winter nights you can often see the aurora borealis dancing across the skies, and the world’s first northern light observatory was actually built here at the end of the 19th century.
In beautiful nature surroundings at the bank of the Altaelva river lies the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, a luxurious hotel where everything both inside and outside is made of snow and ice. The hotel opens its door in January each year and melts away in the spring.
In the summer you can visit the rock carvings in Hjemmeluft, which bear the traces of a settlement dating from around 4,200 to 500 BC. The rock art constitutes the most important piece of evidence documenting the existence of human activity on the fringes of the Far North in prehistoric times – hence its status as a UNESCO world heritage site.
May to August have midnight sun and 24 hours of daylight, which gives you plenty of time to explore Northern Europe’s largest canoyon, bike across Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau or go fishing in Altaelva river, one of the world’s best salmon rivers.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel
Sorrisniva is located about 20 km from Alta. In idyllic surroundings on the banks of the Alta River. The company is run by two brothers, Hans Ulrik and Tor Kjetil. They were born on the shores of the Alta River, surrounded by dense fir forest. Their father founded the company in 1989, and when his health failed they left their jobs to run the business.
With the Igloo hotel the demand for bigger and better facilities came along, and since 2004 the guests can enjoy a cozy fireplace, sauna, outdoor Jacuzzi and fabulous meals in the service building next door to the Igloo hotel.
Most Northern Igloo Hotel
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is the only one of its kind and it is about 2500 sqm large. It is the worlds most northern Igloo Hotel! The first Igloo Hotel was built in 2000, every year built fresh with a new theme and construction. All exterior and interior is made of snow and ice; rooms, the beds, even the glasses in the bar. The hotel has approximately 30 rooms, suites, ice gallery, and ice-chapel.
The hotel is decorated with ice sculptures – beautiful artwork created by talented sculptors. Along with the pure white snow creates a fairytale atmosphere inside.
The service building contains a large restaurant, locker rooms, toilets, shower, sauna, meeting and living room, luggage room and reception.
Explore the contrast between staying in the cold. The cozy sleeping bag keeps you nice and warm during the whole night! Feel the silence and serenity surrounding you. Every year the hotel has a new unique theme from the Arctic part of the world. Woolen underwear is recommended for the night.
While staying at the snow and ice hotel you can experience the nature all around. You can also relax in a warm atmosphere in the living room and enjoy a dinner in our restaurant. Our great (warm) restaurant serve á la carte menu based on local food and traditions. A table is reserved for you when staying the night.