Six thousand year old rock carvings, riverboat trips up to the mighty canyon in Sautso, the dramatic story of the sinking of the Tirpitz: Alta offers some unique impressions. Golf, summer dog-sledding and fly-fishing are also great activities to pursue in a dry, sunny, summer climate.
At Hjemmeluft, Alta Museum displays the enormous concentration of rock carvings which have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. Carvings of people, swimming reindeer, bear hunts, boats with fishing tackle and halibut far down in the depths, provide a glimpse of life in the Stone Age. As well as the 3,000 rock carvings at Hjemmeluft, there are 3,000 additional carvings in total at various places around the fjord.
The area was home to WW2’s biggest battle ship
The hunt for one of World War II’s most legendary ships, the 251-meter long battleship Tirpitz, is the theme of the Tirpitz Museum in Kåfjord. Tirpitz was berthed here in 1942-44, and was exposed to both submarine sabotage and air attacks.
Practical information about visiting Alta in summer
Alta is located in central northern Finnmark. The town is an easy location to access during all months of the year, including summer. The hurtigruten boat stops here, there is an airport and the town lies on the main E6 road through Finnmark.
From Alta, it is easy to get to the micro-metropolis of Hammerfest, to Norway’s most predominantly Sami municipality, Kautokeino, and to Øksfjord with its glacier emerging between the mountain tops. An organised tour to Norway’s most northerly outpost, the North Cape, is arranged on most weekdays, and you also have the option of staying the night in Honningsvåg to see even more of the North Cape region.
Take a riverboat up the canyon
In the middle of the day, when the salmon are not biting and the fishermen are asleep, the mighty Alta river becomes free once more for boat trips in the slim, traditional wooden riverboats. A safe, experienced and enthusiastic riverboat captain will take you past the good fishing pools and through the rapids up to the canyon at Sautso. Here the river cascades down the rapids between gigantic boulders, steep rock walls and impressive mountain formations, with little waterfalls glittering in the sun high up on the mountain walls.
Fly-fishing is popular sport
Good fishing lakes and rivers abound in the Alta area. If fly-fishing for salmon in the Alta river is perhaps for the more well-off, fishing in the local rivers and lakes is both easy and reasonably priced, vice anglers are recommended to join an organised fly-fishing trip.
Take advantage of the snowless landscape to explore
A canoe trip through rivers and lakes is a fantastic way of getting close to bird and animal life in the forest landscapes of Alta.no experience is required, and it is not physically demanding. You can also buy a pack of walking maps with suggested routes, and go hiking in the mountains along marked trails in the Alta area.
Get a taste of Sápmi life in summer
At the Boazo Sámi Siida the reindeer-herding Sami from Máze have their summer camp. Here you can throw the lasso (great fun once you get the hang of it!), visit the fascinating little museum housed in a Sami lavvo (tent) and see the traditional Sami kofte (folk costume), komse (baby carrier) and komager (footwear worn in spring) . The camp is also an excellent place to stop for lunch, for the bidus (reindeer stew) is extremely good!
Train with the dogs so they are ready for winter
Alta sees a lot of dog-sledding in winter. In the summer, however, the dogs are very eager for company, so dog-lovers should not miss this opportunity. Visit the dogs in their enclosure, where you can even take a tour by dog-drawn cart through the forest landscape along the Alta river.
Golf under the Midnight Sun
The nine-hole golf course at Kvenvikmoen offers one of the finest golfing experiences in Northern Norway. In the dry, stable Alta climate, you can play golf day and night when the Midnight Sun shines.