The town of the Northern Light

Alta Canyon. Photo: Roger Johansen Photography

Why Alta

Welcome to Alta, the “town of the Northern Lights”. In Alta, culture meets nature. For thousands of years, people have lived in this sheltered area at the end of the Altafjord. Today, nearly 21,000 people still live here and many more move here each year. As the years have progressed, we have added a central harbour, airport and modern infrastructure.

The darkness of our winters allows us to marvel at our elusive Arctic jewel, the Northern Lights. In the summertime, we play host to the Midnight Sun lighting the way for activities all day long. Visitors to Alta can choose from a wide range of activities in both winter and summer such as husky experiences, Sami culture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the rock art, and history-based tours.

Alta has a unique and fascinating history that is surrounded by beautiful scenery and pristine nature.

What to see & do in Alta

Alta is filled with wonderful experiences and memorable adventures that will create a lasting impression. Alta is a town combining history, culture, adventure and much more.

Alta features two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the rock art at the Alta Museum and the Struve meridian marker. At the Alta Museum, you can learn about Alta and the rock art, some of which dates back more than 7,000 years.

The Northern Lights Cathedral and BorealisAlta features a unique combination of a modern cathedral with a unique history, story and impressive construction. BorealisAlta is an interactive exhibition in the basement of the Northern Lights Cathedral that walks you through the history, research, science and Sami mythology of the Northern Lights.

For those that want more adventure in the winter, we offer dog sledding tours, snowmobile tours, reindeer sledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, fat biking and skiing. In the summer, we offer dog carting, fishing, river boat tours on the Alta River and mountain biking.

The Ice Hotel is a unique experience to visit or to stay overnight at if you are brave enough sleep in an ice bed. This unique hotel is built each year from scratch and melts each summer.

Experience the Sami Culture first-hand by visiting a Sami village and learning about their culture and history. Your Sami guide will share fascinating stories while you are sitting in a lavvu (Sami herdsmen’s tent) and you will have time to meet the reindeer.

Who is this destination suitable for?

Alta has a variety of experiences for everyone. Whether you are alone, with your loved one or your family, Alta is a perfect destination for those searching for adventure, history and small-town experience that delivers in a big way.

Alta can handle cruise ships of most sizes.