NORWAY

LAPPLAND-HOME OF THE SAMI

If you are looking for an adventure experience then Lapland is the place for you. It has been credited as a top tourist destination due to its scenic beauty and many National Parks. Lapland covers the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The inhabitants of Lapland are known as Sami and their total is around sixty thousand. Their culture is very traditional and their isolated way of life is a distinctive characteristic to their nomadic and subsistence lifestyle.

Tourism is a source of income for the Sami people but their culture is very important to them so you wont find them tryting to sell you mountains of tacky merchandise. Almost erverything you buy will be handmade so a visit to their community is an authentic source of fascinating and original souvenirs. There are cases where materials may be substituted for others in accordance with the law, an example is fur. However, there is protection for genuine Sami handicraft which is a special unique seal that only licensed Sami craftsmen are allowed to use to mark their products. The land and nature are their main sources of income.

There is a good transport network so dont worry about being stranded in the wilderness. Hiking trails cover the backcountry and National Parks. On these trails there are tourist stations, cabins and shelters offering cheap accommodation. It is not necessary to be an experienced hiker thanks to this efficient and affordable tourist network. However, during winter it is advised that only experienced hikers venture along the trails due to dangerous weather conditions.

The land of the Midnight Sun, the Norwegian Arctic (Finnmark) is populated by the Sami who live in temperatures of minus twenty five degrees centigrade. The Finnmark Tourist Board offers information on everything you need to know about the Norwegain Lappland at their website. The North Cape Festival is one event where you can experience a wide variety of unique cultural activities. The Festival runs from the 13/06 to the 22/06 and has concerts, exhibitions, the World's Championship in fish rod bucket throwing and much more! Honningsvag in the far north is where the festival is based and there is the Valan Airport in Honningsvag which offers many international flights. The accommodation in Honningsvag is generally quite expensive but Top Hotel Havly, Storgatan 12, is one of the cheapest at $50 a night per room.

If you are interested in historical culture then you should go to Alta in northern Finnmark which is famous for its rock drawings dating from c. 4200 to 500B.C. These prehistoric carvings can be found in four different areas and Alta Museum is situated in Hjemmeluft/Jiepmaluokta where the most drawings can be seen. The Museum has a webpage where you can read detailed information on the rock carvings (www.alta.museum.no). Alta Tourist Office can be contacted on (78-45-77-77) and they can help with any inquiries. Alta Airport offers numerous international flights and there is accommodation at the Airport but it is quite expensive. In the centre of Alta accommodation is also expensive but Alta Motel is one resort which is reasonably cheap, with a single room per person per night at around 50. You can reserve on line at hotelguide.com. There is so much to see in Alta that you will find that you are spoilt for choice. Many people take advantage of Alta Lake Golf Resort which has an eighteen hole course (Tel: (509) 923-2359). Alta is a beuatiful area of Finnmark and you will be so blown away by the superb scenery.

Useful Links

The Finnmark Tourist Board offers information from the Finnmark Tourist Board on everything you need to know about Finnmark.

Nordkapp Reiseliv offers information on what there is to see and do in the North Cape.

Alta Museum has information about the rock drawing museum: