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Tromso v Alta

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posts: 43
reviews: 6
Tromso v Alta


I am currently planning a trip to Northern Norway in March of this year with the hope of seeing the northern lights. I am very split on how much time to spend between Tromso and Alta, it seems like we can do pretty much the same things in both towns (dog sledding, snow mobile tours, sami tours) and we definately want to stay the night in the ice hotel up in Alta.

My question is whether we should just stay up in the Alta area and do all the activities and the search for the Northern Lights up there or should we also make time to come to Tromso? We have a total of 8 days in Norway.

Any advice that you can give would be much appreciated.



posts: 8,114
reviews: 61
1. Re: Tromso v Alta

In my opinion Tromsø area has a bit more interesting landscape, but you have to travel a bit inland for the activities you mention. Alta is somewhat colder than Tromsø (temp in Alta can drop to minus 15 C even in March), but inland from Tromsø the climate is similar to Alta. There is some 400 kilometers travel between.

posts: 4
reviews: 1
2. Re: Tromso v Alta

Alta and Tromsø are quite different cities (and areas). I've lived in Tromsø 25 years, unfortunately I've only been to Alta once. When it comes to typical tourist stuff like dogsledding and such, I guess you'll find much of the same offers both places. You can do dogsledding just outside the city, you don't have to travel to the inland of Troms. I must say, I belive you'll find Tromsø more beautiful and more interesting than Alta, of course that depends on what you're after. Tromsø is a larger city (>65000 inhabitants) and from the city centre you'll see fjords and mountains.

Edited: 3:18 pm, January 03, 2010
Tromso, Norway
posts: 3,010
reviews: 8
3. Re: Tromso v Alta

Alta is not a real city, but they can call it that because they have past a number of people who lives there, but actually there is from the beginning 2 places; Bossekopp and Elvebakken who has grow together. And now they are building up a "huge" centre in the centre of it. Now the latest they are soon finish with a huge bath house...

Alta and Finnmark has an amazing environment, but you have to leave the area of Alta to see most of it. Especially the area east of North Cape and Porsanger Fjord is the most beautiful and wild up there.

Trust me on that, my family are from that area, and I have lived there..;)

Here is my idea for a travel for you, a travle you can take both way:

Fly to Oslo, and then directly to Alta. Spend 2 nights there and do the Dogsledding and the Ice hotel. Then take a bus, who will bring you over the plateau Sennalandet and Hatter, where you after the mountains will reach the fjord of Porsanger. Continue with the bus to Honningsvåg, and take a snowmoblie tour to North Cape. On the way, if you like to, you can make a stop at my cousins Coastal Sami Settle Camp in Smørfjord.

From Honningsvåg, you can take the Coastal Steamer http://hurtigruten.com, south to Tromsø, and spend some days there for another activities. Fly back to Oslo, or directly to London (Tuesday and Saturday) with http://norwegian.com

Welcome to the Arctic!

posts: 43
reviews: 6
4. Re: Tromso v Alta

Thanks folks for your help - it is much appreciated. We will do as you have recommended and split between Alta and Tromso. Looking forward to visiting your country



5. Re: Tromso v Alta

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