This relaxed road trip explores an area of Norway's Arctic rarely visited by tourists. Start in fjord-side Alta and drive inland to experience indigenous culture while staying in a cozy wilderness lodge. You'll then make your way toward the northernmost tip of the continent for hiking trails, colorful villages, and breathtaking views. Spend each night looking for early glimpses of the northern lights—they usually start in October.


  • Bundle up for a canoe ride surrounded by untouched scenery
  • Look for wild reindeer as you drive between towns known for Sami culture
  • Get quality time with a fleet of huskies
  • Take an autumn hike in a national park with birch and pine forests
  • Visit quaint fishing villages in the North Cape at your own pace

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Alta and Chase the Northern Lights Alta
Day 2 Explore Alta & Spend the Day with a Local Fisherman Alta
Day 3 Visit Reindeer & Huskies Karasjok
Day 4 Explore Karasjok & Sami Culture Karasjok
Day 5 Drive to Lakselv, Continue to the North Cape North Cape
Day 6 Explore the North Cape, Return to Alta Alta
Day 7 Depart Norway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Alta and Chase the Northern Lights

Expect fewer tourists in this remote area of Norway
Expect fewer tourists in this remote area of Norway

Welcome to Norway! Your trip begins in Alta—the largest town in the country's northernmost county, which lies in the inner reaches of the Alta Fjord on the coast. Once you touch down at Alta's airport, you'll pick up your rental car and make the short drive to your hotel. 

Once you're settled, head outside and wander around town, visiting sites such as the Northern Lights Cathedral, a modern architectural icon. From here, there are several restaurants to try for dinner, like Alta Bistro, Restaurant Havblikk, Trine og Trasti, and a chic, cozy space called Du Verden Matbar that serves Nothern Norway's traditional dried fish. 

In the evening, you will join local guides on a hunt for the famous northern lights. Though a natural phenomenon can never be guaranteed, Alta has some of the best conditions for seeing the aurora borealis. The city has even earned the nickname "City of the Northern Lights." 

Enjoy a hot soup while you discuss the plan for the evening and learn more about the aurora. Your guide will adjust the tour to the conditions on the day. You will drive to where the conditions are best for seeing the night sky, away from the city's light pollution. Along the way, you can enjoy hot drinks and snacks. 

If you do see the lights, you can make the moment last forever by taking a photo. Your guide knows how to work a camera and can get a picture of you in front of the northern lights (conditions permitting). The perfect souvenir!

Day 2: Explore Alta & Spend the Day with a Local Fisherman

Pre-historic rock art near Alta
Pre-historic rock art near Alta

You'll have the entire day to explore Alta and the surrounding area. Start by visiting the Alta Museum, featuring Northern Europe's largest concentration of rock art made by hunter-gatherers. This unique UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises rock carvings and paintings made from 7,000 to 2,000 years ago. It depicts rituals, symbolism, and religious beliefs from the pre-Christian ages. If there happens to be early snow on the ground, you will not be able to view the rock art itself, but the museum still makes a worthwhile stop.

This afternoon, you'll hop on a boat out onto the Alta fjord to fish for king crab while learning the area's local secrets and history. After your trip on the fjord, you will return to Sorrisniva for an amazingly fresh meal with the crab you just caught. Your guides will keep you warm with included thermal suits and warm drinks on board!

If the skies are clear after dinner, keep an eye out for the northern lights, which usually start appearing in October.

Day 3: Visit Reindeer & Huskies

Spend time with the huskies as they train for dogsledding season
Spend time with the huskies as they train for the dogsledding season

This morning, you'll drive south to Kautokeino, a vibrant little town of about 1,500 residents known for Sami culture, the indigenous people of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The drive is just over 1.5 hours, and passes through beautiful landscapes and autumn colors—you may even encounter reindeer along the route.

After lunch and a walk around Kautokeino's sites, including the Sámi University College, the Nordic Sámi Institute, and the Sámi theatre, you'll head to the Engholm Husky Design Lodge near Karasjok—another 1.5-hour drivewhere you'll stay two nights in charming, individually-decorated log cabins.

This family farm in the Nordic wilderness raises sled dogs for long-distance racing. In the non-winter months, you can simply hang out with the huskies and join daily life on the farm, where puppies will learn to socialize. The property also has a library, a wood-heated sauna, and an outdoor hot tub.

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Day 4: Explore Karasjok & the Sami Culture

The Sami Parliament of Norway
The Sami Parliament of Norway

This morning, you can relax at the lodge with a leisurely breakfast. If you so choose, spend more time with the huskies, perhaps taking a nature walk with them, or watching more training techniques offered by the staff.

You'll have the rest of the day to explore the nearby town of Karasjok, part of the vast Finnmark Plateau, where you can experience another slice of local Sami culture; in fact, nearly all the local residents speak Sami. The area is also home to thousands of reindeer, so if you haven't seen any yet, there is a good chance of sightings as you head into and out of town. 

Karasjok is the perfect place to better get to know the Sami people and culture. The Sámi Parliament of Norway, the representative body for people of Sámi heritage, is located here and acts as an institution of cultural autonomy for the Sami people of Norway.

Other don't-miss sites include the Sami Museum, with more than 5,000 objects in its collection, and Sapmi Park. You can also view the oldest church in Finnmark (dating back to 1807), and watch a film about the rituals and beliefs of the Sami shaman before Christianity came to Norway.

Day 5: Drive to Lakselv, Continue to the North Cape

Village near the North Cape
Village near the North Cape

Get ready for a flurry of goodbyes to the four-legged residents and two-legged staff before driving about an hour north to the village of Lakselv. This small town of just under 1,000 residents is known for hiking trails in the nearby Stabbursdalen National Park and salmon, trout, and Arctic char fishing. Stop here for lunch, and afterward, head to the park to enjoy autumn colors in the surrounding birch and pine forests.

You'll then continue driving about three hours toward the North Cape, where you'll stay overnight. This is the northernmost point of Europe and offers beautiful views, so keep your camera close!

Day 6: Explore the North Cape, Return to Alta

Views from the North Cape
Views from the North Cape

Today is a free day to explore the coastal area around the North Cape on the island of Magerøya. A good place to start is taking the trail to the natural arch of Kirkeporten for a view of the North Cape Plateau, which rises 1,007 feet (307 m) above sea level. For a more challenging trail and even more rewarding vantage point, head to cape Knivskjellodden, where you'll get close to the seaside cliff.

Other attractions include a visitor center with year-round exhibits and bird-watching at Gjesværstappan, home to local fowl like puffins, gannets, and cormorants. You can also stop through small, colorful fishing villages like Skarsvåg, Gjesvær, and Kamøyvær, which offer lunch spots, authentic souvenirs, and more views. 

In the afternoon, you'll make the 3.5-hour drive back to Alta, where you'll spend your last evening of the trip.

Day 7: Depart Norway

Vow to return soon!
Vow to return soon!

After breakfast, head to the airport and catch your departing flight. Although it's time to say goodbye to Norway, the memories from your trip will surely stay with you forever!


Map of Autumn Road Trip in Norway's Arctic - 7 Days
Map of Autumn Road Trip in Norway's Arctic - 7 Days