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Nature

Finnmarks has four types of nature – mountain plateau, river valley, fjord and coast.


The mountain plateau
Dry, rolling mountain ridges with lichen, shrubs and open birch forests are interspersed with lakes and bogs. The marshlands of the Finnmark Mountain Plateau are important nesting grounds for many species of wading birds, ducks, geese and whooper swans. The lakes in the southern part of the county are rich in eastern fish like pike, perch and whitefish. Char and trout are cought all over the county. For thousands of years, the mountain plateau has been the wintering grounds for reindeer which feed on its most important source of winter food, lichen. Today the lichen cover is greatly reduced due to excessive grazing.

The river valleys
Some rivers, like Alta river, have cut deep canyons in the mountain plateau. The Tana River has deposited enormous amounts of sand, reminding one of the great Siberian rivers. Some of Europe’s most important salmon rivers are to be found in Finnmark. Salmon fisheries, farming, and the use of mountain and forest resources, has created the basis for settlement in the valleys. The most important farming areas are along the Tana, Alta and Pasvik rivers. Stabbursdalen National Park has the world’s northernmost pine forest. The pine forest along the upper part of the Tana River, along the Kàràsjoka and Anarjokka rivers is connected with the endless Finnish forests, while the pine forest in the Pasvik Valley is the North-western corner of the Siberian Taiga. There the moose have their winter quarters, and there we find two of the most important areas for Norway’s bears. Parts of these forests are protected as national parks.

The fjords
The Gulf Stream keeps the wide Finnmark fjords free of ice all year around. When the ice disappeared and the land rose after the ice age, the rivers created beautiful terraced landscapes. Moraine deposits washed to the sea be rivers have created large areas of tidal flats and shallow water. In several places we can find coastal meadows with arctic vegetation that are important sanctuaries for wading birds. The most important are preserved as nature reserves. Along the fjords, we find Finnmark’s characteristic forests of mountain birch. What, in the rest of Norway, is called montane vegetation can be found down to the beaches, often co-exisiting with typical beach plants. The beach vegetation has important elements of eastern plants.

The coast
The landscape is treeless and barren with an Arctic character. The Finnmark coast, however, is next to the productive Barent Sea with its enormous fish resources and rich birdlife. In the west, there are tall, spectacular mountain peaks, steep fjord bottoms and glaciers. In the mid and eastern parts of the county, the rocky coastline changes to a rolling plateau-like landscape. The peninsulas in the east, especially the Varanger Peninsula, have large vegetation-free areas of boulders and rocks which can rightly be called stone deserts.

Finnmark has a lot to offer and is perfect for outdoor activities. The snow covered landscape invites you to experience real adventures such as driving snowmobiles, reindeer, or dog teams across the plains.

Tour organizer:
Nordkapp Reiseliv

Dark Season

The arctic light is exceptional! In winter, the sun vanishes below the horizon for about two months. This is what we call the time of blue light; "mørketida". The most exquisite of beautiful shades colour the sky. The snow, the moon and the distant horizon compensate for the lack of sun. On clear days one may also enjoy the Northern Lights flaming across the sky.

Place, Darkness Periode
North Cape, 18 November – 24 January
Hammerfest, 20 November – 22 January
Vardø, 21 November – 21 January
Alta, 23 November – 19 January


Car testing in Finnmark

Finnmark is the perfect place for showing new cars, and doing wintertests developing new cars. "When a car can cope with winter in Finnmark, it can cope with winter everywhere!" we say.

On this page you can learn a bit about the activities Finnmark has to offer in winter.

Finnmark has also high standard hotels and other infrastructure that makes it easy to do a good job testing and presenting cars. The road standard is very good, and there is 24 hours road maintenance of the main roads. Temperatures vary a lot from inland to coast and can give you a range from -20 in Karasjok to 0 degrees in Hammerfest.

Ice Tracks can be made available several places and garages for storing and maintaining cars are often close connected to the hotels.

Please feel free to contact us for further suggestions!
The mountain plateau
Dry, rolling mountain ridges with lichen, shrubs and open birch forests are interspersed with lakes and bogs. The marshlands of the Finnmark Mountain Plateau are important nesting grounds for many species of wading birds, ducks, geese and whooper swans. The lakes in the southern part of the county are rich in eastern fish like pike, perch and whitefish. Char and trout are cought all over the county. For thousands of years, the mountain plateau has been the wintering grounds for reindeer which feed on its most important source of winter food, lichen. Today the lichen cover is greatly reduced due to excessive grazing.

The river valleys
Some rivers, like Alta river, have cut deep canyons in the mountain plateau. The Tana River has deposited enormous amounts of sand, reminding one of the great Siberian rivers. Some of Europe’s most important salmon rivers are to be found in Finnmark. Salmon fisheries, farming, and the use of mountain and forest resources, has created the basis for settlement in the valleys. The most important farming areas are along the Tana, Alta and Pasvik rivers. Stabbursdalen National Park has the world’s northernmost pine forest. The pine forest along the upper part of the Tana River, along the Kàràsjoka and Anarjokka rivers is connected with the endless Finnish forests, while the pine forest in the Pasvik Valley is the North-western corner of the Siberian Taiga. There the moose have their winter quarters, and there we find two of the most important areas for Norway’s bears. Parts of these forests are protected as national parks.

The fjords
The Gulf Stream keeps the wide Finnmark fjords free of ice all year around. When the ice disappeared and the land rose after the ice age, the rivers created beautiful terraced landscapes. Moraine deposits washed to the sea be rivers have created large areas of tidal flats and shallow water. In several places we can find coastal meadows with arctic vegetation that are important sanctuaries for wading birds. The most important are preserved as nature reserves. Along the fjords, we find Finnmark’s characteristic forests of mountain birch. What, in the rest of Norway, is called montane vegetation can be found down to the beaches, often co-exisiting with typical beach plants. The beach vegetation has important elements of eastern plants.

The coast
The landscape is treeless and barren with an Arctic character. The Finnmark coast, however, is next to the productive Barent Sea with its enormous fish resources and rich birdlife. In the west, there are tall, spectacular mountain peaks, steep fjord bottoms and glaciers. In the mid and eastern parts of the county, the rocky coastline changes to a rolling plateau-like landscape. The peninsulas in the east, especially the Varanger Peninsula, have large vegetation-free areas of boulders and rocks which can rightly be called stone deserts.