Reading material for those who love the camping life

Text and photo: Jørgen E. Snoen
Caravan and Caravan magazine, No. 3 June 2018

Camping in Northern Norway all year round: Finnmark has much more than mosquitoes to offer

In connection with a family celebration, it was decided to add an adventure trip to Finnmark at the end of February 2018. Normally, you should be careful about using adjectives in most publications, but in this article there will be adjectives and superlatives. Camping in Northern Norway is an experience many more have the opportunity to experience, both in summer and winter, where this case is taken from.

Norway has a lot to offer, also great experiences. This we experienced on this trip to the area in and around Alta in Finnmark. Experiences can be so many, we chose to experience local cuisine, sledding with dog sled, reindeer driving and an ice cream parlor. Trasti and Trine is a place for accommodation and exquisite food. It was checked in to the room that we would have in Stengelgården which is located down the Altaelva. Here is the nice room, the breakfast room, and the fireplace room where you can enjoy themselves with other guests from home and abroad.


In Stengelgården, it is a very mellow and good atmosphere, you feel at home. On the walls there are models of salmon taken in the river of salmon fishermen who have lived here. There are talkages of up to over 26 kilos. When told about size, there is not a salmon about. 20 kilo, but either 19,8 or maybe 20,2 kilo. Stengelgården is located 500 meters from the center of Trasti and Trine, and since it was winter when we visited the place it was good kicking, thus killing the means of transport internally in the area. It just added an extra boost to the experience. The name Trasti is because the cook is called Johnny Trasti. He and his crew serve gourmet food made from local produce. The restaurant is decorated according to the needs of the place and has a very good atmosphere where you can really enjoy delicious meals.

This year's chef

By the way, Johnny Trasti was named this year's chef in 2009, something that appeared in the choice of ingredients and how the food was cooked and served. The name Trine comes as a result of Trine Lyrek running the kennel Northern Lights Husky. Trine Lyrek is originally from Sarpsborg but has lived in Alta for many years interrupted by a period when she lived in Alaska. Trine Lyrek has participated in the world's longest dog race Iditarod in Alaska, and several times in Europe's longest dog race Finnmarksløpet.


We went on a sledding with a dog in the evening where we had to finish the five dogs we had in the team. When you see these dogs you can feel that they can eat anything for lunch, including an adult person. But we experienced the dogs as the most loving beings one can imagine on this earth. 

Sling up with harness and connecting the dogs we did ourselves, and we set off with headlamps in the dark. The journey itself took place with the light of a big full moon, and then a green northern light fluttering over the sky. The experience became very strong with the surroundings, and only the sound of the sledge that sighed through the snow.

ice hotel

During our stay we visited Sorrisniva which is located on the other side a little further along Altaelva. The name Sorrisniva brought together immigrants from Finland who settled in the area, and the name means rushing power. This was evident at the visit when Altaelva was otherwise covered with thick ice, but at Sorrisniva there were areas of open water. Sorrisniva is best known for its hotel. The hotel has over 30 rooms of different size. The hotel has amazing decoration with pine trees of crystal clear ice. Of course, the hotel has a bar built of the same clear ice, and a chapel where you can make weddings if you wish. Artwork in the snow on the walls helped make the hotel a great piece of art.

reindeer Driving

From the ice hotel in Sorrisniva we got to reinraid, where we drove a toboggan with a clean as a motor. The trip here went through light birch forest to a Sami lavvo. Here Nils Per had our good guide called a bonfire where the coffee was ready. We had a great time together in the lavvo at the fire. Nils Per told about reindeer husbandry throughout the ages, and how life during reindeer migration occurs when many people live together in a lavvo like this one. Here there were good rules where the mother of the family could control the cooking and the smallest children.

We have received some introduction earlier on the reindeer culture, and once again confirmed that it is the Sami who move with the reindeer from the wilderness to summer beekeeping at the coast. This simply makes the clean to get away from the mosquito nets. Mild periods of rain on Finnmarksvidda make it an ice sheet on the ground that prevents the reiner from getting down to the food. Thus, climate change is already well understood here. During the reindeer ride, we managed to drive and drive, Nils Per invited to race, which was very fun. Here it went away so the snowman stood.

winter camping

We were given the opportunity to visit the NBCC campsite on Sarves north of Alta. Here we met the Bertelsen family who had had a caravan at Sarves for eight years. They cost around the bonfire where they grilled sausages for lunch. Winter camping is therefore possible even under the northern lights in the coldest winter season.

Northern Lights Capital

Alta is Finnmark's largest city and is considered the capital of the northern lights when the first research on this phenomenon in heaven began here. Alta with its suburbs is in strong growth with an ever increasing influx of tourists throughout the year. During the visit there was a cruise ship from the UK at the dock. Several of the tourists from here experienced dog racing at Trasti and Trine, and the ice hotel in Sorrisniva. Alta received a new church in 2013, baptized at the Cathedral of the North, which is clearly evident from the architecture. During the visit, the area was next to the entrance to the beautiful modern church decorated with ice sculptures with built-in light. Something that made it to bathe the cathedral in the dark at night for an art experience.

Great winter trip

Such an experience trip in the northernmost part of our elongated country and where we were lucky with the weather that showed off from its best side with daytime temperatures around 10 minus degrees with brilliant sunshine from absolutely clear clouds, is highly recommended.

Thank you Finnmark for a great experience.

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