"Myths and facts" Finnmark by Rusket
Finnmark Travel Guide: 513 reviews and 1,645 photos
I never thought I would build a Finnmark page, since more than 20 years have passed since my last visit. But then I found a lot of misunderstandings, untrue myths and desinformation on VT pages, and found out I had to try to correct them. After doing this, including going through and scanning my old pictures, I found out I just have to go back to explore this fantastic area of my own country further!
Finnmark is the northernmost and easternmost county in Norway. Hornøya in the municipality Vardø is appr. on the same longitude as Kiev, Ankara and Khartoum. North Cape, 71.11 N, is almost at the same lattitude as Point Barrow, 71.23 N, in Alaska. The oceans around Finnmark are the Arctic Ocean, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea, and it has borders with Russia, Finnland and the norwegian county Troms. The Golf Stream is the reason why most of the harbours are ice free and the temperatures during summer might reach 20 C and above. Only 73.210 inhabitants live in an area larger than Denmark: 48.637 square kilometers. Fishery and reindeer husbandry are traditional vocations, mining has played a major role, and the later years exploration of natural gas and oil has commenced. Sami, Finnish and Norwegian cultures exist side by side.
Finnmarksvidda is a great place for recreation and outdoor activities, like freshwater fishing, canoeing, hiking, cross country skiing and reindeer sledging. But be aware of the fact that distances in Finnmark are long. Example: The distance from Nordkapp to Tana Bru (Tana river, salmon fishing) is 519 kilometers!
In the coastal areas there are good possibilities for salt water fishing, birdwatching, hiking and rock climbing.
There are six towns in Finnmark: Alta, Hammerfest, Honningsvåg, Kirkenes, Vardø and Vadsø. The whole county is north of the polar circle (and so are Troms and half of Nordland counties as well).
The nature is very varied, and the wildlife does includes bears. But not polar bears, there are no polar bears on the norwegian mainland. The brown bears (ursus arctos arctos) that might be seen in Finnmark belong to a common russian- finnish-norwegian stock, and are mainly observed in the eastern part of Finnmark. In 1997 the Ministry of the Environment stated that there are an average of 8 to 21 bears in Finnmark. In other words, not much to be afraid of, especially if you are at Nordkapp, several hundred kilometers away from the actual bear area.
Sami people are like all other people, most of them are friendly and some are not. They are not some kind of a weird species that are displayed for tourists or hang around hotels. Most of them are proud of their heritage and some have chosen to show their traditional way of living in special villages or exhibitions. Only those who are occupied with reindeer husbandry live in lavvos, and they do so only when they need to look after their reindeers. The so called "Sjøsamer" (Sea Sami) live in the coastal areas all year round, and they mostly live from fishery. Except those engaged in fishery and / or reindeer husbandry, Sami people do all kind of jobs on the same level as other norwegians. Karasjok is the Sami Capital, but more Sami live in Oslo!
There is another Sami population, the Southern Sami, by the swedish border in Trøndalag.
Roads can be closed on short notice, and not only in mid winter! (Pic 2) All you might see of a road is the sign posts!... more travel advice
Drying fish is an old norwegian method of preservation that is becoming popular again. The difference between "tørrfisk"... more travel advice
- See All Eastern and south-eastern Finnmark
- Wooden drinking bowls and other products
- Arctic conditions
- Arran's own info
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Finnmark Travel Guide
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