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The history of Finnmark kicks off with the Sami people, the first ones who explored this rigid territory. In the 1st century, the Roman writer Tacitus said that the Sami people were primitive and slept on the ground and wore animal skins.The Sami culture is famous for reindeer herding and the cone-like shape "tents" Laitok/Lavvu. Their life was dependent on the reindeer that were used as transport animals, food and clothing. Parts of the animals were used for helping the Sami fabricate their own clothes.In the inner parts of Finnmark, the Sami people still make up the majority of the county’s people and the Sami language started in schools in the 1970s keeping Sami traditions alive.
During World War II, all of Finnmark County was torched. Reconstruction of the area meant an enormous impact on the architecture. To this day, you can see different styles and colors throughout the county.
Finnmark is split into 19 municipalities, the largest being: Alta, Guovdageaidnu or Kautokeino (Sami language) and Nordkapp. Alta - the Town of Northern Lights is the biggest city in the county. Here you can adventure in a dog-sledding race, take a walk in the midnight sun, go shopping in Bossekop center or visit Alta Museum to view the rock carvings from prehistoric times.
Kautokeino – the land of the Sami, here you can visit Karasjok Church- The oldest establishment of its kind, Sami Parliament, which provides unique architecture reminiscing of the cone-shaped tents and Kautokeino Local Museum.
Nordkapp – Go shopping in Honningsvåg, the north end city of Norway. Here you can encounter various goldsmiths, traditional furs, wood carvings, gold and silver and many porcelain fabrications. Go through the North Cape Tunnel to the Magerøya Island or go to North Cape plateau and enjoy watching the midnight sun or the sunset over the Barents Sea.
If you decide to visit this “end of the world” and you are interested in accommodations, here are the top hotels: Scandic Bryggen (Honningsvag), Hotel Arran Nordkapp (Honningsvag), Thon Hotel Alta (Alta), Scandic Alta (Alta), Thon Hotel Kautokeino (Kautokeino).
Hunting for the views that the northern lights offer can make you hungry so be curious and experience the local dishes made with grouse, reindeer, salmon or king crab. You can have a fabulous meal at Laksestua Restaurant in Alta while enjoying the beautiful view of the Alta Fjord, Thon Hotel Vica Restaurant (Alta), Gapahuken Restaurant in Kirkenes or try the delicacies of the sea and local fruits at Restaurant Terrace in Gjesvær.
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