Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug
Fjord Tours Articles / 20 Aug 2019

Why Karasjok Is the Hidden Gem of Norway

Many people who visit the northern tip of Norway are familiar with the many incredible things that it has to offer. However, not nearly enough people are aware of the cultural hub that is Karasjok. This municipality is the place to be for many different reasons.

No matter what you hope to experience in Norway, whether it is summer skiing or world-class Norwegian food, chances are that you will be able to locate an incredible place to do it here. Here is a little bit about what makes Karasjok the ultimate vacation destination in Northern Norway.

FLYTTING01339 6285479 Foto Thomas Rasmus Skaug
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug

Massive Sami Population

With all of the hustle and bustle of today's modern life, it is sometimes nice to take a break from the fast pace of the city life and step out into the laid-back countryside of Finnmark county. This is where Karasjok can be found nestled in the Southeastern region, only a couple dozen kilometers from the Finland border.

The municipality and the surrounding municipality of Kautokeino are largely populated by the Sami people. These indigenous people have spent thousands of years conquering the frigid weather of the region's Northern lands. It has resulted in them becoming masters of their environment and being able to not only successfully live there, but also create welcoming and thriving environments that persuade many tourists to come for a visit every year.

As soon as you arrive here, you will immediately notice a difference in your environment due to a variety of factors. One of which is that the vast majority of locals will likely be speaking a language that you are unfamiliar with. This is because almost 90 percent of the 3,000 population of Karasjok are able to speak Sami. Luckily, the vast majority of them are also bilingual, meaning that you should have no problem communicating with them and getting the enjoyable experience that you are hoping for.


Photo: Terje Rakke

Culture Spotlight

The Sami population are extremely proud of their heritage and are more than happy to demonstrate the beauty and importance of it to any newcomers. This means that you can wander to nearly any village in the Karasjok municipality and find something incredible to take part in. In fact, some of the best things to do in Norway can be found here.

Some of the greatest examples of this include being able to listen to the enchanting Sami chant, which is known as the joik, and being led by a team of reindeer or huskies as you get pulled up on to the mountain plains and witness the gorgeous snow-covered scenery.

Of course, there is also the option to have a bit more modern entertainment as well. For example, you can easily check out the Sami Museum, library, theme park, and a variety of other things that are all offered throughout Karasjok.

As a group of people who are well in touch with nature, the residents of Karasjok are also able to offer you the opportunity to do one of the most gorgeous activities in Norway, and the rest of the world as well. By being located so close to the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, anyone staying in Karasjok is given the opportunity to see the Northern Lights like never before.

Many people take Norway vacations specifically to see the Northern Lights, so if you are going to look at this beautiful example of nature, then you should do it with the best views ever.

Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug

Thriving Reindeer Population

While you may never be able to see Santa's workshop, this is a close second. The population of Karasjok takes great pride in their close relationship with reindeer, which extends back hundreds of years. There are so many, in fact, that the population of reindeer at its highest is more than 60,000. During the fall and winter seasons, this is the equivalent of 20 reindeer for every one resident!

That is why the Sami lifestyle is so closely intertwined with the native population of reindeer. This makes Karasjok one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy the taste of a traditional reindeer stew, which is commonly known as bidos.

Get started on your unique Norway experience by booking your Northern Lights & Norway in a Nutshell® tour.