Located just a stone’s throw from Norway’s border with Finland, Tana is a riverfront village and Sami cultural hub. Its name is a Norwegianised version of the Northern Sami word “Deatnu”, which translates as “great river” in reference to the Tana River. This waterway is a popular setting for salmon fishing and is spanned by a 260-metre-long cable-stayed bridge.
Things to do in Tana
In the heart of town is the small Tana Museum, which details the cultural history of the region over the last few centuries. Friendly guides will lead you through the museum buildings where handicrafts and cultural artefacts are on display. After your visit, you can grab coffee and waffles at the adjacent cafe.
One of the best ways to experience the surrounding region is with Tana Husky, which offers exhilarating dog sledding rides and campfire storytelling sessions. Visit between September and March for the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. In the summer months, you can meet and greet the company’s 40 Alaskan huskies and learn about the region’s Sami culture.
Spanning Norway’s border with Finland is Pulmankijärvi, a stunning lake that lies on the edge of the Kaldoaivi Wilderness Area. Stretch your legs along one of the walking trails that hug the northern shores (within Norway’s borders) or embark on the long-distance Sevettijärvi-Pulmanki Trail, which connects south to the Skolt Sámi village of Sevettijärvi in Finland.
Getting around Tana
Tana is just over an hour’s drive from Vadsø Airport, which has flights to destinations across Norway. Buses connect to Tana from Vadsø and Kirkenes while the centre of Tana is compact enough to explore on foot. Renting a car is the most convenient way of exploring the surrounding attractions.