'The city of the Northern Lights'
Indeed, Alta is known as 'the city of the Northern Lights' and given the stable climate and minimal light pollution (particularly when heading out into the surrounding wilderness), the Aurora has been known to be seen here for up to 200 nights a year. The area is of such importance when it comes to the Northern Lights that one of the world's first Northern Lights Observatories was built here by scientist Kristian Birkeland just outside the city in 1859.
Outside these magnificent natural displays, there is still much to do and see in Alta itself. The town is home to one of the most extensive areas of pre-historic rock carvings in Northern Europe dating from around 4,200 to 500 BC, which has been given the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral is also well worth a visit – a stunning architectural creation built in 2013 designed to mirror the appearance of the cascading waves of the Northern Lights.