You start with a short tour of the town, before the bus takes you deep into the surprisingly fertile landscape. Here you can take in the expanse of green hills, dotted with scrubs, birch and pine trees that manage to survive despite the harsh Arctic climate. The region has experienced an exciting and at times a hugely dramatic history, so this also promises to be an educational morning.
Next up, you make a stop at Storskog – the border station between Norway and Russia. Unfortunately, you cannot cross the Russian border itself, but you are permitted to take pictures. Then the tour continues to Gapahuken Restaurant with a spectacular view of Russia. Here you learn more about Russian culture, and get tastings of food from Russia. It is also possible to shop for Russian crafts. From here you travel to the small mining community of Bjornevatn, and visit the cold miner’s monument.
Back in Kirkenes you make a stop at the impressive Prestfjellet mountain, which overlooks both the town and the waiting Hurtigruten ship.