Vardø qualifies as Norway's easternmost town and is well off the beaten track for all but the most diehard travellers. Although this butterfly-shaped island is connected to the mainland by the 2.9km-long Ishavstunnelen (Arctic Ocean tunnel), locals maintain that theirs is the only 'mainland' Norwegian town lying within the Arctic climatic zone (its average temperature is below 10°C). Once a stronghold of trade with the Russian Pomors, it's now a major fishing port and home to many Russian and, strangely, Sri Lankan immigrants. It's not Norway's prettiest town, but it does have a certain windswept Siberia-esque appeal.
And getting here is half the fun: it's a pancake-flat 75km drive between Vadsø and Vardø, along a designated National Tourist Route, but the ribbon of road has a lonely charm as it threads its way between the shoreline, hardy grasses and tough, low shrubs.