The North Cape or locally called Nordkapp, the most northern point in mainland Europe is a magical place to visit. Visiting in Winter it has an other worldly feel and I have been extremely lucky to have visited here twice.
For this most recent visit I was aboard the Hurtigruten, a great cruise service that goes up and down the Norway Coast. Excurisons along the way.
But again I was looking forward to being at the top of the Norwegian coastline! The North Cape, the most northern point in mainland Europe. Where the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans meet.
Where Is The North Cape?
The North Cape is one of those spots that produces a feeling that is hard to describe unless you stand there yourself.
How far North? 71 degrees North. To put into perspective, London is 51 degrees North so if you think it is bitter and cold on a frosty day in UK then I can assure you it is refreshing here at The North Cape.
You stand at the famous globe sculpture, looking North out to the cold blue Barents sea. Knowing, there is only the Svalbard Islands between you and the North Pole.
There is one road in and out to the North Cape, the E69, the northernmost public road in Europe. With the amount of snow around in winter it is a mammoth job to keep it open I am more than sure.
From the ship dock at Honningsvåg it is a 45 coach journey to the North Cape.
On route you get to see the most northern in Europe of a lot of things. Most northern petrol station, or if you have time for a small detour then Skarsvåg, the most northern fishing village.
Summer or Winter
This was Winter, a cold, very cold, fresh wind was blowing and all was white and blue. And I loved it.
You really do feel away from it all and the lack of brightness adds to the atmosphere. The sun doesn’t rise here in mid winter but you do get the few hours of low (sun below horizon) daylight, that seems to enhance the winter scenes and feeling of lostness.
If you come during summer (mid May to end of July) you get a whole new opposite experience, the midnight sun, where the sun doesn’t even set at all. A reason to come back again at a completely different time of year.
Looking east and west from the North Cape you see mainland Europe’s Northern edge coming to a stop below the cliffs, 307 metres above sea level.
Just over to the west is Knivskjellodden Point sticking out to sea, ‘technically’ just hundreds of metres further North than the Cape.
There is lots more than the Cape, globe and views to experience here. The big visitor centre just back from the point has lots to offer.
Information, cafes, documentary films shown and yes, the most northern toilets on mainland Europe!
The Children of the Earth Monument
I could have walked the coast and cliffs here for hours and hours in the gloomy dark cold, my kind of place. There are also more monuments to see if you start venturing.
In 1988 some children from around the world, Tanzania, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, Italy, Soviet Union and USA came to stay with families in the nearby settlement of Skarsvåg, that most northern fishing village.
They cast some clay models that were then set in bronze and erected at the North Cape in 1989.. The Children of the Earth Monument.
A symbol of cooperation, friendship, hope and joy.
It was cold, it was dark and yet it was one of those places that once you have been it is a place and experience you never forget.
This part of the world may seem barren and empty but it is host to a world of real adventure. Snow safaris for miles, even ice fishing and attempting snow shoeing.
If you have one of those lucky days you can see the Northern Lights in this magical spot on earth.