Imagine a place in the far north, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Arctic Ocean and their frigid waters mix. That place is Nordkapp – the North Cape – in Western Finnmark, Northern Norway.
Here, the only dry land between you and the North Pole is the Svalbard archipelago. The summer sun doesn’t set between the middle of May and the end of July. Many visitors enjoy watching the midnight sun or the sunset over the Barents Sea from the North Cape Plateau.
The North Cape island of Magerøya harbours other secrets. Visit the bird cliff of Gjesværstappan, home to hundreds of thousands of puffins, gannets and cormorants, or go fishing for giant king crabs and eat the tasty monsters afterwards.
The hike to the natural arch of Kirkeporten offers quite an impressive view of the North Cape Plateau. More challenging and even more rewarding is the hike to Cape Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point on Magerøya, where you can see the seaside cliff face of the North Cape Plateau.
The tempting landscapes
Do not miss the colourful, compact fishing villages in this stark, barren landscape. Skarsvåg is the world’s northernmost fishing village. Kamøyvær is home to the art gallery East of the Sun, whereas Gjesvær has lovely views of the archipelago of Gjesværstappan.
The first tourist on the North Cape Plateau was the Italian priest Francesco Negri, who visited in 1664. Today, getting to the North Cape has become fairly easy and some 200,000 tourists visit the plateau annually during the two to three months of summer. With its cliff face jutting into the sea, the plateau rises 307 metres above sea level. The visitor centre North Cape Hall holds various exhibitions throughout the year, and the chapel St Johannes Kapell is the world’s northernmost ecumenical chapel and a popular venue for weddings.
In winter, explore the white, treeless landscapes on a snowmobile. North Cape offers arctic adventures like dog sledging in the winter and months of never-ending sunlight in the summer. Go ice fishing, drive an ATV or try snowshoeing. Also, never forget to be on the lookout for the faint, elusive northern light.
Source: Scandinavian Tourist Board