- Honningsvåg the gateway to the North Cape
- The North Cape - allegedly Europe's northernmost point
- The discovery of the North Cape
- North Cape tourism
- North Cape - how to get there
- North Cape - the sights
Visitors to the 2.800-strong community of Honningsvåg certainly do not come because of the pleasant climate. Nor do you travel to the far north of Norway because of the treeless landscape or the remarkable fishing port. They come because they want to see Europe's officially northernmost point: the North Cape. Only 34 kilometers of road separate Honningsvåg from the Cape.
Honningsvåg the gateway to the North Cape
There is no way around Honningsvåg. It is the gateway to the North Cape. The municipality on the island of Magerøya is primarily a fishing port. The inhabitants live from fishing, fish processing, trading in fish products and tourism. The town has piers for the Hurtigruten mail ships and for the 50 or so cruise ships that call at the port mainly in the summer months. A large bus parking lot has been set up for the North Cape bus tours next to the pier for the cruise ships. There is a tourist information office, a church and a few shops and pubs. The journey to the cape leads from the port over a well-developed road through barren landscape up to an altitude of 307 meters.
Honningsvåg fishing port
There, at position 71'10'21 north latitude, lies the North Cape. The expanse of the Barents Sea extends in front of the cape. In terms of symbolism, the travel destination, located 2.093 kilometers south of the North Pole, is comparable to Africa Cape of Good Hope and South America Cape Horn. More than 200.000 people visit the North Cape every year, mainly in the summer months.
The North Cape - allegedly Europe's northernmost point
The coordinate position 71'10'21 was determined to be Europe's northernmost point, although the location is definitely not Europe's northernmost point. Because next to the North Cape rises the headland Knivskjellodden even further into the Barents Sea. And the islands of Svalbard, which belong to Norway, are a good 800 kilometers further north as the crow flies.
View from the North Cape
Apart from that, the North Cape, marked with the characteristic globe, is one of Norway's top travel destinations. However, visitors cannot be certain of seeing the sun in this inhospitable area. Because on most days, bad weather dominates.
The North Cape Globo in the rain
The discovery of the North Cape
The North Cape was discovered by the British navigator Richard Chancellor. In search of a northeast passage leading him to China, he first circled the rock plateau in 1553. He gave the striking rock protruding from the sea its name North Cape. Incidentally, his journey did not end in northern Asia, but in Arkhangelsk, Russia. He found out that there is no northeast passage to Asia. Later, in 1664, the Italian explorer and clergyman Francesco Negri toured and described the North Cape.
The North Cape - As sailors see it
North Cape tourism
Towards the end of the 19th century, well-off travelers from Great Britain, France and Germany visited the Northern Cape region. There were no road connections, but the “gentlemen” were helped: They first traveled in 1875 with passenger ships. The anchored in the Hornvika Bay below the rock. There the passengers were disembarked; then they climbed the way to the top of the cape. It was the responsibility of the ships' kitchen staff to haul certain staple foods such as lobster and champagne to a height of 300 meters. After all, the guests should have an authentic experience and feel comfortable with it.
To protect these “discoverers”, a pavilion was built in 1892, but it did not withstand the weather conditions. It was not until 1959 that a permanent shelter was created with a stone shelter. Over the years she learned North Cape Hall named plant, multiple changes and extensions. A road to the North Cape was not built until 1965.
The North Cape Halls
North Cape - how to get there
The European route 69 connects the North Cape to Europe's road network. A stone waymark points to the 7.000-kilometer European long-distance hiking trail E1, which begins at the Cape. Honningsvåg Valan Airport is around 30 kilometers away. Cruise ships and Hurtigruten ships call at the port of Honningsvåg. The ship's passengers are transported to the North Cape by charter or scheduled buses. Rental cars are available and helicopter flights to the North Cape are also on offer.
North Cape - the sights
Nordkaphallen - the adventure center
There are only a few steps from the spacious parking lot to the modern one North Cape Hall. Visitors feel at home in the spacious above and below ground experience center. The "Kompasset-Restaurant", a coffee bar and a large shop with North Cape souvenirs are located on the upper floor of the hall. In the lower area there is a tunnel to which the "grottos" adjoin. The Grotten is an underground event room with 350 seats. A simple, interdenominational chapel as well as historical and scientific exhibitions border the tunnel. A panorama film is shown in a cinema. He takes the guests on a journey through time through the four seasons of the Cape region.
A steel globe called a “globo” stands on a pedestal near the cape. The construction presents the longitude and latitude and shows the natural inclination of the earth's axis. The globe dates from 1978.
The Globo in the midnight sun
Barn av Jorden
The “Barn av Jorden” (“Children of the Earth”) monument is a little bit offset from the hall. In June 1988, seven children from different parts of the world worked together to design a memorial. It shows seven large, circular reliefs arranged in a semicircle and a mother with a boy. The child points to the reliefs with one hand. The memorial symbolizes the terms friendship, hope, cooperation and joy.
Gjesværstappan bird colony and Kirkeporten rock gate
Hundreds of thousands of birds live on small islands off Gjesvær in the west of the island of Magerøya in the nature reserve Gjesværstappan: including puffins, gannets, razorbills and guillemots. Bird safaris to the bird cliffs are offered. In Kirkeporten near the fishing village of Skarsvåg there is a natural rock gate through which you can see the North Cape.
Useful & worth knowing
The entire area of the North Cape requires entry. Adults pay NOK 2018 for all offers in 275. When booking all-inclusive North Cape tours, the entrance fee is included in the ticket price.
The North Cape can also be reached by local buses. In front of the tourist information office in Honningsvåg, the number 330 buses leave for several trips to the Cape every day. It should be noted that the bus timetables may not harmonize with the lay times of the cruise ships.
Tourist information in Honningsvåg
Next to the tourist information office in Honningsvåg is the life-size memorial of the St. Bernard dog Bamse. He grew up in Honningsvåg. Its owner was the captain of a naval ship stationed in Tromsø. There the dog served as an official member of the crew during the Second World War. It is said that he earned many merits among his human comrades.
Monument to the ship's dog Bamse
About 15 kilometers from the North Cape is Skarsvåg, the northernmost fishing port in the world.
A weather forecast for the North Cape region offers: https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Finnmark/Nordkapp/Nordkapp/forecast.pdf
Update June 2020