cape on the island of Magerøya in Northern Norway

Nordkapp (North Cape) is a 307-m-high (1007-ft) cliff rising above the Arctic Ocean, located in Finnmark county in Norway. It is the northernmost point in Europe reachable by car, and the northernmost place connected with the international road network. Some 200,000 tourists visit annually, during the two to three months of summer. Nordkapp is also the name of the municipality. The town Honningsvåg is the municipality's administrative centre, 34 km south of Nordkapp, 30 minutes' drive by car. It is where you'll find most services.

From October to April the road to Nordkapp is not open to ordinary traffic. December–January there is no real daylight as the sun remains under the horizon.

Understand edit

Nordkapp in midnight sun.

1 Nordkapp is promoted as the northernmost point of mainland Europe, which is not exactly true. Nordkapp is on an island, Magerøya, and the neighbouring point 2 Knivskjellodden is actually 1,457 m (4780 ft) further north (on the same island). Nordkapp is however the northernmost point in Europe reachable by the international road network. Islands farther north, such as Novaya Zemlya, are far from the mainland. The northernmost point on the actual mainland (islands like Magerøya not included) is 3 Kinnarodden some 65 km to the east from Nordkapp (some 300 km by road), 25 km from the nearest village, Mehamn.

The midnight sun may be enjoyed 14 May–29 July, unless the night is cloudy.

Nordkapp landscape Barents Sea

Nordkapp – The North Cape, the North Cape Horn – has always been a well-known and important point of orientation for all boats and ships navigating the area. The rock has had a great variety of names and it was only in the mid 16th century that it was given the present name.

In 1553 an English commander, Richard Chancellor passed Nordkapp and named the cliff Nordkapp, the North Cape. From that time, it has been called Nordkapp. At that time it wasn't exactly the centre of interest. But only 100 years later, the first "tourist" was reported to have climbed up to the plateau. He was an Italian priest named Francesco Negri. It took him more than two years to go from Italy on foot, by boat, on horseback, on sleighs and on skis. In 1664, finally having reached his destination, he noted in his travel log: "Here I am now on the North cape, at the extreme tip of Finnmark, really at the end of the world"

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a journey to Nordkapp was still an adventure – and an expensive one at that. One needed to get a ship with crew or to arrange an expedition through hundreds of kilometres of wilderness. This is why there were quite a few high-ranking people among the first tourists: Prince Louise Phillippe of Orleans, Oscar the second, King of Norway and Sweden, King Chualalonkorn of Thailand. He got his name and date carved into a rock on the top of the plateau. This rock can be seen in the Panorama hall in front of the souvenir shop. And Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was here also.

In 1875, London Travel agent Thomas Cook organized the first group travel to Nordkapp for 24 participants. At that time travelling to Nordkapp was very different compared to how it is now. There was no road leading across the island to the plateau. Travellers were taken by rowing boat from Skarsvåg or Gjesvær to Hornvika, just below the north cape. From there they had to climb up the steep and rocky ravine, to reach heigh of plateau. The first modest wooden buildings started to appear on the plateau. One of those was the hut "Stoppenbrink's Champagne Pavilion.

Get in edit


In winter, the Nordkapp road is not open to ordinary traffic. Nordkapp is accessible only via a daily convoy headed by a snow plough. The day's convoy can be cancelled if there is severe weather. The visitor centre is open for approximately one and a half hours between the arrival of the convoy and its departure. Visitors have to return with the convoy.

By plane edit

  • 1 Honningsvåg Airport, Valan (HVG  IATA) (outside Honningsvåg, 30 km from North Cape). Three daily departures from Tromsø with Widerøe. Both domestic and international connecting flights to Tromsø.    
  • 2 Lakselv Airport, Banak (LKL IATA, "North Cape Airport") (193 km away). Five daily departures from Tromsø, two daily bus departures from Lakselv to Honningsvåg. This airport is classified as an international airport, and handles most of the travellers to Nordkapp arriving by plane. All regional flights are operated by Widerøe. International seasonal charter routes are operated by Condor, Spanair and SAS.    
  • 3 Alta Airport (ALF IATA) (in Alta, 232 km away). The busiest airport in Finnmark. Multiple daily flights from Oslo, with Norwegian and SAS.    

By car edit

See also: E69
Nordkapp road, E69, is very exposed to rough weather and is in winter open only to convoys. In winter the road can be completely closed on short notice.

Nordkapp is where European route E69 ends. E69 branches off European route E6 at Olderfjord, 129 km (80 mi) away. The road passes several tunnels and the deep undersea North Cape Tunnel reaches 212 m below sea level at its lowest point. There used to be a toll, but since 29 June 2012 using the tunnel is free. The North Cape Tunnel has a continuous downwards and upwards slope of 9%. The road inside the tunnel has one lane in each direction, with a dedicated lane on each right side for cyclists. Select the correct gear before entering the slope. This is important, since there is no clear view of when the slope goes from downwards to upwards. Consider driving a car with an engine able to increase speed considerably when driving upwards.

By bus edit

There is a network of bus lines in Finnmark. For example there are two daily buses Alta–Honningsvåg. See

It is possible to do it in a day trip from as far away as Karasjok, even in winter. Check the schedules and, if in winter, ensure you arrive in Honningsvåg before 11:30 and the return bus leaves no earlier than 14:50. You can buy tickets for the Nordkapp tour from the tourist office behind the Scandic Honningsvåg, or directly from the driver, which is a bit cheaper.

There is a seasonal connection from Rovaniemi, Finland by Eskelisen Lapinlinjat or The Arctic Route.

By boat edit

Hurtigruten calls Honningsvåg. Several cruise ships visit Honningsvåg and Nordkapp every year. It is possible to transport a car (not a camper car) on Hurtigruten. This is an interesting option to cut distances, for example if going to the Mehamn area, the northernmost mainland in Europe.

By bicycle edit

When arriving by bicycle, be aware of the tunnel from the mainland. This is a 7 km tube going 212m under the sea level. Good fun the first 3 km, and remember the speed limit. You'll need good gears to get out again. You will need them on the surface road too, from Honningsvåg to the North Cape plateau. Take care of the wind: gale of 7 or 8 Bf with gusts far stronger than that is not unusual. At the North Cape centre itself, don't forget to sign the cyclists' guest book.

Get around edit

In Honningsvåg city centre and in the North Cape area itself one can get around by foot. Practically all traffic from and to the North Cape goes through Honningsvåg, 34 km or half an hour to the south by car or bus. Travelers from Northern Europe usually arrive with their own cars or camper, and many travellers from countries further away buy a package which includes the transport to and from the North Cape.

If you've simply bought a flight ticket to Honningsvåg airport, or using public buses, the only way to get to the North Cape itself aside from hitchhiking or hiking (only for the most adventurous, and bring your own tent as there is no accommodation whatsoever on the cape itself) is taking a taxi, or the local bus 330 (, which runs a few times per day in the summer and not at all in the winter.

Hurtigruten charters special buses going to North Cape. Tickets are bought onboard. The ship stays several hours in Honningsvåg so there is time for such a trip.

See edit

  • Kirkeporten (Church gate) (A short walk from E69). A cliff with a hole trough, where the view towards Nordkapp can be enjoyed.
  • Nordkapphallen. 1 May-17 May: 11:00-15:00, 18 May-31 Aug: 11:00-01:00. A big hall carved out in the plateau, where the view can be enjoyed, acting as a visitor’s centre. Circular restaurant block with roof crowned with a white spherical telecommunications installation. At the centre there is a small ecumenical chapel dedicated to St. John. There are three large niches with displays by the Norwegian artist, puppeteer and film maker Ivo Caprino. Special North Cape Film is shown on a high definition panoramic screen, regularly. Adults: kr 235, students: kr 150, children: kr 80.
  • Nordkappmuseet, +47 48060465, . 16 Aug-31 May: M-F 11:00-14:30. Telling the aspects of fishieries and everyday life, in the far north. Adults: kr 70, Seniors(65yrs): kr 60, Students: kr 50, Children(up to 17yrs): Free.

Do edit

  • Birdsafari, Gjesvær (21 km (13 mi) from the junction at E69). See seabirds like puffins, and the birds' mountain.
  • 1 Knivsjellodden (Starting point: at the parking space 7 km south of Nordkapp). Hike to Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point of mainland Norway: 1.5 km more to the north than Nordkapp and with a good view to there. The track is marked with red T's. The distance one way is 8 km (5 mi), and the hike takes an estimated two and a half hours, each way. The trail may be wet, bring good footgear. Since the weather is unstable at this high latitude, you should always tell somebody where you were going and what time they should start a search if you haven't returned. For safety, bring a GPS and mark a waypoint at the parking place and at other critical places, such as passages over wetland and brooks, and up steep hillsides.

Buy edit

  • Nordkapp Jul og Vinterhus, Skarsvåg, +47 78-47-52-89, fax: +47 78-47-36-48, . Christmas decoration and the Nordkapp Santa.
  • 1 Gallery West Of The Moon (Evart), Storgata 4A (2 min from the harbour, on the main street), +47 41-84-10-30, . 10:30–16:00 daily for Hurtigruten in the winter. This gallery situated in the centre of Honningsvåg displays the work of Eva Schmutterer, an artist established in nearby Kamoyvaer. Her pictures of the North Cape island under every angle and every seasonal light make for a perfect souvenir of a trip to the North Cape. Many other decoratives available.

Eat edit

Drink edit

  • 1 Sjøgata pub (Perleporten Kulturhus), Sjøgata 20 (in walking distance to the hotels in Honningsvåg.). In order to access the pub you have to use a stair leading up from street, or slightly less inclined stairs from the street above. This could pose accessibility issues.

Sleep edit

Nordkapp camping at Honningsvåg
Nordkapp is also the name of the municipality (Norwegian: kommune), Honningsvåg is its administrative centre

Budget edit

Mid-range edit

Connect edit

Go next edit

You can get out the same way you got in; by road, boat or plane. If you've arrived by car you can continue with the Hurtigruten ship if you want some break from the driving. This allows you to visit another peninsula or island without driving the long way around the fjords.

This park travel guide to Nordkapp is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.