Nordkapp (North Cape)
Nordkapp, seemingly located at the end of the world, is a magical destination where so many people want to visit at least once in their lives. When local people watch the practically constant flow of cars, motor homes and motorcycles from all over Europe that are heading towards Europe’s northernmost point during the summer months, they probably ponder what is the point of driving to the end of the dead end road. But, that’s exactly the point of traveling to Nordkapp: it is the journey that matters, rather than the destination.
Some travelers like to say that a journey to Nordkapp is a modern day pilgrimage. The long trip to this 307 meter/1000 feet high cliff on the Arctic Ocean requires plenty of time and energy. Depending on the starting point, it can be a long drive – possibly thousands of miles across Continental Europe, Scandinavia, and across Lapland until the destination looms in the horizon. Then, there is nothing but the sea and the impressive arctic landscape.
Those pilgrims who are lucky can explore the majestic cliffs and fells surrounding Nordkapp in sunshine. While less lucky visitors stand in the fog admiring the monument until they accept their fate and move indoors to Nordkapphall and explore the indoors exhibitions.
In any case, there is a feeling of satisfaction after a long journey to the end of the continent. Something has been achieved and adventures have been experienced. During the long hours on the road, the landscape has changed from lush green forests of south Scandinavia to barren and rocky moonscape near the Arctic Sea.
The long drive to Nordkapp is an experience by itself. Some of the prettiest and most impressive sceneries of Lapland can be viewed along the roads that lead to Nordkapp.
At some point of your journey to Nordkapp, you will pass through the town of Alta or Lakselv. It is the perfect time to stop and make sure that you have enough supplies, and to plan where to stay the night. The road from Lakselv to Nordkapp is more spectacular than the road from Alta. Lakselv-Nordkapp road follows Porsangerfjord’s coastline the whole way. In the tiny village of Olderfjord, the roads meet and from there on, only one road leads to Nordkapp.
There are two tunnels near Nordkapp: Nordkapp tunnel 6.9 km/4.2 miles long and Honningsvågtunnelen4 km/2.4 miles long. Nordkapp tunnel dives under the sea: 212 meters / 696 feet below the sea level. Both tunnels are steep, wet and pretty dark. Cyclists are allowed in tunnels, but they must be fearless in the narrow, wet and dark tunnel, have good front and rear lights, and be fit enough to ride a steep 10% ascent. Buses take passengers to Nordkapp if riding or driving through the long, dark, narrow tunnel doesn’t appeal to you. There are no alternative routes, except the sea. Driving through tunnels is free.