Orientation & Geography

Europe, Norway, Finnmark

North Cape (Norwegian: Nordkapp; North Sami: Davvenjárga) is a cape on the island of Magerøya in northern Norway, in the municipality of Nordkapp. Its 307 m high, steep cliff is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, located at , 2102.3 km from the North Pole. However, the neighbouring point Knivskjellodden is actually 1,457 metres further north. Moreover, both of these points are situated on an island, which means the northernmost point of mainland Europe is in fact Cape Nordkinn (Kinnarodden), about 20 km from the village of Mehamn on Nordkinn Peninsula. The North Cape is the point where the Norwegian Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, meets the Barents Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean. The North Cape was named by English explorer Richard Chancellor in 1553 when he passed the cape in the search for a Northeast passage. From then on, it was occasionally visited by daring explorers who climbed the steep cliff face to the plateau; famous visitors include King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway in 1873 and Thailand's King Chulalongkorn in 1907. A road was opened to the North Cape in 1956. Today, the North Cape is a major tourist attraction. Access to the final few hundred metres leading to the North Cape itself requires purchase of a ticket costing 235 NOK per person or 160 NOK without the film (the Knivskjellodden can be reached free of charge on foot). Inside the restricted area is the Nordkapphallen, an extensive commercial tourist centre that houses a number of exhibits on the Cape's history. There is also the possibility of becoming a member of the Royal North Cape Club (RNCC). The Royal North Cape Club was formed in 1984, and membership restricted to people who have visited the North Cape. The idea of the Club is to create corps of ambassadors who will promote the North Cape as a tourist destination and attraction, while maintaining and protecting the unique nature of the place. Club members receive a lifetime's free entrance to the North Cape. The RNCC has its own club Room beside the Grotta Bar. The midnight sun can be seen from 14 May to the 31st of July. The sun reaches its lowest point at 00.14 - 00.24. The North Cape is reached by road through the North Cape Tunnel. Regular buses run from the nearby town of Honningsvåg to the North Cape (36 km), and coaches meet the many cruise ships which call at Honningsvåg. The nearest airport is Honningsvåg Airport, Valan (IATA code: HVG). The Norwegian airline Widerøe services the airport with flights to Tromsø. From Tromsø Airport there are connecting flights to destinations such as Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and London-Stansted. In 1943, the Battle of North Cape was fought in the Arctic Ocean off this cape, where the Kriegsmarine battleship Scharnhorst was eventually sunk by gunfire from the HMS Duke of York and torpedoes from a number of Royal Navy destroyers. The EuroVelo bicycle route EV1 starts at North Cape and heads to Sagres, Portugal - a 8,196 km distance by land and sea.