They come in busses, they come in cars, and they come in campers, on bicycles and on foot.
Thousands of people want to experience the North Cape.
A man turned up here once. He was very determined to see the North Cape. So he drove 2,670 kilometres along Norway’s rugged coastline with his only reliable transportation: a forklift truck.
The North Cape is the northernmost point on the European mainland. At 71 degrees North, it’s on the same latitude as Siberia and the top of Alaska. The Gulf Stream delivers tropical currents from across the Atlantic Ocean, producing a relatively mild marine climate. But it also brings winter storms that can blast busses off the road in an open landscape. This where the Atlantic meets the Arctic.
But there’s something more with this place. More than just a coordinate on a map. Why do people feel so drawn to it?
“We’re just five minutes away”, says the tour guide on the bus.
We pass tiny fishing villages, beautiful wildflowers, grazing reindeer. Behind the North Cape sign, we see silhouettes of reindeer antlers against a brilliant blue sky. And beyond, the monumental globe, a landmark in its own right.
The North Cape is actually a place one should experience alone. It is a destination that inspires reflection. A place where one ponders time and eternity. And even on a busy summer day, it’s possible to find solitude if you wander a few hundred metres away across the vast plateau, to where people have built small stone cairns to show that they were here.
You can stand alone and stare down steep cliffs that soar 307 metres up from the sea. You can watch massive waves crash against the Cape’s rocky ramparts and feel their impact. You have the chance to gaze out and discern patterns on the sea’s surface, out where it is calm, blue and serene. You can look far and wide and wonder where the turquoise distance becomes sky.
Photo: Jan R. Olsen
Below, delicate swirls of mist rise from where the land and the sea meet. The ocean spray quickly splashes out, and, just as quickly, recedes.
Everything happens quickly at the North Cape, but nothing really changes. At the tourist centre that is built into the cliffs, the introductory film reminds us that this is a place where we can experience four seasons within 15 minutes. The aurora borealis flickers in the winter sky, and the midnight sun shines in the summer. Everything transforms into something new, something perhaps more beautiful, because it happens at the North Cape.
Experience the magic of the North Cape with Hurtigruten all year.
If you wish to create your own voyage in Norway, you can select which ports you want to travel from and to.
Using Hurtigruten as a basecamp gives you the best possible starting point for exploring everything the Norwegian coast has to offer – from fjords and iconic towns to northern lights and midnight sun.
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The Ultimate Hurtigruten Cruise is a 12 day journey, but there are also shorter options available.
Combine a 5-day voyage in search of the mystical northern lights. Sail through beautiful Vesterålen and the Lofoten Islands and stop in scenic towns such as Bergen, Tromsø, Ålesund and Trondheim.
Experience the northern coastline in the footsteps of the early arctic explorers.
Find out what to expect on a Hurtigruten trip, including cultural highlights this spring and what you may see on the menu to news about the refurbishment and the brand new ship MS Spitsbergen.
Far above the Arctic Circle, the North Cape offers arctic adventures like dog-sledding in the winter and months of never-ending sunlight in the summer.
Raw beauty, extreme seasons and the Arctic light and northern lights dancing across the polar sky. Welcome to winter wonderland in the northernmost point of Europe.
Planning your trip well helps you get what you want and find the experiences you wish for, without risking your hard-earned days off. And if you don't know what you want, we're happy to help you find some ideas.
According to ancient legend, the name Norway comes from the old norse word Norðrvegr, which means “the way north”, a name given to this long and craggy coast because it was largely ice-free in the wintertime.
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