Nordkapp or North Cape is Europe’s Northern-most Inhabited Point:
Reaching the North Cape (Nordkapp in Norwegian), gives us a sense of achievement – not that we’ve scaled the steep cliff to get up here nor did we do it tough like the early explorers. On the contrary, our very comfortable coach from Honningsvåg deposits us at the Nordkapphallen (the North Cape Hall) and all we have to do is walk to the world famous globe monument and try not to slip along the way.
At 71°10’21″, North Cape is 2,102 km from the North Pole and is often referred to as the northern-most inhabited point of Europe – so, we’ve made it to the Top of Europe! Never mind that the neighbouring promontory of Knivskjellodden is actually 1,457 metres further north.
Seeing the pictures, you wouldn’t think that it is actually midday. Whereas the Land of the Midnight Sun enjoys very long daylight hours in summer, during winter it gets dark very early.
Like all visitors to the North Cape, we climb onto the globe monument platform to have our photos taken – just to prove to ourselves that we’ve been to the amazing Nordkapp. The globe monument was erected in 1978 and has become the symbol for the North Cape.
There’s a strong wind blowing and whether it’s -9°C or -15°C, is immaterial – for us it’s just awfully cold! While Tony’s trying to unfreeze his fingers so that he can work the camera, I’m trying not to turn into an ice model waiting for the shot to happen. Cold notwithstanding, it’s exhilarating being up here.
Nordkapp is Europe’s Most Northerly Point
It was Richard Chancellor, an English explorer, who named Nordkapp “The North Cape” in 1553 when he was attempting to find a north-east passage.
The North Cape is in the municipality of Nordkapp, on the island of Magerøy in northern Norway. The Cape is linked to the mainland via an impressive road, opened in 1956. Part of this road is below the sound of Magerøy.
The North Cape has fascinated many even in the early centuries and its famous visitors include King Louis Philippe of Orleans in 1795, King Oscar II in 1873 and Thailand’s King Chulalongkorn in 1907.
Today the North Cape is a major tourist attraction, with many visitors coming here in winter as part of a Northern Lights Cruise or in the summer months to enjoy the Midnight Sun.