There is one place on earth that will always stay with me: the North Cape. There are few destinations as special as this one. The beautiful nature, high cliffs, the reindeer and, of course, the midnight sun. Standing at this point, at the big globe, looking at the end of the world, that is a magical feeling. Like a fairy tale. Where the sun still blinds your eyes even at midnight. I would like to take you on this road trip, aiming for the enchanting world of the North Cape.
The North Cape: the northernmost tip of continental Europe?
At the very northernmost tip of Norway you will find the North Cape, located in Lapland. Traditionally considered the northernmost tip of continental Europe, but in reality is not. In fact, the true northernmost point can be found in Kinnarodden, a little further east than the North Cape and accessible only on foot by a 24-kilometer hike. But for now, we’ll just forget about that and enjoy the second northernmost point: the North Cape. The North Cape is located on the island of Mageroya and can be reached from the mainland via a tunnel almost 7 kilometers long. An extraordinary tunnel, through which you drive as much as 212 meters under the sea. From the Netherlands, the drive there is quite long: about 3,500 kilometers. But trust me: it’s more than worth it!
The North Cape Route
To get to the North Cape, we drove all the way north through Sweden and crossed the border into Norway. Both Norway and Sweden are extremely green, with beautiful mountains and many forests. In both countries, Lapland is one of the most beautiful areas. Suddenly the green landscape turns into a moonscape, where reindeer walk everywhere but there is not a tree in sight. Once on the road toward the North Cape, your eyes are wide open. It is so beautiful there, there are no words to describe it.
The North Cape: the end of Europe
The North Cape is a tourist attraction, so it is crowded. But the area is so vast that it doesn’t bother me much. It doesn’t matter either, because standing there on that northern tip, next to the sundial, is a fantastic moment. On the cliff that rises 307 meters above the sea, I look at the horizon. The blue sea in front of me, nothing else. Knowing that only the island of Svalbard remains between me and the North Pole is quite extraordinary. The high cliffs rise from the water and further on I see reindeer walking. There is something magical about this place.
The enchanting midnight sun
North of the Arctic Circle, which runs across Norway, Sweden and Finland, you can see the midnight sun in summer. A phenomenon in which the sun does not set for several months. At the North Cape, this period runs roughly from mid-May through the end of July. During these days, the sun is above the horizon 24 hours a day, so you can still see it (in good weather) in the middle of the night. After two weeks in Sweden, I was already used to the fact that it is light day and night. But to finally stand on the North Cape and still see the sun at 12 midnight, that moment is really special! The following photos were taken between 12 and 1 a.m. midnight.
Sleeping above the Arctic Circle
Especially if you sleep in a tent, it takes quite a bit of getting used to the sun not setting. After all, your body is used to a difference between day and night, but so that difference does not exist here. The big advantage, of course, is that you can walk to the toilet at night at a campsite without worrying, and driving over hairpin curves to the North Cape in the middle of the night is exactly the same as during the day. Despite the sun, the nights were freezing. The further north the colder. Extra blankets were even needed, it was that cold. So this trip is not only beautiful, it’s fantastic to be able to experience these natural wonders.
The northernmost campsite in the world
So sleeping in a tent is also possible on the island where the North Cape is located. At
, the northernmost campsite in the world, they still had a spot available for our little tent. The campground is very small and in the middle of nature. Reindeer roam the grounds and the village of Skarsvag, where only 60 people live, can be reached on foot. The mini-camping also has cute red cottages for rent. It was freezing cold, but what a pleasure to spend the night there!
The North Cape: a fairy tale in Europe
For me, the North Cape is definitely among one of the most beautiful places in the world. The mountains, the lunar landscape, the sea, the reindeer and, of course, the midnight sun make this part of Norwegian Lapland very special. Looking back at the photos I took back in 2009 does me good and makes me realize again how beautiful our earth really is. Just remembering some pictures….