The famous North Cape cliff is far above the arctic circle in Norway and it is the goal of many to have visited the Land of the Midnight Sun once in their life. When you stand on the plateau on North Cape you are on the top of the world, only 2000 kilometres from the North Pole.
From the North Cape looking towards Knivskjellodden
The best time to visit North Cape is when the midnight sun is visible from mid-May until end of July. We all hope for the perfect photo of the midnight sun lighting up the globe on the North Cape plateau. But even without the midnight sun I still find it a spectacular spot to visit. This is a wild, barren land – not a single tree is able to grow in this harsh landscape. You truly feel like you are at the world’s end.
Where is North Cape?
What you need to see when you visit the North Cape
When you have travelled this far north the North Cape plateau is not the only thing worth visiting – you need to experience the nature and people of Magerøya. The road from Honningvåg to North Cape has many things to offer, it is also one of the best place to see reindeer in Norway. Reindeer migrate to the island every spring and graze all summer.
Reindeer grazing during summer
Hiking to the Church Doorway to see the North Cape Horn
A little way down the cliff on the North Cape plateau stands the rock formation known as the “North Cape Horn”. You cannot see this from the plateau, but you get an excellent view if you hike to another rock formation known as the Church Doorway (Kirkeporten).
Fishing village Skarsvåg
The hike starts from the small fishing village Skarsvåg and is 2.5 kilometres. You will find a sign on your left hand side driving into Skarsvåg.
Through the rock arch you see ‘the Horn’ and the North Cape plateau. If you hike at night you can see the midnight sun through the arch in summer.
The Church Doorway – can you see me?
The North Cape Horn
Visit the bird mekka Gjesværstappan
The fishing village Gjesvær is a starting point for tours to the large colony of sea birds in the nature reserve Gjerværstappan. The nature reserve consists of a group of steep islands where about 1 million puffins live and breed during the summer.
Fishing village Gjesvær with Gjerværstappan in the background
You’ll likely see one of these at Gjesværstappan. This cormorant, however, is photographed a bit further east at Hornøya.
Unfortunately there was a massive breakdown of tour boats the day we visited so we weren’t able to make the tour, but we were lucky to see a few puffins in the local harbour.
If you like fishing many locals also offer fishing tours from Gjesvær
Stop by the charming fishing village Kamøyvær
By now you probably have an idea that fishing is an important industry on this island. There are many fishing villages on Magerøya, but in my opinion Kamøyvær is the fairest of them all.
View of Kamøyvær from a nearby hill
Kamøyvær fishing village
In addition to an unknown number of reindeer…around 70 people call this charming location home.
One of the local reindeer is forging from the gardens in the village
Visit the North Cape plateau … again
And before you leave Magerøya you can do as many other visitors – after being disappointed by fog the evening before you can go back up to the North Cape plateau again the next day to see if you have better luck. You entrance ticket is valid for 24 hours so it will not cost you anything extra.
The globe on North Cape