After waking up to glorious sunshine we packed our tent and continued our roadtrip in arctic Finnmark, Norway.
With the recent visit to Ingøya and North Cape in mind we were excited to continue east on road 888 to Kjøllefjord and Gamvik.
Would you like to wake up to this view?
Finnmark in arctic Norway is the largest but least populated county with its 76.000 inhabitants – so we were expecting large areas of untouched nature scattered with small fishing villages and were not disappointed.
Old, stranded fishing boat
Try putting into perspective Finnmark county (48 631 km2) is almost twice the size of Massachusetts or a bit larger than Switzerland. Don’t worry, you won’t feel alone. You’ll have the company of more than 150.000 reindeer calling Finnmark their home.
Reindeer swimming out to a small island
Our first stop was to visit the Trolls of Trollholmsund. An old sami folklore says a group of trolls were passing through the area but when they came to the waters they could not pass. When the sun rose they did not find any place to hide and turned into stone.
After crossing the infamous mountain pass Bekkarfjord – Hopseidet we set course for Kjøllefjord, a fishing village with 927 inhabitants. Kjøllefjord is know for its rock formation ‘Finnkirka’ that looks like a cathedral.
I would recommend to stop by Foldalsbruket and taste their delicious waffles. Foldalsbruket is an old fishing depot that has been converted to a living museum and accommodation. It has been granted protected heritage status and you can learn about local history.
Mural in Kjøllefjord
Our next stop this day was Slettnes Lighthouse, just outside the extraordinarily quiet fishing village of Gamvik. Slettness Lighthouse is the northernmost lighthouse on European mainland at 71°05`33”N. The lighthouse is run by Gamvik Museum and is open for visitors and overnight guests during sommer.
The original lighthouse was built in 1903, but was damaged during WWII and a new lighthouse erected in 1948. The lighthouse sitting in Slettnes nature reserve is breeding ground for a large number of bird species. Other than birds and a handful EU tourists in their small camper vans reindeer seemed to like this wind blown coastal habitat as there were plenty of them feeding in the area.
We stayed watching the birds and reindeer until the sunset and ended the evening catching a sunset photo of the lighthouse.
In our next post we will travel even further east towards our final destination Vardø to visit the bird nesting colony on Hornøya.