North Cape plateau in winter

The North Cape

Once you’ve experienced the North Cape, you will understand why it is one of the absolute highlights of a trip to Norway.

Imagine taking a journey north, passing through rough waters or snow-covered terrain, when suddenly a mountain cliff comes into view, rising 307m above the Arctic Ocean. This is the North Cape – which, at 71°10′21′′, is the northernmost point on the European mainland.

A mighty cliff

As you approach the North Cape, you might feel like you are at the end of the world. This is the same feeling the first explorers must have had when they reached this majestic cliff in 1553, while in search of the Northeast Passage. Though two of the three British ships never returned home, the third survived to name it the North Cape – or Nordkapp, as it is known in Norway.  

But it wasn’t until 1873, when King Oscar climbed these steep cliffs, that the North Cape really became a tourist attraction, as the King’s effort to explore the cliff sparked great interest across the world.

The North Cape plateau on a sunny day

When is the best time to visit the North Cape?

No matter the time of year, arriving at this dramatic plateau is the experience of a lifetime. In summer, you might spot herds of grazing reindeer along the nearby clifftop plateau. In winter, the unspoilt white plains and snow-capped mountains will reflect the soft Arctic light.  

The North Cape is also a fantastic location for experiencing two of Norway’s most spectacular natural phenomena: the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun.

What to see at the North Cape

Most visitors to the North Cape come for the sensational view. Gazing out across the Barents Sea, there is no dry land between you and the North Pole, other than the islands of Svalbard. Soak up the breathtaking scenery before taking that obligatory selfie in front of the iconic globe sculpture.

To learn more about the area’s long history, be sure to stop at North Cape Hall. Here you can watch an impressive 180° panoramic film about the region, explore exhibitions in the underground tunnel, and pay a visit to the world’s northernmost chapel.


Getting to the North Cape

While visitors once had to climb up the cliff to explore, today it is accessible by bus from Honningsvåg. The capital of the North Cape, this town of 2,800 inhabitants is a lively centre with shops, restaurants and a historic church.

Excursions to the North Cape

Whether you want to jet off on an Arctic adventure or tuck into breakfast with a view, there are plenty of opportunities to discover the North Cape while on a Hurtigruten voyage.