Difference between revisions of "Nordkapp"
Revision as of 14:38, 26 March 2011
Nordkapp  is a 307 m (1007 ft) high cliff rising above the Arctic Ocean. Nordkapp is promoted as the northenmost point of Europe, this is however not true. The neighbouring point Knivskjellodden is actually 1,457 m (4780 ft) further north. Some 200,000 tourists visit annually, during the two to three months of summer. The town Honningsvåg is 34 km south of Nordkapp. An half hour drive by car. The midnight sun may be enjoyed 14 May-29 July, unless it is a cloudy night.
Nordkapp - The North Cape, the North Cape Horn has always been a well-known an important point of orientation for all boats and ships. The rock has had a great variety of names and it was only in the mid 16th century that it was given the present name.
In 1553 a English commander, Richard Chancellor passed Nordkapp and named the cliff as Nordkapp, the North Cape. From that time, it has been called Nordkapp. At that time it wasn't exactly the center of interest. But only 100 years later, the first "tourist" was reported to have climbed up to the plateau. He was an Italian priest called Fransesco Negri. It took him more than two years on foot, by boat, on horseback, on sleighs and on skis. In 1664, finally having reached his destination, he noted in his travel log: "Here I am now on the North cape, at the extreme tip of Finnmark, really at the end of the world"
In the 18th and 19th centuries, a journey to Nordkapp was still an adventure - an expensive one. This is why there were quite a few high-ranking people aming the first tourists - Prince Louise Phillippe of Orleans, Oscar the second, King of Norway and Sweden, King Chualalonkorn of Thailand. He got his name and date carved into a rock on the top of the plateau. This rock can be seen in the Panorama hall in front of the souvenir shop. And Emperor Wilhelm the second, of Germany.
In 1875, London Travel agent Thomas Cook organized the first group travel to Nordkapp for 24 participants. At that time travelling to Nordkapp was very different compared to how it is now. There was no road leading across the island to the plateau. Travellers were taken by rowing boat from Skarsvåg or Gjesvær to Hornvika, just below the north cape. From there they had to climb up the steep and rocky ravine, to reach heigh of plateau. The first modest wooden buildings started to appear to the plateau. One of those was an hut "Stoppenbrink's Champange Pavilion.
Honningsvåg airport (IATA: HVG) has three daily departures from Tromsø and Hammerfest. North Cape Airport (IATA: LKL) in Lakselv has five daily departures from Tromsø, and Lakselv has two daily bus departures to Honningsvåg. This airport is classified as an international airport, and handles most of the travellers to Nordkapp arriving by plane. All regional flights are operated by Widerøe. . International charter routes are operated by Condor , Spanair  and SAS. 
Nordkapp is where E69 ends. E69 branches off E6 at Olderfjord, 129 km (80 mi) away. The road passes a deep undersea road tunnel with toll booth on the northern side collecting toll both ways, both for vehicles (kr 70) and passengers (Adults: 47 children: kr 24).
When arriving by bicycle, be aware of the tunnel from the mainland. This is a 7km tube going 212m under the sea level. Good fun the first 3km, and remember the speed limit. You'll need good gears to get out again. At the road from Honningsvåg to the North Cape plateau, you will need them to. Take care of the wind: 7 or 8 Bft with gusts far stronger than that is not unusual. At the North Cape center itself, don't forget to sign the cyclists' guest book.
In Honningsvåg city center and in the North Cape area itself one can get around by foot. Practically all traffic from and to the North Cape goes through Honningsvåg, 34 km or half an hour to the south by car or bus. Travelers from Northern Europe usually arrive with their own cars or camper, and many travelers from countries further away buy a package which includes the transport to and from the North Cape. If you've simply bought a flight ticket to Honningsvåg airport the only way to get to the North Cape itself aside from hitchhiking or hiking (only for the most adventurous, bring your own tent as there is no accomodation whatsoever on the Cape itself) is local bus 330 operated by Veolia  that however runs only twice/day in the summer and one time per day in the winter.
You can get out the same way you got in; by road, boat or plane. If you've arrived by car you can continue with the Hurtigruten ship if you want some break from the driving.