Nordkapp, located in Arctic Norway, is what people usually think is the northernmost point of mainland Europe. Many go there by plane, car, motorcycle, or bus - and pay sky-high entrance fees just to find themselves looking out from the cliffs and seeing that there is another point on the cost, which is notably farther up North!
|The North-bound road leads you to the end of the world - or at least the mainland. But do not make the mistake of detour to Nordkapp and miss the real northernmost point.|
This place is called Knivskjelodden, and is located at 71°11’08’’N, which places it further North on the map than Nordkapp. You cannot take a tour, a bus, or a car ride there – you will have to make your own way there.
|You will not ned a large backpack to come here. I stuffed mine full with heavy stuff though, to do some long-distance terrain hiking training before Elbrus summit.|
So leave your car, motorcycle, or bike at the roadside, and follow a trail from the main road. It’s about 10 km through untouched Nordic nature, a beautiful walk with abundancy of water, rock, and reindeer.
Continue during the trail which often disappears, but is marked with stone cairns, down into the valley and a beach.
|Leave the river/brook delta to your right.|
|Pancakes over Mini-trangia stove is my favorite luxury snack.|
|Follow the coast uphill|
|And there you are!|
The Northernmost point of mainland Europe is marked with a stone block. There is also a journal for counting visitors, and a small stash of supplies that other visitors have left (candy etc).
You may climb out on the cliffs on the northern side, and either try to swim (be wary of the wave surge), or just dip your feet in the Arctic waves.
|Live a little!|
I chose to celebrate the Summer Solstice of 2015 at this very spot, and timed the trip so I would be at the very tip of the continent exactly when the sun would stand at its highest.
|Midnight sun bright in the sky|
Here is a photo of Nordkapp to compare – no wild nature, no sea dipping, only asphalt, parked cars, high fees, and a souvenir shop with unreasonable prices.
In the direct vicinity to the SE however, there are the most beautiful rock formations. A portal made by nature forces, high cliffs with organic forms, and some beautiful sea sights. You will once again need a bike, a motorcycle or a car to get there, but the walk from the road will be very short.
Towards the west of the nearby coast, you will find great bird watching and whale safaris. You will not need the safaris if you go sailing or fishing in your own boat – the whales are abundant in this area, and you will have to try hard NOT to see them.
The nearest airport of Honingsvaag offers flights to Tromsö by Wideroe. From there, you can easily reach Lofoten for some more active vacation. Tromsö on its own is a beautiful place to visit.
|Wideroe is a great way to travel around Northern Norway|
|Most of the flight are short, with scenic views.|
|In a marina in Tromsø. The city is an important harbor, has many ship services and several marinas, and serves as a major jump-off point to Svalbard. Read more about sailing to Svalbard here.|
|The port of Tromsø. The text in Russian says: "I would have hugged you, but I'm just a text"|
I visited Tromsø briefly a couple of times, both in transfer to Lofoten and Nordkapp, and when I was sailing to Svalbard. Here are a few photos from the church of Tromsø, a beautiful creation reflecting the colors, forms, and shapes of the Arctic.