If you want to experience the northernmost point of mainland Europe, you have to travel to Magerøya, Norway. Magerøya offers raw beauty, wildlife, extreme seasons and dramatic sunsets, in additional to the aurora borealis. Welcome to this wonderland on an island in Norway!
North Cape is a large mountain plateau. The plateau ends in a cliff that plunges directly into the sea. The cliff is over 300 meters high and you are in for a breathtaking experience. The view can be hard to compete with. You can marvel at the Barents Sea, marvel the sun as it never sets during the summer, or witness the northern lights dancing in the horizon in the winter. Located at 71° north at the Magerøya island, North Cape Plateau is the main attraction. If you travel by car, you will be charged a large amount of money. If you walk you will enter for free and save the environment too!
The truly northernmost point
North Cape is not the northernmost point on Europe’s mainland. If you want to get to this location you have to hike to Knivskjellodden. When you get to Knivskjellodden, you will be on the following grids, 71°11′06″N and the northernmost point of mainland Europe! The hike offer beautiful scenery and you will have big chances of seeing reindeers along the hike and dolphins on the edge of mainland Europe.
There are many small villages on Magerøya such as, Honningsvåg, Kamøyvær and Skarsvåg. I found the small fishing settlement Gjesvær to be one of the most special village and an attraction you need to experience. It’s small, maybe a couple hundreds of people living here or less.
In the horizon of Gjesvær, you can marvel at one of Europe’s biggest bird cliffs, Gjesværstappan. This bird cliff is known as a home to large variety of species and housing over 1 million puffins. It’s birds everywhere, in the ocean, in the sky and on the bird cliff. You can be witness to some dramatic scenery with natural forces and a fight between life and death. The largest eagles of Norway, White-tailed eagle, are not far away! It accessible by boat from Gjesvær and a roundtrip at this location is highly recommended!
Along with the bird safari, you can also experience an old traditional connected to the fishing settlement, Stockfish. Stockfish is unsalted fish, dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks on the foreshore. These wooden racks are called “Hjell” in the Norwegian language. The drying of the food is the world’s oldest known preservation method. It’s an cheap and effective in suitable climates and dried fish can be storage for several years. The fishermen will most often use cod in the wooden racks and the view of them is amazing. They can be found in many different location across the coastline of Norway, and you can find one in Oslo.
During the winter period you can experience a natural fireworks in the sky at Magerøya. The winter in the north is often a great season to view the lights due to the long periods of darkness and clear nights. The lights will dance above your head in a mix of colors and take you on a magical and stunning adventure. The northern lights is collisions between particles from the sun hat that enter the earth’s atmosphere. This happens far up in the atmosphere, around 80 – 640 kilometres above the surface of the earth. The natural phenomenon happens close to the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres and known as “Aurora Borealis” in the north.
The northern lights appear in different colors such as green, pink, red or blue. Along in a color combination, the lights appear in many forms such as clouds of light, streams or shooting rays that light up the sky. Connected to this phenomenon many cultural groups have legends about the lights. Maybe you will discover which legends that Norwegian people connect to the northern lights?