The North Cape Route

 

Tor, Jon and myself did this trip back in the summer of 2012. Well, actually, Tor had to abort in Karesuando due to mechanical failure on his Aprilia ETV1000 Caponord, but Jon and I did the whole trip. Jon on his 2011 Triumph Tiger XC 800, me on my 2011 Moto Guzzi NTX 1200 Stelvio. A great trip!

Tor had a technical malfunction on his Aprilia Caponord and turned back at Karesuando.

Tor had a technical malfunction on his Aprilia Caponord and turned back at Karesuando.

We did this trip in 14 days, including a two-day stay-over in Vadsø to visit the secluded, abandoned fishing village Hamningberg. I have divided the route in parts, due to Google Map’s inability to calculate small ferry crossings up north, but it should be fairly accurate anyhow.

The idea of this route was to speed up Sweden, and take the nice, scenic route down along the Western coast of Norway on our way back. For distances pr day, please see the map links.

Day 1: Oslo – Östersund in Sweden for our first stay-over at Ledkrysset Hostel, right in the middle of the town.

Day 2: Östersund – Arvidsjaur. Another transport leg in Sweden. Stay-over at Silvercross 45 Hostel.

Day 3: Arvidsjaur – Karesuando. Crossed the Polar Circle en route. Had to do a small detour due to road works, but not a major deviation from the route. Stay-over at Karesuando Camping, just on the border to Finland. Oh, and make sure you have your mosquito repellant with you.

 

Jon on his Triumph on our way to Vadsø.

Jon on his Triumph on our way to Vadsø.

Day 4: Karesuando – Vadsø (NO). Stay-over at Varanger Motorcycle Club’s club house just outside the town center. Very nice! Accomodates only a few, though, but a very nice place! At this point of the journey, you are farther to the east than Istanbul.

Day 5: Ride-out to Hamningberg. Another night at Varanger MCC’s club house.

Day 6: Vadsø – Honningsvåg (near Nordkapp). There are two routes you can choose. We did the one over Ifjordfjellet. A bit hairy in parts due to road works, but should be fine by now. Stay-over at Honningsvåg Camping. Foul weather!

Me at the North Cape globe, ca 8:00 in the morning. This kind of weather is unusual, though. Be prepared for worse.

Me at the North Cape globe, ca 8:00 in the morning. This kind of weather is unusual, though. Be prepared for worse.

Day 7: Honningsvåg – Nordkapp – Alta. Early in the morning, the foul weather had given way to nice, sunny skies, so we made it to the Nordkapp plateau before heading to Alta for an early stop for some tire maintenance and a couple of beers, maybe. Stay-over in a private house who rented out rooms.

The North Cape is not the furthermost point in Europe - it is Knivskjelodden nearby. Jon is pointing at it. He has been there. It takes a few hours of walking - but then you have been to the actual northernmost point.

The North Cape is not the furthermost point in Europe – it is Knivskjelodden nearby. Jon is pointing at it. He has been there. It takes a few hours of walking – but then you have been to the actual northernmost point.

Day 8: Alta – Tromsø. The Tirpitz Museum is found on the route, but foul weather made us push on to Tromsø, where we stayed the night at the posh (not really) Thon Hotel in the middle of the city. Tromsø is usually a really going-out town, but we were too exhausted after hitting the town in Alta the day before so it was only for us to get an early night even if we were in The Paris of the North, which Tromsø is dubbed.

Day 9: Tromsø – Ringvalen (for ferry crossing to Botnhamn). Please check the time tables thoroughly. The route is called Botnhamn – Brensholmen (we departed from Brensholmen ferry quay).

Day 9 (con’t): Botnhamn – Gryllefjord to catch the ferry Gryllefjord – Andenes. Again: Check time tables thoroughly, as some of these ferries only run one or two times a day, and only in the summer.

Not the worst of views at Varanger MC's club house in Vadsø.

Not the worst of views at Varanger MC’s club house in Vadsø.

Day 9 (con’t): Andenes – Midnattsol Camping Bleik for the night’s stay-over. It is here we pitched the tent close to the sea. They even had open air log fire heated “spa”. Must be tried!

Day 10: Midnattsol Camping Bleik – camp site near Moskenes ferry quay. I cannot remember where we camped in Lofoten, but there are plenty of campsites, so no worries. AND – it’s really, really scenic in that area. Probably the most beautiful area in the whole of Norway. No kidding!

Day 11: Moskenes – Bodø ferry crossing. Stay-over at Bodø MCC’s club house just outside Bodø city center. A great place to spend the night! Also make sure that you book ahead of arriving to the ferry quay by phoning the ferry company. It’s a rather busy crossing during the peak season.

Day 12: Bodø – Sandnessjøen along route 17. Shitty weather made the usually spectacular coastal route 17 less spectacular, so we headed to a camp just south of Sandnessjøen to dry up. Note to self: Don’t even THINK of hotels in this area!

Merete (left) and Liv invited Jon and me to a barbeque at the end of our trip. Great hospitality!

Merete (left) and Liv invited Jon and me to a barbeque at the end of our trip. Great hospitality!

Day 13: Sandnessjøen – Sparbu, first leg being Sandnessjøen – Tjøtta ferry quay then ferry from Tjøtta to Forvik, then riding Forvik – Sparbu still along route 17 where we stayed over at two riding friends of ours, Liv and Merete. A nice barbeque ended the formal part of the trip.

Day 14: We left for Trondheim, where Jon went westward to meet up with his girlfriend, whereas I headed back home to Oslo in one go.

 

Even the ferry crossings are spectacular in this part of Norway. This is from Brensholmen to Botnhamn.

Even the ferry crossings are spectacular in this part of Norway. This is from Brensholmen to Botnhamn.

32 Comments

32 thoughts on “The North Cape Route

  1. Im planning a trip to North Cape this July/August on a a Moto Guzzi. Looking forward to it and to using this information.
    cheers

    Michael

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  2. Andy Hartwell

    Hello, we are planning a trip to Nordcap 2018. We are thinking on a Goldwing. Probably starting from Kristiansand. We believe there a no longer ferries from the UK to Norway or Denmark, if this is so we would take the ferry from Denmark to Norway. All and any advice would be very welcome. Many thanks in advance, Andy and Shirley Hartwell. Aphartwell@gmail.com

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    • Hi, good choice for a biking destination! Start by reading the route tips provided on this site, and let me know if you have specific wishes or requests. Welcome to Norway!

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  3. Hi. I’m planning a trip up to the North Cape in late August following on from the Pan Gathering in Vradal. For the camping or Hytte sites do you need to book in advance or can you just turn up without booking or calling ahead?

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    • Hi, and welcome! You can just turn up, but in the high season the hyttes can be filled fast. Either find your hytte early in the afternoon, or book ahead. For tents, no worries. They always have plenty of space. I would think that in late August, you’ll have no problems with hytte availability, though.

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  4. ALESSANDRO SERENI

    Hi Guys, really nice site! I am Alessandro from Modena, Italy and all your tips are helping me out a lot because I am planning to ride to North Cape this summer. We are scheduling a tour of the scandinavia peninsula but we can’t decide if it is better to reach North Cape via Stockholm and then return to Copenhagen following Norway coast (like you guys did) or vice versa. Therefore from Copenhagen reach Oslo, ride the fjords area, have a full day at Lofoten, reach North Cape and return via Stockholm.

    We are planning to do this trip between 28-7 and 18/8. My main doubt is if I can enjoy landscape and driving along Norway coast when driving from North to South. Will the sun be low over the horizon therefore blinding the view? If I drive from Oslo to Cape North, at exception from the fjords area, will be better because of the sub on the back therefore all landscape well illuminated?

    It know it may seems a stupid question but some tips from your side would be more than appreciated. Thanks
    Alessandro

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ciao Alessandro, e benvenuto in Norvegia! A low Sun is frankly speaking hardly ever a problem in July/August. Except, perhaps, very late in the evening – like 22.00 onwards. But usually even not at that time. Believe me: It’s much more enjoyable to take the Norwegian coast southbound, as it gets (somewhat) warmer the further south you get. Besides: Get done with the transport (northbound through Sweden) and spend your time going south.

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    • Oh, and the view will be spectacular whichever way you go. Don’t worry.

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  5. Alessandro

    Takk så mye Hans! I will follow your reccomandation and for sure contact you further more!
    Enjoy your ride!
    Alessandro

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  6. Chris Parker

    Hello everyone on here. I too have a dream to realize this year to travel to Nordcap by motorcycle. My plan is taking 4 weeks out this August (assuming this is the best month for weather etc).
    I would love some advice and guidance on most spectacular routes and where to stop en route. I plan to stay in hotels the whole time but will take a tent should i wish to camp at any point.
    Ant advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  7. Gintaras

    Planning to ride a Transalp August 2018 north from Lithuania through Finland to Nordkap and return by way of the coastal route in Norway. Then through Germany and Poland and back to LT. Slowly reading everything on your blog. Hope to camp except when I wake up very wet. Any and all advice appreciated on routes or places to stop over. deikis@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to Norway! You’re in for a treat wherever you choose to go. 🙂

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    • Gintaras

      Camping in Alta right now and heading for Nordka p in the morning.
      I’m wondering if it is possible to make contact with the club in Bodo to stay over at the clubhouse.

      Like

  8. Paul Crowder

    Heading up to Nordkapp in June 2018. This site is great for tips etc, thanks/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mike

    Hi Hans, i’ve ridden my old ‘79 goldwing over from the UK and have managed to get as far as Tromsø. I desperately need a mechanic who might have knowledge of the bike as I’m have difficulties. I thought you might know people with ‘old bike’ knowledge in that area?
    Cheers
    Mike
    Ps Norway is completely stunning and I’ve had the most incredible ride: https://www.instagram.com/seeitsmeitis

    Like

  10. Bernard

    Hi, I just discovered your webpage, and I’m sure I will explore it thoroughly, since I plan a tripp to Nord Cape in June 2019 to experience the midnight sun. I’m starting in the Middle Franconian region in Bavaria, Germany, and plan to do this tripp during 4 weeks, with my wife as pillion, and on our youngtimer Kawasaki GTR1000.
    We are slowly starting the preparations, and are looking forward to do this. Tnx for all the usful tipps 🙂

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    • Hi, and welcome to Norway! I am sure you will have a great tour. And who knows – perhaps we’ll see each other en route somewhere 🙂

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    • Graeme logan

      good on you planning trip norcap in june coming from scotland and meeting mate who lives GERMANY near Eulm so mite see you there Graeme and Stan

      Like

  11. Gintaras

    There is no better riding than the fjords, mountains and islands of the Norwegian coast. Worth even the price of Norwegian coffee and beer!

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  12. Dean

    A brilliant write-up Hans and very very helpful. I arrive in Larvik next Thursday from Hirtshals and after spending a few days in Tjome to visit some friends I plan to spend 3 days heading up through Sweden to the North Cape and then a slow ride down the west coast…just as you suggest.
    I’m looking forward to it even more after reading your website. The whole solo camping trip from London and back will be such a great adventure. I have dreamed about this for a long long time…..I think crossing the circle, North Cape and the Lofoton Islands will be the most memorable, but I’m sure to find so many more memorable moments en route.

    Thanks for the inspiration

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  13. Dave

    Hallo Hans, thank you for all the great info. Three of us are planning a Nordkapp trip next year but due to work constraints we cannot head off from the UK until late September. Is Nordkapp still accessible for soft southern types in mid October? Could there be ice and snow on the roads at that time of year?

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    • Hi Dave, thanks for visiting! Short answer: Yes, snow & ice may be expected. But you never know. Sometimes, snow comes early, sometimes late – but October would be borderline in any case.

      Like

  14. Victor Bonilla

    Hello from USA. Doing an EPIC ride for 79 days. From Albania and all parts in between all the way to Nordkapp. My question is I’m leaving Stockholm July 3 2020 which road would you take North to enjoy the sights and views. I do dislike highways, but I’m riding a big BMW K1600, so off road isn’t an option. From Nordkapp I’m heading south along the Norway coast stopping in Tromso for service. Any help in this would be greatly appreciated. I do like your website. Thanks

    Victor

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    • Hi Victor, welcome to Norway! It depends on your time available. You could race up Sweden along either E4 or E45, to have even better time going south from Nordkapp, which most do. Or you could plot a route that zig-zags you up and down in Norway. Also, check out the Routes section.

      Like

    • Espen Hammer

      Hi Victor,

      Going south from Tromsø I would suggest E6 to Breivik, then west from Breivik on E10 all the way to to its end i Å.

      Then take the touristic ferry from Å to Bodø. From Bodø you follow road 80 east until you hit Lødingen and then follow FV17 south.

      FV17 is fantastic even by Norwegian standards (but remember you are visiting during the high season – there will be some traffic). Follow FV 17 until you reach E6 again a little north of Steinkjer.

      Follow E6 to Trondheim. From Trondheim you go south and then turn west on E39. Follow E39 to Kristiansund and do the Atlantic Road which is part of Road 64. Follow Road 64 south until you come to Isfjorden and then Åndalsnes.

      In Åndalsnes choose E136 going south/east for 5 km and then take off on road 63; This will bring you to Trollstigen and Geiranger (which you also will recognize from Hans’ info). When you leave Geiranger you will hit E15 not long after.

      Go right on E15 if you want more fjords and western Norway – go left if you want shortest route to Oslo.

      Assuming you go right (west), follow E15 til you meet E39 again and continue going first west on E39 and then keep on following E39 when it turns south in Nordfjordeid.

      Keep on going on E39 till you reach the intersection taking you off on the FV13 (100km). FV 13 will take you to Vik and over a mountain pass. Follow FV 13 until you hit a ferry landing. It’s called Dragsvik and the ferry there will take you south over the fjord to Vangsnes to continue on RV13.

      Follow RV 13 over the mountain to Vossevangen. You will join E16 for a bit going south and then in Vossevangen you choose to follow RV13 going south/east and then when you get to Granvin you leave E13 to follow FV7 along the Hardangerfjorden.

      Follow FV 7 along the fjord all the way to Nordheimsund where you switch to 49 following the fjord further. After 13 km there is a ferry landing. Hop on and it will take you to Jondal.

      As you leave the ferry go to the right on FV107. It will take you to the Jostedal glacier. Follow the road (it will take you in a tunnel under the glacier) and the signs taking you to Odda.

      In Odda you will meet RV 13 again – follow south – till you hit E134; go left and you will arrive in Røldal. As you come through the tunnels and descend towards Røldal you keep an eye open for and make sure you jump back in on RV 13 which will then take you to Tau and Stavanger.

      From Stavanger you should visit Lysebotn; take the touristic ferry from Stavanger to Lysebotn, enjoy the twisties and the Kjerag as described by Hans and then go to Oslo by the Suleskar road etc

      After Kjerag and alternative is to drive back out to the coast and follow RV44 which is also awesome and will be a good way to get to Kristiansand and the ferry from there back to the continent.

      Needless to say – this is only the backbone of the west – from this you can detour and improvise – If you have any questions about the routes and options in the west I would be happy to help.

      Espen

      Like

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