Helnes Lighthouse and North Cape
Helnes Lighthouse (Norwegian: Helnes fyr) is located on the island of Magerøya in the municipality of Nordkapp in Finnmark, Norway. It was established in 1908. All the buildings on Magerøya were totally destroyed by the retreating German army in 1944. Only the church in Honningsvåg was spared. The village of Helnes was never rebuildt after the war, but the lighthouse and two houses were rebuilt in 1946-1947. Helnes Lighthouse became automated in 2004. A radio beacon was established in 1955. It is 72 feet tall (22 meters).
- Helnes has a unique history going back many centuries. In the middle ages it was a lively fishing village with its own church. It is one such fishing communities which sprung up on the coast of Finnmark after great demand from abroad for dried fish.
- The census records for 1865 and earlier reveal a small colorful society which was predominantly male. Sami, Finnish, and Russian languages were spoken in addition to Norwegian dialects of Trøndersk, Romsdaling and Nordlandsk.
- There are a great many activities available in the area, including King crab safaris, deep sea fishing and rafting, and birdwatching.
- It is on Magerøya island that one finds North Cape (Norwegian: Nordkapp), which is often referred to as the northernmost point in Europe. Magerøya features a bleak but beautiful, barren tundra landscape devoid of any trees (except for a few small pockets of mountain birch), with steep cliff faces on the coast and dramatic mountainscapes in the interior.
- Magerøya’s main claim to fame – and it does attract and large number of tourists every year – is the North Cape, a steep-cliffed cape on the northern coast. To accommodate the large number of tourists visiting the island, a subsea tunnel was built (1993 – 1999). The North Cape Tunnel, which is 4.27 miles (6.87 kilometers) long and reaches a depth of 696 feet (212 meters) below sea level, was for a time one of the longest and of the deepest subsea tunnels in the world. Fog or ice may occur inside the tunnel, even in summer.
- At 71°North, Magerøya is a peak place to experience the Midnight Sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter.
- Snowmobiling safari from Honningsvåg to Helnes Lighthouse. Booking.
- Rafting from Honningsvåg to Helnes. Booking.
By Air 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.
By Boat Norway’s Hurtigruten coastal express ships touch Magerøya every day at Honningsvåg. Hurtigruten’s fleet sails daily from Bergen going north and daily from Kirkenes going south. Arriving by a Hurtigruten ship would be a fantastic way to get here. The waters around the island remain ice-free year round due to the warm North Atlantic drift, part of the Gulf Stream.
By Car 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).
North Cape vs Knivsjellodden
Knivskjellodden is the northernmost point of Magerøya and is, strictly speaking, the northernmost point of the entire continent of Europe. Kinnarodden on the Nordkinn Peninsula is the northernmost point on the mainland. Although North Cape is popularly known as the northernmost point, it is in fact located 1,500 meters farther to the south. Knivskjellodden can be reached with a 9 kilometer long hike from a park place a few km south of North Cape.
At the present time, accomodations at Helnes Lighthouse are not available, but may become available again soon. (We will stay on top of developments.
Destinasjon 71° Nord AS
Offers stays at Fisherman’s cabins, plus deepsea rafting, King crab safaris, and ATV safaris. Prices and photos here.
Postboks 1, 9751 Honningsvåg
Tel.: +47 47 28 93 20
This site has a lot of information about visiting North Cape.
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North Cape (Nordkapp)
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This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål