I went to the ice bar to experience a bit of what the folk here would be experiencing during winter time as far as the cold is concerned. The price was 135kr which included two non-alchoholic drinks and although itcwas quite expensive itcwas worth every krone
If you arrive in on Queen Mary2 the ship is there for the whole day so you have time to do 2 tours or choose to look around the town.
There was a very well stocked souvenir shop ....a bit crowded when we arrived with all QM2 passengers. I actually preferred The Christmas House but that is a bit further out.
The Ice Bar was just in front of us but we missed out...the weather turned and it was all aboard the tender for the choppy ride back to the ship.
Honningsvåg is small, but in summer there are cafes, shops, and hotel restaurants offering various fare including the superb seafood, and for those in search of a light snack, koldtbord (cold table buffet) or pølser (sausages).
"Honningsvaag is small by 'city' standards but in 1996 with a population of 2,575 and not the required 5,000 it was declared a city and able to claim the honour of being the most northermost city in the world."... And it has an airport
Honningsvaag is situated at a bay on the southern side of Mageroya island.The famous Nord Kapp is on the northern side.
Fiskeriveien 4D, 9750 Honningsvåg
During the winter months when all is dark and the villages may actually be isolated even from each other one very enterprising artistic lady creates her very special artwork.
What does she do? Well she collects glossy magazines and using the coloured shiny pages she creates beautiful pictures...have a look at the photo to see what I mean...all recycled 'ingredients'
Skarsvag is the most northerly fishing village in Norway and I think in the world. For 3 months of the year it is in total darkness...so choose your time to visit. Sometimes in winter you cannot even visit a nearby village so this is what isolation is all about.
But what excitement to be in the most northerly fishing village...and charming it it too.
We visited the Gallery East of the Sun and then walked down to the wharf to see the colourful nets and the fish being dried. The cod from here has the reputation of being the best dried cod in the world.
Honningsvag itself is a place I had absolutely no time to explore within the few minutes that I had left over betweeen the excursion to the Northcape and the departure of my Hurtigrutenship.
When coming to Honningsvag by Hurtigrute your time will always be too short: 3,5 hours when the ships are going north and that time is just enough for the excursion to the Northcape and southbound the Hurtigrutenship is stopping only for a few minutes to unload the tour-participants, who will join the ship again in Hammerfest.
There is a scenic landscape with various lakes and bays and almost no trees, along the road that gets you to the Northcape. As a private cardriver you have to pay here various toll-fees before you are finally able to get to the large carparking of the Nordkapp.
btw. the place of Europe that is really the absolutely northernmost place is not far from the so-called Nordkap (that is actually on an island): it is called "Kinnarodden" and nobody gets there as it is also not really to be reached conveniently like the Nordkap.
A lot of new attractions were added to the Northcape since i had been there in 1985. There is a large cinema with an audio-visional-show, there is a church, an art-gallery and a thai-temple, great works of art and a lot more things. I enjoyed this place a lot more in 2009 than in 1985.
Read more about it in my page about Nordkapp !
The Sami are living as nomads in the north of europe, togeather with their herds of reindeers and more and more of them obviously rather work as "tourist-attractions" , showing their tents and a single reindeer to the tourists going to the Northcape. We had a stop there of half an hour to take a look around and do some shopping in their shop .
Most people are coming to Honningsvag only in order to go from there to the Northcape / Nordkapp and that was the same for me. The buses took us first to a place, where a Sami-family had their tent and their souvenirshop and it seemed to me that they are living exclusively from the tourism, it was interesting to see that anyway. We had a stop there of 30 minutes and then we drove on to the Northcape, where we spent about 2 hours on the total, that was not really sufficient in order to see everything there.
Nordic Lights / Aurora Borealis
that is a natural phenomenon that you can watch mainly in wintertime and you need to have a perfect combination of various situations:
1) the sky has to be without clouds
2) the sky needs to be dark, so you are able to see the reflections
3) you need certain activities of the sun, that are sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker
The way that I understood this is that these activities of the sun will happen all year long, but in summertime you cannot see them because of the bright sky.
The best time for the Northern Lights are :
October + February & March
the best frequency is between 6 pm and 1 am.
avoid the times of the Fullmoon, it will not be dark enough then !
Most tourists prefer to come to the northcape / Nordkap during the summertime, in order to see the so-called "Midnight-Sun" ! In the Arctic summertime the sun is shining almost all day long and for about 2 months you will even see the sunlight to never totally disappear and that is the time of the Midnight-Sun. The time of the Midnightsun varies of course and the further north you get the more days that time will last. Get on a large hill or directely to the Northcape and watch the sun going down between 11.00pm and midnight and you will see that before touching the ocean the sun will start raising again.
In Honnigsvag & at the Northcape the Midnightsun is
from May 14th till July 29th
Hurtigruten made a stop in Honnigsvag for a excursion to Northkap. About 50 minutes by bus to the famous place at the end of europa and when you come back to Honnigsvag the time is too short to walk through the village, because the ship is leaving as soon as all buses are back.
If you can't make it to the North Cape due to time and/or weather, you can at least stop at the North Cape Museum. The museum features exhibits on the area, its history, the nearby bird sanctuary... and of course, the North Cape itself.
Admission is NOK 30 for adults, NOK 5 for children, NOK 10 for students. Groups of 15 or more can get a NOK 5 discount per person.
The museum is open year-round. Normal hours are Monday-Friday, Noon-4PM. From June - mid-August, the museum has extended hours of Monday-Saturday, 10AM-7PM and Sunday noon-7PM. Closed from 1-3 June.
Outside posted opening times, appointments are sometimes possible -- call the museum for details.
The village of Honningsvåg is the inofficial capital of the North Cape. The town suffered a lot from the Second World War and only one building survived the senseless destruction, the church of 1884. So most buildings are from the 1950s. Here you find the North Cape Museum which deals with the history of the island and several hotels, bars and restaurants.
We took a bus tour to North Cape from Honningsvag. It took about an hour to get there. The day was wonderful and the scenery magnificent. The Visitors Center at North Cape is quite well done. There is a movie, coffee shop, bar, and gift shop.