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Road trip in Norway along the west coast, from Narvik to the North Cape

2021-07-25T05:20:28.128Z

Departing from Bodø, this 1,565 km route, in eight stages and 10 days, ends on the North Cape cliffs, the majestic end of Europe. Second and last part.



At each stage of this journey, towns and villages of character deliver their museums evoking fishing, a secular activity, or certain events of the Second World War.

Another option, to take a break on the road, why not swap the car for the boat and spend a day or two aboard the legendary Hurtigruten Coastal Express, this line of mixed liners supplying the small ports of the coast since 1893?

A unique experience, as close as possible to wild nature and local slices of life.

While in the evening, the orange sun refuses to set and go out, plunges the Far North until the next day in a fascinating light, the famous midnight sun.

Read also: Explore the Norwegian fjords, in the wake of the Vikings

Km 625 - Narvik, emerged from a history book

The Rombaksbrua bridge over the Straumen bay, in Narvik.

Zdenar Adamsen / Adobe Stock

A 2.45 hour drive from

Vesterålen

, the skiable mountains surrounding

Narvik

peak at nearly 2,000 meters, bordering a fjord that sinks deep into the land.

This port city without much charm was built at the end of the 19th century to evacuate the large tonnages of iron ore, extracted in the nearby Swedish mines.

A strategic site, whose Nazi occupation is detailed by the fascinating Narvik War Museum, which also highlights the famous

Battle of Narvik,

led in 1940 by an expeditionary force made up of legionaries and French alpine hunters.

Km 790 - The island of Senja, a pearl off the beaten track

The island of Senja cut by grandiose and deep fjords.

Reiner Schaufler / Northern Norway Tourist Board

From Narvik, you have to hold the wheel for 2h15 and cross a large bridge at Finnsnes, to reach the largest island in Norway and also the least populated, confined in its sublime setting of wild nature.

Mountainous and green, “

Senja-la-Magnifique

” is cut out by grandiose and deep fjords, revealing a few small white sand beaches.

A chilly dream next to sheep meadows, lakes, marshes and birch forests that lovers of this magnificent and unspoiled nature explore during historic hikes, or by bike on the famous national scenic route that follows the West Coast.

Along the way, we also discover some charming sleeping villages of red houses on the edge of the fjords, such as

Torken

,

Mefjordvær

and

Husøy

, inhabited by small fishing communities at the end of the world.

Read also: Magical encounters with orcas, northern lights ... In Norway, the great thrill

Km 950 - Tromsø, stronghold of arctic adventurers

The Polar Museum in Tromsø.

Baard Loeken / Northern Norway Tourist Board

Another 2h15 on the road and it is

Tromsø

which looms at the end of the hood.

Formerly the national whaling capital and rear base for polar expeditions, Tromsø is today a large, vibrant and bustling university town.

In its pleasant old center, where warehouses, church and wooden houses face the port, do not miss a visit to the superb Polar Museum evoking hunting expeditions in the Far North from the 17th century, then the conquest of the poles in the 19th century. and twentieth centuries by Nansen and Amundsen.

Other curiosities: the Polaria Aquarium, dedicated to Arctic fish and seals, the iconic avant-garde-style Arctic Cathedral from the 60s and the vintage cable car that climbs to a nearby peak for a magnificent panoramic view of this expanding city.

Km 1330 - Alta, at the gateway to Lapland

The rock engravings presented in the open air at the Alta Museum.

Svetlana Funtusova / Norther Norway Tourist Board

The road is long, winding and of austere beauty. No less than 5h30 of tight bends, cutting off this coast with multitudes of fjords. The bite of the cold and the strong winds transform the vegetation, rarer, giving way to landscapes of rock and tundra, dotted with rare farms. And "

watch out for reindeer

" urge the road signs! Because we are entering

Finnmark

, the northernmost county of Norway and part of Lapland which spans the three neighboring countries: Finland, Sweden and Russia.

This is where the Sami reside, the indigenous people who once made a living from fishing and nomadic reindeer herding.

To stretch your legs, you can take a tour of the curious Øksfjordjøkelen Glacier, culminating at nearly 1,200 meters which stretches out to the sea and visit the astonishing Tirpitz Museum telling the story of the end of this battleship, flagship of the German navy , sunk in 1944 in the fjord just opposite, with a lot of objects exhumed from the wreckage.

Read also: In Lapland, in the footsteps of northern lights hunters

It is then that

Alta

emerges

, a modern town without interest, planted on the road to the North Cape. However, we mark a beautiful stopover, the time to discover the Alta Museum which conceals a formidable field of open-air rock engravings, dating from 7000 to 2000 BC. J.-C classified as World Heritage by Unesco. To see when the sun goes down to better admire, at the bottom of a superb fjord, scenes of fishing, hunting, a crowd of animals and this man mounted on rustic skis!

See also the surprising and emblematic Cathedral of the Northern Lights, an elegant titanium coil winding towards the heavens.

Alta also remains the gateway to excursions into the vast, almost deserted spaces of Lapland which, let's face it, have more charm under the winter snows;

magnificent aurora borealis as a bonus.

However, a national panoramic road borders the Varanger peninsula and its national park, offering, in summer, superb natural escapes in this other end of the world, wild as hell.

Read the file: Helsinki: the

Figaro

travel guide

Km 1565 - The mythical North Cape and its small ports

The North Cape to Havøysund.

Baard Loeken / Northern Norway Tourist Board

From Alta, it takes 3 hours 40 minutes to reach the high, steep cliffs of the North Cape, which marks the northern limits of Europe. There, in a formidable mineral environment, stands the metallic statue of a globe that has become emblematic. Nearby, a heated panoramic belvedere shields us from the squalls, offering a breathtaking view of the Barents Sea. But the most interesting is not necessarily here. Because the peeled surroundings of the prestigious cape are home to several fishing villages, emerging from the mists in an authentic charm.

First

Honningsvåg

, an active port surrounded by hills where garlands of multicolored houses cling to. Then, with its quay and its smart cabins,

Skarsvåg

claims the title of “

the most northerly fishing village in the world

”, living by fishing for the famous king crab. A stopover in

Gjesvaer

, another small town lost in the storm, saving boat Nature Reserve Gjesværstappan the archipelago, where plethora of nesting seabirds. Finally, starting afresh, make a detour to

Havøysund

, another beautiful village

colorful

rorbuer

along the fjord, planted at the end of a superb national panoramic road.

Read the file: Oslo: the

Figaro

travel guide

Travel diary - Roadbook

GO

When to go

 : The best season to do this road trip is summer, the temperatures fluctuate between 10-20 ° C during the day.

Entry formalities

 : even if Norway is not part of Europe, it belongs to the Schengen area.

Remember to check the latest health entry and travel conditions imposed by the Covid-19.

By plane:

Regular flights to Bodø from France, with a stopover at Oslo International Airport.

Bodø is also the northern terminus of the Norwegian rail network.

L

'

airport of Bodo is the front door of this road trip.

Car hire:

at Bodø airport on arrival.

On the way back, we leave the car at Alta airport

,

closest to the North Cape, to take a flight to Oslo, then France.

Information:

from the Tourist Office of Northern Norway and on visitnorway.fr

Cruise:

aboard the Hurtigruten Coastal Express

Norway's 18 scenic routes:

nasjonaleturistveger.no

Narvik and Senja Island - 2 nights

Hotel

The Hamn i Senja hotel nestled in a cove of the island.

Reiner Schaufler / Northern Norway Tourist Board

Hamn i Senja

:

nestled in a picture-postcard cove in the north of the island of Senja, this former fishing hamlet has been converted into an attractive hotel, scattered among a few contemporary houses lined up on the seafront. rigorous Nordic style.

Good restaurant, the Storbrygga Spiseri, popular with the islanders.

Spa, kayaking, fishing and sailing.

Hamn i Senja.

Hamnveien 1145, in Skaland-Senja.

Phone.

: + 47-40020005.

Price of a double room and apartments from 135 €.

Good tables

Senjastua

:

inspired by the sea and the land, the good table of Senja revisits the standards of northern Norwegian cuisine, without losing the thread of the seasons.

Senjastua.

Laukhellaveien 2, in Silsand-Senja.

Phone.

: + 47-77844010.

A la carte price from 25 to 40 €.

Fiskehallen

:

the old brick hall of the Narvik fish market now houses a fishmonger restaurant concocting good, simple, neat and ultra-fresh dishes.

Fiskehallen.

Kongensgate 42, in Narvik.

Phone.

: + 47-93484839.

A la carte price from 25 to 40 €.

Information:

from the Narvik Tourist Office and the Senja Island Tourist Office.

Tromsø - 1 night

Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel Tromsø:

on the harbor, in the heart of the local hustle and bustle, modern hotel with functional rooms, with pleasant Scandinavian light wood furniture and breathtaking sea views.

Restaurant and bar on site.

Radisson Blu Hotel Tromsø.

Sjogata 7. Tel.

: + 47-77600000.

Double room price from 120 €.

Good food

Bardus Bistro:

just off the harbor, venerable cozy hut housing one of the good restaurants in old Tromsø.

Tasty chef's cuisine, rooted in the seasons of the Far North and a little inventive, but without showing off.

Serious cocktail bar ... The one with arctic algae is an experience in itself.

Bardus Bistro.

Cora Sandels Gate 4. Tel.

: + 47-92674888.

A la carte prices from 35 to 70 €.

Information:

from the Tromsø tourist office.

Alta - 1 night

Hotel

Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge

:

20 km to the south, a long contemporary building stretched against the bed of the Alta river.

Beautiful, sober and designer rooms, with panoramic windows.

Spa, kayaking, fishing and motor boat trips.

Excellent restaurant working with local products on a refined modern note.

In winter, the establishment doubles as

the Igloo Hotel, a

picturesque ice hotel world famous, also for its bar

.

Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge.

Sorrisniva 20. Tel.

: + 47-78433378.

Double room price from 305 €.

Good food

Trasti & Trine:

the other good local restaurant, lost in the greenery 10 km south of Alta.

Delicate cuisine that is both modern and rooted, simmered with fresh Finnmark ingredients for so many surprising flavors.

Trasti & Trine.

Gargiaveien 29. Tel.

: + 47-78403040.

Price: menus from 40 €.

Information:

from the Alta tourist office.

North Cape - 2 nights

Hotel

The View Hotel:

nestled at the end of the Honningsvåg fjord, an active port 35 km south of the North Cape, it is a large arctic building with functional, modern and uncluttered rooms.

Spa, restaurant, bar and panoramic rooftop.

The View Hotel.

Utsikten 12, in Honningsvåg.

Phone.

: + 47-48068735.

Double room price from 150 €.

Good food

King Crab Dish at King Crab House.

CRABE_ROYAL2_Shigeru_OhkiNorthern_Norway_Tourist_Board

King Crab House:

on the port, the lair of the

king crab,

the most expensive in the world.

It is fished offshore and cooked simply, the locals would die for its delectable flesh

.

King Crab House.

Sjøgata 6. Tel.

: + 47-90121133.

A la carte price from 20 to 45 €.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-07-25

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