Nordkapp or not?


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Jan 8, 2002
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Schin op Geul, the Netherlands
My first trip to Norway was in 1990, two up on a 100GS, together with two friends,
one on a Suzuki GSX750 and one on a Yamaha XJ900. Our goal was the Northcape and we
had 3 weeks for the total trip. As we had no clue what to expect from the roads
and the weatherconditions, we planned the use 10 days driving north, and 10 days
for the trip back. We travelled through Germany to Puttgarden,
ferry to Rodby in Denmark, through Denmark to Helsingborg and from there the ferry to
Helsingor in Sweden. Up the Swedish coast to Oslo and from Oslo the E6 all the way north
to the Cape. The route south was through Finland to the coast of the Baltic sea,
and then the E4? (or 3) to Stockholm. From Stockholm west to Goteborg,
ferry to Frederikshavn, and highway through Denmark and Germany back home.
Total trip was 7100km in 19 days...
Was it worth it? Yes and no.
Feeling quite adventurous, it was our first longer trip without the help and guidance
of more experienced travellers, we reached the magic place!
This "magic place", the NorthCape, was a restaurant, museum and a very expensive
parking place, filled with coaches, campers, caravans ect....
Quite disappointing...
Travelling down through Finland and Sweden the landscape was not as interesting
as Norway, and due to the better roads and the less frequent photo stops,
we had more time left for some days without having to ride all day. If only we
had known this on our trip north through Norway, where we only took 2 days "off"!
Because we just followed the E6, we missed the best parts of Norway,
the Jotunheimen, some of the nicest fjords and glaciers, the Lofoten islands ect.
What made this trip worthwhile, is the fact that we discovered an enormous
country, Norway, and "sniffed" at the great motorcycle/camping possebilities
this country has to offer...
My conclusion?
If you're going to Norway for the first time, and your time and/or funds are limited,
then why go all the way to the Nordkapp? Why not try the south and middle of
Norway first? In a 1500 to 2000 km roundtrip, starting in Kristianssand,
Bergen or Oslo you'll see most of what makes Norway such a beautifull country.
But if you are determined to go all the way to the Nordkapp, start with the
less interesting ride north through Sweden and thus keep the best for last.
On my later trips to the Lofoten, in 1995 and 2001 it took us 6 to 7 days to
reach the Lofoten, travelling up through Sweden over mostly the 45. I think
you can reach the Northcape within one week along this route;
because of the midnight sun you can make long riding days without having
to struggle putting up your tent in the dark afterwards.
I'm planning on doing just that next June: 10 days from Kristiansand up along the east and middle to Trondheim and back down through the fjords to Bergen.

Think it'll be a nice trip, looking forward to it! The speed limits and the severe penalties are a bit frightening, all the rest looks like a bike paradise to me!

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