This article is about the municipality in Finnmark, Norway. For the North Cape (Norwegian: Nordkapp), see North Cape, Norway. For other uses, see North Cape (disambiguation).
Nordkapp kommune
Davvinjárgga gielda
Kappan komuuni

Honningsvåg harbour

Coat of arms

Finnmark within

Nordkapp within Finnmark
Coordinates: 70°58′41″N 25°58′29″E / 70.97806°N 25.97472°E / 70.97806; 25.97472Coordinates: 70°58′41″N 25°58′29″E / 70.97806°N 25.97472°E / 70.97806; 25.97472
Country Norway
County Finnmark
District Vest-Finnmark
Administrative centre Honningsvåg
  Mayor (2007) Kristina Hansen (Ap)
  Total 924.84 km2 (357.08 sq mi)
  Land 890.76 km2 (343.92 sq mi)
  Water 34.08 km2 (13.16 sq mi)
Population (2014)
  Total 3,213 (Increase from last year)
  Rank 259 in Norway
  Density 3.47/km2 (9.0/sq mi)
  Change (10 years) -7.6 %
Demonym(s) Nordkappværing[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-2019
Official language form Neutral
Data from Statistics Norway

Nordkapp (English: North Cape; Northern Sami: Davvinjárga or Nordkáhppa; Kven: Kappa or Nordkappa) is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Honningsvåg, where most residents live. Other settlements in Nordkapp include the villages of Gjesvær, Kåfjord, Kamøyvær, Kjelvik, Nordvågen, Repvåg, Skarsvåg, and Valan.[2]

Some 200,000 tourists visit Nordkapp annually during the two to three months of summer. The main tourist attractions are the North Cape and the nearby Knivskjellodden. The North Cape first became famous when the English explorer Richard Chancellor rounded it in 1553 while attempting to find a sea route through the Northeast Passage. Helnes Lighthouse is located at the entrance to the Porsangerfjorden.[2]

General information

Nordkapp and Knivskjellodden

On 1 July 1861, the northern district of the municipality of Kistrand was separated to form the new municipality of Kjelvik. Initially, the municipality encompassed the area around the northern end of the Porsangerfjorden, including part of the island of Magerøya, and it had a population of 345. The name of the municipality was changed from Kjelvik to Nordkapp in 1950. On 1 January 1984, the western part of the island of Magerøya as well as the small surrounding islands of Gjesværstappan were transferred from Måsøy Municipality to Nordkapp Municipality.[3]


Nordkapp is a Norwegianized form of the English name North Cape by which the area was historically known dating back to at least 1553. The Old Norse name of the cape was Knyskanes. The municipality was originally named Kjelvik, after the main fishing village for the parish. But that village was totally destroyed by the Germans in 1944 and it never recovered. As a consequence of this the municipality changed the name to Nordkapp in 1950.[2]


The coat-of-arms is modern, having been granted on 19 October 1973. It shows a simplified silhouette of the North Cape, a large cliff, together with the sea under a golden sky representing the midnight sun.[4]


The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Nordkapp. It is part of the Hammerfest deanery in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland.

Churches in Nordkapp
Parish (sokn)NameLocationYear built
NordkappGjesvær ChapelGjesvær1960
Honningsvåg ChurchHonningsvåg1885
Repvåg ChapelRepvåg1967
Skarsvåg ChurchSkarsvåg1961


All municipalities in Norway, including Nordkapp, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.

Municipal council

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Nordkapp is made up of 19 representatives that are elected to every four years. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[5]

Nordkapp Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party NameName in NorwegianNumber of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet10
 Conservative PartyHøyre4
 Socialist Left PartySosialistisk Venstreparti3
 Liberal PartyVenstre2
Total number of members:19


The midnight sun

The municipality encompasses the island of Magerøya, but also parts of the mainland on the Porsanger Peninsula and Sværholt Peninsula on both sides of the Porsangerfjorden. There are many other fjords in the municipality including Duksfjorden, Kåfjorden, Kamøyfjorden, and Skipsfjorden. The main island is Magerøya and there are a few islands located around Magerøya including Gjesvær, Gjesværstappan, Lille Kamøya, and Store Kamøya.[2]

North Cape

View towards Gjesværstappan islands with seabird colonies
Main article: North Cape, Norway

The municipality's most famous place, after which it is named, is Nordkapp (North Cape). This 307-metre-high (1,007 ft) cliff is commonly referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, however this is not accurate; the true northernmost point of the European mainland is Cape Nordkinn (Kinnarodden), at 71° 08′ 02″ N, located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the village of Mehamn on the Nordkinn Peninsula. If Europe's northernmost point is allowed to be on an island, then it still is not the North Cape. It would be Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island, Franz Josef Land in Russia, which is located much further north at 81° 48′ 24″ N. If Franz Josef Land is not considered to be in Europe, then Europe's northernmost point is the northern point of the island of Rossøya, an islet in Svalbard, north of Spitsbergen at 80° 49′ 44.41″ N.


This coastal municipality is like many others in Finnmark, home of large seabird colonies. The island group known as Gjesværstappan is one of the better known with at least 2,500 pairs of razorbill. Away from the coast it is the typical tundra habitat of the region that dominates with lakes, marshes, and areas of willow scrub. Many of the lakes hold breeding wildfowl, with species like long-tailed duck being found.


Climate data for Helnes Lighthouse
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −1.5
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.6
Average low °C (°F) −5.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 94
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 18.1 15.3 14.6 13.6 10.6 9.6 9.3 10.5 13.9 17.5 16.5 18.7 168.2
Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[6]


Due to the heavy tourist traffic in the summers, Nordkapp has an extensive transportation infrastructure for such a small, remote municipality. The Honningsvåg Airport, Valan is located just north of the town of Honningsvåg, with daily connections to Tromsø. The European route E69 highway runs north throughout the municipality from Porsanger to the North Cape. The North Cape Tunnel connects the mainland to the island of Magerøya. The Honningsvåg Tunnel goes through a large mountain near Honningsvåg.[2]


  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Store norske leksikon. "Nordkapp kommune" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  3. Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  4. Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  5. "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  6. "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nordkapp.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Nordkapp.
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