Skarsvåg is the northernmost fishing village in the world. If you’re on your way to North Cape, you cannot skip this wonderful gem located in the wilderness of Finnmark. Can you believe how cool it is?
As soon as I arrived there, I could easily sense how unique this place is. I went to a pub/restaurant/museum/tourist info point. Yes, basically you had everything in this place. When I entered, the owner welcomed me with a huge smile on his face and asked me if I wanted to try the northernmost beer in Europe (if we don’t consider the Svalbard archipelago).
And there I sat, drinking cold beer, watching royal crabs swimming in a pool in front of the restaurant, and asking questions about this village. The answers blew my mind.
If I thought that living in my village was depressing, that’s because I thought that 3000 people were too few. Well, do you want to know how many inhabitants Skarsvåg currently counts in the winter?
37. Thirty-seven. 3 7. Trettisyv.
That’s basically the number of my closest relatives on my mother’s side. But what else do you expect by the northernmost fishing village in the world?
During the summer the number of inhabitants skyrockets to 200-300. Crazy, huh? But what I found even crazier is that on the whole island of Magerøya there are 2700 inhabitants.
One thing that I found fascinating about Skarsvåg (and Finnmark in general) is that you can easily see reindeers walking around. It gets dangerous if you’re not careful, but those cute animals were the real protagonists of this whole experience. You might say that it’s obvious since there are more reindeers than people, but that’s a topic for another kind of blogpost.
Hiking, hiking, hiking
At this point, you might wonder what are the best things to do here? Excluding North Cape, you have two hiking trails that unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to do. Especially after beer. But here they are:
- – There is one hike of approximately 40 minutes starting from the church of Skarsvåg, going North-West that will allow you to enjoy a rock formation called Kirkeporten. It is extremely evocative when the sun is exactly in the middle of this rock formation. You can have a look here.
- – The second hike takes approximately 1 hour and you have to walk northwards, reaching a lighthouse.
Where to eat
If you’re not camping and eating on a budget, then there are two places that I recommend. Not because I know all the places and I chose the best, but because I’m pretty sure that these two are the only ones in Skarsvåg.
- – Nordkapp Jul og Vinterhus. Despite its name (literally North Cape Christmas and Winter house), this cute place is open during the summer as well. You can have a hot tea or coffee, eat a delicious piece of cake, while admiring all the cute tiny handcrafted pieces of art made by locals. Here you can find the official website.
- – The North-Cape Experience. It is the tourist center I mentioned at the beginning of this article and it has typical food from the village. This is the official website.
I think it would be interesting to see this village in winter. The problem is that the weather gets so harsh that connections are often interrupted and the village is completely isolated even for weeks.
But would you ever live in such a fascinating place even for a few weeks? I think I would do it.