Storstappen Island, Norway
Honningsvåg is Norway’s northernmost town, and one of the smallest, with its population of 2,000 jammed into a mere one square kilometer. Devoid of permafrost, this subarctic region displays scores of colorful mountain landscapes carpeted during the summer in a lush tapestry of grasses and mountain wildflowers. In this truly unique environment, many private village gardens grow trees, despite the shortness of the Arctic summer. Honningsvåg is also the gateway to the northernmost point of continental Europe, the North Cape, or Nordkapp, often referred to as the ‘end of the world.’
Storstappen Island, rising from the sea to a height of 928’ (283 m), is a valuable nature reserve supporting colonies of some 140 great cormorants, 100 European shags, 20,000 black-legged kittiwakes, 5,000 razorbills and an impressive 100,000 puffins. To be here is a truly awe-inspiring sensory experience, viewing thousands of birds flying to and fro overhead at the same time, creating an almost deafening cacophony of sound with their cries and wingbeats.