North Cape Winter trip with the VW T5 California 4x4 (Europe)

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Rank III

Advocate I

Hamburg, Germany
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Hi all,
this February I did a trip to Sweden, Norway and Finland which ended at the most northern point of Europe you can reach by car, the north cape in Norway.
We were about 20 owners of the Volkswagen T5 and T6 California which is the successor of the popular T3 Vanagon and T4 you also have in the US. Unfortunately they stopped selling the T5 and the current version T6 in the US.
The "California" trim line means it has the pop up roof and buit in kitchen and cabinet, without this it would be the "Multivan". Most of us had the 4x4 version which gives you a more secure feeling under the weather conditions you meet in northern Scandinavia during winter time.
We travelled up north each by their own and met at a lodge near the polar circle in Sweden which was our basecamp for the following 2 weeks. I highly recommend the Norrsken Lodge ( with its gentle hosts Yasmine and Max. They are from Switzerland and former T5 California Owners too.
We had a blast this 2 weeks with good food and drinks, cooking outside on the open fire, cosy evenings in good company, reindeers, moose, ice track ralley with an old Volvo on a frozen lake, husky sled tours, snow mobile tours and absolutely stunning northern lights up in the sky.
Weather was pretty cold down to minus 27 Celsius (-17F) in the nights and some snow but also some nice sunny days. We all slept in our rigs the whole time which was no problem, just a question of a bit of isolation, warm clothes and blankets and good heating solutions.
Driving was no problem the most time once you get used to have snow and ice under your rig mostly all the time. The locals have spikes in their tires so they can drive much faster. Driving up to the North Cape was another 720 KM trip (450 miles) from basecamp so this was another little adventure which lasted 2-3 days. The last 13 KM (8 miles) up to the cape you have to wait for the snow plow which comes 3 times a day and drive behind him in a convoy, same thing down so nobody stays up there over night. It's not allowed because the weather can change dramatically within hours up there.

This trip was nearly 6000 KM (3700 miles) and absolutely awesome! I put some pictures to this, hope you enjoy it.




Polaris Overland

West Europe Region Director
Staff member


Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire,
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Brilliant pictures and stunning scenery. We drove to Nordkapp from Cyprus in 2017 and from there down to Morocco.
We loved the Forests and Lakes of Finland to the wind swept bleakness and reindeer of Northern Norway then the coast line of Fjords. Amazing place that I hope to go back to again sometime soon.
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