COURSE

A 30-day adventure is waiting for you in the lands of the midnight sun, a month to soak up the magical light of the north, hike through unspoilt nature reserves and meet local people as you research your documentary report.

Day 1: Start of the Paris-North Cape Photo Rally

1st day: Every edition of the Paris-North Cape Photo Rally starts in front of the magnificent Château de Vincennes, on the edge of Paris, an idea that has since been copied by many other events. The teams gather round the start podium, in the administration tents and...

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Day 2: the ferry for Bergen in Norway

2nd day : At the end of another transit stage we get to Hirtshals in northern Denmark, where we embark on the enormous ferry that will take us directly to Bergen in Norway. This cruise is exceptional both for the quality of the service (cabins and buffet) and for the...

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Day 3: Bergen’s fjord

3rd day Photos for the first competition are taken from the ferry, making the best of the morning light as we sail past the Norwegian coast with its fabulous fjords. The last leg along Bergen’s fjord is magic. Perched almost 20 metres above the waves, we zigzag for...

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Day 4: along Norway’s highest roads

4th day: After breakfast, we are back in our cars for a driving stage along Norway’s highest roads, many of which are unpaved. The spectacular scenery is often reminiscent of the Alps or the Andes. The mountain lakes and traditional grass-roofed houses are typically...

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Day 6: landscapes of Norway and Sweden

6th days: Today’s stage highlights the differences between the landscapes of Norway and Sweden. In just a few dozen kilometres, the countryside becomes less rugged, the houses change colour and the vegetation becomes denser. We follow minor roads and narrow tracks...

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Day 7: herds of reindeer trotting

7th day: Driving through two nature reserves and a national park We keep our eyes peeled for herds of reindeer trotting across the open moorland or, more alarmingly, standing in the middle of the road as we come round a corner! We are getting ever closer to the Arctic...

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Day 8: home to the Sami

8th day: We continue heading north to Lapland, home to the Sami (as the people of Lapland should be known). Our campsite lies on a small peninsula that juts into the crystal-clear waters of a beautiful lake. Inger, the manager is a charming Sami who also breeds...

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Day 9: the Lofoten Islands

Day 9: Another transit stage takes us back to Norway and one of northern Europe’s most spectacular gems, the Lofoten Islands, which we reach by ferry. The vessel’s prow is an ideal vantage point from which to admire – and photograph – the incredible scenery. Green and...

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Day 10 Trollfjord one beautiful viewpoints in Europe

10th day: Today’s drive is much shorter, so we have time to explore the Lofoten Islands and concentrate on taking great photos We spend the evening in a village at the end of the track, but, before we settle in, we head off under the midnight sun for a “night-time”...

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Day 12: the rugged mountains of northern Sweden

12th day: We leave Lofoten and head up into the most northerly and most magical corner of Sweden. Once again, the landscape changes completely. After the dramatic peaks of Lofoten, the rugged mountains of northern Sweden and have a very desolate atmosphere that we try...

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Day 13: Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest peak

13th day: The fittest among us head off to climb Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest peak. Even though it is not as high as the Glittertind (climbed on day 5), the ascent is longer, so Philippe and the Rally’s doctor make sure that everyone who wants to do the hike is fit...

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Day 14: the first of the “Midnight Sun” stages

14th day: Today’s stage, through a corner of Finland tucked away between Norway and Sweden, has a special place in the hearts of Paris-North Cape’s organisers.  Much of the driving is on the dirt roads for which Finland is famous and which allow us to explore a superb...

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Day 15: The next Midnight Sun stage

15th day : We spend the morning in the “Sami Nature Centre” in the company of some of the people from this beautiful region, who have joined us for a slideshow of our photos. We also get the results from the second jury, which met the previous evening. The next...

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Day 16: Sørøya

16th day:The morning is just as fabulous. We head off towards the island’s little village, walking past a beach of white sand that would not be out of place on a desert island, although the sea is somewhat chillier! Nevertheless, some of the hardier participants can’t...

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Day 17: The North Cape

17th day : We get back to our cars for the queen stage of the Rally, the day we have all been waiting for – the drive to North Cape We arrive in convoy at the stroke of midnight. Headlights on and horns blaring, we line up next to the famous globe, on the edge of a...

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Day 18: photo trek to “the real North Cape”

18th day : A new Trek photo, the one that allows us to reach the real North Cape We wake up late, very late for some. In fact, we are completely disoriented. What time is it? Late morning? Midday? Early evening? Oh yes, midday, not midnight. But when are we going to...

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Day 19: Hamningberg “the end of the road”

19th days: Some of the organisers have set off ahead of us to organise the next photo jury, leaving us to enjoy another of Paris-North Cape’s classic stages – the drive to Hamningberg, an abandoned fishing village on the northeast tip of mainland Europe. Often said to...

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Day 21: the world’s most beautiful sauna

21th day: We spend the evening at a beautiful campsite near one of Philippe's Sami friends, which allows us to luxuriate in what could be the world's most beautiful sauna where the great rally driver and former Paris-North Cape patron Ari Vatanen learnt his trade...

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Day 22: photo trek of the “Bear Trail”

22th day: Yesterday evening we submitted another set of our photos to the jury, so this morning we are free to relax or work on our reports until the results are announced in front of Kuusamo municipal council. We all want to know how well we have done, but we are...

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Day 23: Arne and Kirsti

23th day: Driving along Finland’s sinuous dirt roads, all the people we meet are very welcoming and many have heard of Paris-North Cape. Our hosts for the evening are Arne and Kirsti, a retired couple who have been part of the Rally since its first edition, in 1988....

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Day 24: Take the time to stop

24th day: If you lose your way, do not hesitate to knock on doors. It is easy to lose your way on the labyrinthine network of dirt roads that criss-crosses this part of Finland, so it is not unusual to meet teams going in the opposite direction – are they lost or is...

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Day 25: rest and work on our reports.

25th day: There is nothing planned for today, so we can rest and work on our reports. Even though we were free to choose any theme linked to our journey (apart from the Rally itself) and to plan our subjects before leaving Paris, writing isn’t easy when you are...

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Day 26: Turku

26ème jour : We set off along Finland’s minor roads for a transit stage that will take us to the southwest coast and the country’s old capital at Turku. The area is, in fact, a huge archipelago consisting of thousands of islands, some of them minuscule, scattered over...

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Day 27: welcoming capital, Helsinki

27ème jour : We take the ferry back to the mainland (arriving in plenty of time to get on board, as the next one may not be for some time!) Later in the evening, we submit our latest set of photos and reports. Tomorrow’s jury is very important, as it includes...

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Day 28: Great arrival then photo exhibition on Helsinki

28th day : The morning begins with an open-air show between the presidential palace and the port, near the fruit and vegetable market (the midnight sun produces enormous and extremely tasty strawberries and bilberries) Presented by Markku Veijalainen, one of Finland’s...

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Day 29: Stockholm’s fjord

29th day: The approach along Stockholm’s fjord to Sweden’s capital is even more beautiful than our arrival in Bergen at the start of the Rally So the four hours spent sailing past the deserted and inhabited islands of southern Sweden are a delight. We get off the...

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Day 30: Copenhagen

30th day: We head south to another Nordic capital The peaceful and historic city of Copenhagen. Our photos from the last two days are judged at the offices of the Rally’s long-standing partner, National Geographic Nordic, by a jury headed by the chief editor, Karen....

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Day 31: Latest photos before the final jury

31th day : We have a long drive ahead of us today As we need to get from Denmark to central Belgium, where we will enjoy a last-night party in a village just south of Brussels. Our photos have been sent on ahead in one of the organiser’s cars so they can be presented...

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