Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Hammerfest
The World´s northernmost city, Hammerfest, received its city status on 17 July 1789. In 1891, it was the first city in Europe with electric street lighting. The same year, large sections of the city was ravaged by fire. In fellowship with Vardø, Hammerfest is Northern Norway´s oldest city. Hammerfest muncipality has approximately 10.000 inhabitants and covers a area of 848,7 km2. Hammerfest lies on parts of Sørøya, Kalvøya and Seiland.
The town was founded because of its natural harbour, something which is equally important today for Hammerfests economic foundation. Despite its geographical position, The Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten) has daily departures in Hammerfest. Hammerfest has maintained its international connections. As early as 1852, the first international measurement of the earths circumference was completed in Hammerfest. The landscape in Hammerfest and Kvalsund is varied, from alpine terrain to broad, cultivated shorelines and the nature is both beautiful and easily available.
The natural surroundings are the real thing and it is to be enjoyed actively! In these areas, one finds fjords and straits, skerries, rivers and lakes, moors, valleys and a hint of wilderness plains. There is always the season for new and different discoveries of nature. Regardless of the time of year you visit - with the mystical Midnight sun, a spectacular thunderstorm or the magical Northern Lights.
Hammerfest is a modern town with an open and unique town atmosphere, where the town square and harbour are its natural meeting places. Hammerfest is an important communication centre in the county of Finnmark, and this makes it an ideal starting point for coastal and other scenic excursions in the county. Trade and commerce in the town is varied, with the fishing industry, travel, commerce, public services and maritime enterprises as the core sectors.
By virtue of its status as the world´s northernmost town, Hammerfest is one of the key destinations in the county. The town has a long tradition as a service base for the Barents Sea fishing fleet. As a result maritime activities constitute a major part of the town’s trade and commerce.
Hammerfest is experiencing growth in the fish farming industry, and one of the country’s most modern salmon slaughter and packing houses is based here. Hammerfest is strategically located in relation to the fishing areas. The sea has always been the basis for settlement in Hammerfest, and the harbour itself is the artery of the development and life of the town. A well protected harbour has been the cornerstone for urban growth and growth in the surrounding areas. Hammerfest has always been an international arctic town and fishing port, and the economic life of the town is essentially based on the use of resources along the coast and from the sea. Over time an extensive range of services has grown up, as well as a high level of expertise in respect of maritime business activities, and Hammerfest is a natural servicing centre for the Barents Sea fishing fleet.
Hammerfest port has around 4,000 registered calls from ships each year and is also, in addition to the fisheries, a central container port. The fishing harbour on Fuglenes (1 km from the centre) offers a good site for large vessels, with good screening, secure anchorage, good unloading facilities and easy access to a range of services. Rypefjord fishing harbour, Polarbase, Leirvik and the Shell plant on Stornes in Rypefjord. The latter is the largest import plant of petroleum in Finnmark. Trading areas for maritime business have been set up in this area. Hammerfest Maritime Business Park is also located in this area.
Hammerfest has become the petroleum centre for the county, with a supply, oil protection and helicopter base. The municipality has also been designated as the host municipality for the expansion of the Snøhvit, Askeladden and Albatross gas fields.
When the Barents Sea was opened for exploration in 1980, the Norwegian Parliament decided that the supply service for the petroleum industry off Finnmark and parts of Troms would be undertaken from Hammerfest. In 1986 a highly functional and modern base plant with considerable capacity was ready in Leirvika, 4 km from the centre of Hammerfest.
In one part of the harbour area a salmon slaughter and packing house has now been established with its own well boat quay and refrigeration depot, while Norway Seafoods is now building a new processing plant. Planning for the further development of the area is underway.
Hammerfest Airport is one of Norway’s busiest short runway airports with about 100,000 arriving and departing passengers per year. The flight time to Oslo is less than 3 hours, and there are 7 departures to and from Tromsø daily. You can reach most places in Finnmark by car in one day from Hammerfest. Hammerfest is therefore an important junction for overland transport and communication within the county. The journey time to Oslo is 25-30 hours.
COASTAL STEAMER (HURTIGRUTA)
The World´s Most Beautiful Voyage is a voyage like no other. Nothing can compare with it. Nothing about this journey will resemble anything you have ever experienced before. A ticket for the Coastal Steamer is a ticket to the theatre, an 11-day drama in which new acts constantly unfold all around you. See the pictures from the Coastal Steamer taken by one of our passengers.
The fishing village of Forsøl lies about 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Hammerfest and has approximatly 250 inhabitants. Almost 50% are under 20 years old and this is a major reason why Forsøl still has its own secondary school. The settlement is sited around a natural harbour and this is very important for the most important industry at the site: the fishing industry. Many of the residents also have land-based jobs in Hammerfest. More than 50 types of birds have been recorded in Forsøl and you can fish for trout in the local lakes and rivers.
People have lived in this region for more than 5,000 years and clear traces of earlier settlements have been found here. This is one of the richest and bestknown areas for archaeological finds in Finnmark County. Archaeological excavations reveal traces of settlement in many places. The settlements date
from the early Stone Age up until the Middle Ages. The area has been equipped for the public with paths, fireplaces and information signs.
THE POLAR BEAR CLUB
This is a museum exhibiting Hammerfest´s long history and proud tradition of Arctic hunting and fishing. There are exhibits of stuffed polar bears, seals, lynx, puffins, wolves etc. Membership of this exclusive and world famous society is available by payment of a one-off fee. The only criteria for joining is to have visited Hammerfest. Members receive a diploma, membership card, stickers, statues and the famous polar Bear pin in silver and enamel.
SALEN TOWN MOUNTAIN
On the roof of Hammerfest you will find Mikkelgammen a "darfegoathi" or Sami peat hut, built just as resident Sami people have made them since time immemorial. This type of building has traditionally been used as a more permanent dwelling than the now common "lavvo" or Sami tent. At the top of the town mountain you will also find a restaurant and the Varden lookout tower. The top of the mountain can be reached, for example, from the centre via the zigzag path (Sikksakkveien). There is an excellent view across the surrounding islands. During the summer you can walk up from the town centre via Sikksakkveien in about 10 minutes.
Starting from the inner harbour in Hammerfest, tours are arranged to "Åttringen" in the Sørøysund basin and to the surrounding islands outside the town. The tour can be adapted to the wishes of the customer and it is easy to accommodate tours with overnight stays and over several days.
If it´s art and culture you want, take the tour to Rypefjord, a short distance outside Hammerfest centre, where the artist Eva Arnesen opened her gallery "Syvstjerna" (The Pleiades) in April 2000. Eva Arnesen is one of the country’s most gifted colourists, and uses her special skills to portray the light here in the north, and especially the captivating northern lights.
This museum in Hammerfest was ceremoniously opened by HRH Crown Prince Håkon Magnus on 1 July 1998. The exhibition, entitled "from ashes and ruins" bears witness to an important part of the town and county’s history. In the final phase of the Second World War, an artic area 1.5 times the size of Denmark was completely destroyed by the fighting. Hammerfest was referred to as Europe’s Hiroshima, the town had been totally levelled and only the grave chapel remained intact.
THE SUMMER SQUARE
The square in Hammerfest (Sommertorget) is at the heart of the town centre, a few minutes’ walk from the express liner quay and the quay area where cruise ships and express ferries berth. There is a great deal of activity here in the summer, both from local residents and travellers, express liner passengers and tourists from the many cruise ships which visit during a short and hectic summer season.
THE MERIDAN STONE
To commemorate the first surveying of the earth. Located in the Fuglenes quarter.
A defensive work facing the sea. Also in the Fuglenes quarter, not far from the Meridian Stone.
OLE OLSENS PLASS
Located in the centre of the town, where you will also find the splendid music pavilion, the fountain, the Summer Square, the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society and more besides.
The church has special architectural features. It has, for example, no altarpiece, but a glass mosaic image at the front. Services are held in several languages during the summer. Concerts.
St. Michael´s church is the most northerly Catholic church in the world.
Melkøya is an island just west of the town of Hammerfest. The 0.69-square-kilometre island is connected to Hammerfest (on the island of Kvaløya by the Melkøysund Tunnel which was completed in 2003. The industrial island is the endpoint of the undersea pipeline that transports natural gas from the Snøhvit natural gas fields in the Barents Sea. The gas goes through the 168-kilometre long pipeline to the processing station on Melkøya where it is converted into liquefied natural gas. The plant opened in 2007 and it is operated by Statoil.
Statoil ASA is a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Stavanger. It is a fully integrated petroleum company with operations in thirty-six countries. The company has about 23,000 employees. As of 2013, the Government of Norway is the largest shareholder in Statoil with 67% of the shares, while the rest is public stock. The ownership interest is managed by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The company is headquartered and led from Stavanger, while most of Statoil´s international operations are currently led from Fornebu.
Experience the Hammerfest region’s wild and spectacular landscape from a snow scooter. Tours are also arranged for the evenings if the conditions are right for seeing the northern lights. Experience the winter landscape with professional mushers, and learn to drive the dog team over snow-covered mountains and mountain plateaus. A really special experience.
You can visit the islands and bird cliffs outside Hammerfest by boat. Thousands of birds nest here and this is an excellent trip for photography. This tour can be combined with a fishing tour.
Ice fishing. Snow scooter trips to areas with many fishing lakes where both trout and char can be caught.
Sea fishing. An all year round activity in which the tour goes by fishing boat to the surrounding islands. You can also cook and serve your own catch on board.
Fresh water fishing. Fish in several hundred different lakes both in the Hammerfest area and further inland. You have the opportunity of fishing in the Repparfjord River, one of Norway’s best salmon rivers.
Hammerfest has become an important service centre for the fish farming industry in Finnmark and offers a well-developed range of services. With its long coastline and numerous sheltered fjord areas, Hammerfest has much to offer fish farmers. In Hammerfest there are currently 10 farming licences for salmon and trout in use. Other varieties of fish, such as catfish, cod, haddock, shellfish and sea urchins are being developed.
Hammerfest and Kvalsund Golfclub is a golf course with 6 holes and a variation of difficulties. The course lies approximately 50 km from Hammerfest and 7 km from Skaidi.