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Vadsø in Norway Vadsø municipality coat of arms


1.258,1 km2

Vadsø Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Vadsø

Vadsø is located on Varangerhalvøya peninsula, by Varangerfjord. Vadsø muncipality has approximately 6.100 inhabitants and covers a area of 1.258,1 km2. Vadsø is also the administrative centre for Finnmark County with the seat for the County's State Administration and the administrative seat for Finnmark County municipality. Vadsø is a multi-cultural municipality with Finnish, Saami and Norwegian populations. This can be seen in the old buildings. The bird colony cliff at Ekkerøy is also outstanding. Thousands of cormorants nest here. Road access right up to the cliff.

There are old Norwegian trading stores and Finnish buildings where livestock barns and homes are combined constructions. Unfortunately, there are no Saami homes remaining, but examples may be seen further along the fjord. This borough is a typical coastal Saami municipality. Vadsø, unlike most places in Finnmark, a number of 19th century wooden houses preserved close to the city centre, notably the house of Esbensen, built by a Norwegian, and the house of Tuomainen, built by a Finn. On the island of Vadsøya is the airship mast used by Umberto Nobile and Roald Amundsen for their expedition over the North Pole with the airship Norge in 1926, and used again on Nobile´s flight with the airship Italia in 1928.

Up in the Far North but boasting a pleasant climate. Coastal, but nevertheless inland. A blending of Arctic and European vegetation. Typical Norwegian culture with heavy overtones of Saami, Finnish and other influences. Vadsø in a nutshell: a municipality brimming with adventurous activities waiting to be experienced. Sea, mountain lakes and salmon rivers. Impressive bird colony cliffs; tempestuous seas reverberating with the sounds of ocean life. Naked plateaux and luxuriant river valleys. The ever-changing light adding new colours to the surroundings. The Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten) has daily departures.


Ekkerøy is one of the few places in Finnmark where pre-World War II buildings can be seen. When the German army retreated from the Litsa front and Kirkenes in late 1944, they burned most buildings in the county. Buildings on the north side of the Varangerfjorden survived because the Russians advanced so quickly that the German troops in this area fled west to get across the Tana river before they were cut off and, therefore, did not have enough time to obey the order to destroy all buildings. The headland on the northern tip of Ekkerøy is called Varnes and its eastern tip is called Skagodden. The bay on the northeastern side of the neck which joins Ekkerøy to the mainland is called Yttersida and that on the southwestern side is called Innersida.

On Nesset, Vadsø Museum has restorated the old Kjeldsen fish plant, with pier in the sea, cod-liver oil cooker and country store from the time when there were lively fisheries here. The museum is open during the summer time. On the pier, one building (which previously belonged to the Kjeldsen fish plant) has been converted to a restaurant, called Seahorse (Havhesten).


At Ekkerøy you will find the only bird colony cliff in Finnmark with road access almost to colony. The bird rock Flåget is situated on the outskirts of the village, and here about 20 000 pairs of seagulls / kittiwakes. The bird rock lies south-oriented towards the Varangerfjord and is a cliff that rises steeply 40-50 metres from the sea. The bird rock has a length of 1 km and is easy to get at - about 100 metres from a small car park.

The kittiwakes arrive at Flåget in March and lay eggs in May. When the laying of eggs is at its peak, you can see local people pick eggs using a long pole. The kittiwakes leave the bird rock in September. In order to take care of the bird rock and the rich bird life in Ekkerøy a nature reserve has been established. Here you can watch a various choice of wading birds that are to be found on the beaches of the peninsula of Ekkerøy. There are big colonies of eider ducks, and during the period from January to April you can observe the beautiful king eider and Steller's eider in the harbour. Several very rare species of birds have been seen in Ekkerøy.


Lille Ekkerøy island lies in the Varangerfjorden, about 2 kilometres off the coast of the mainland Varanger Peninsula. It is located about 2 kilometres southeast of the village of Krampenes and about 5 kilometres northeast of Ekkerøy. The town of Vadsø is located about 20 kilometres to the west of the island.


Vadsø municipality - has restored two farms and one fishing port, each of which document the diverse history of Vadsø. "Tuomainengården" from the 1840s is one of the few remaining intact fishing port installations in the country, and "Esbensensgården" is a Norwegian trader's property from the same period. Both lie at the heart of Vadsø. The airship's mast at Vadsøya is the most conspicuous sight in the municipality.

It was constructed in Italy and Sweden by Italian and Norwegian engineers. The mast was used as the anchoring mast for the airship "Norge" when Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile and Lincoln Ellsworth conquered the North Pole in 1925. Nobile also used the mast during a stopover in Vadsø in 1928, on his second trip to the North Pole.


Vadsø terrain is ideally suited to hiking. Summer is the time for Nature walks. Many marked paths and wide expanses beckon to the mountain enthusiast. There are no tourist cabins here, so you must take your own tent and equipment like a map, compass etc. Direct access to the countryside from the town or the main road.

In Autumn, you can pick berries and gather mushrooms. Most travellers think that Finnmark is at its most beautiful in the Autumn. The air is clearest then and at no other time of the year will you see such a radiant colour spectre. The flora is distinctive for its many East-European species. You need to make your own way around here. A geologist's treasure trove.

Winter offers the chance for skiing on a variety of prepared trails. Also opportunities for dog sled rides across the plateau, ice fishing and small game hunting. A richly diverse birdlife that is unique, with easy access to the bird colonies. From sea eagles to the smallest sparrow. Birdwatchers will find the Varangerfjord an fascinating area, as this is a Winter habitation area for East-European bird species.


The Park is approximately 1.804 km2. Established in in 2006 in the municipalities of Båtsfjord, Nesseby, Vadsø and Vardø.

The area gave the name to the Varangian glaciation episode. A large part of this peninsula, including the town Vardø located on an island just east of the mainland, has an arctic tundra climate. However, on the south coast, including the town Vadsø, there is sufficient summer heat for birch trees to grow.

The landscape is formed before the Ice Age, when the entire country was covered by ice. The ice have marked the landscape whith a quite unique landscape forms. The flora and fauna have species from the Arctic and East Sibir (Russia).

Sami culture and tradition has left behind a wealth of traces and stories linked to the region. In old Sami culture, plants, animals and places all possessed souls and had considerable significance for day-to-day life.


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 Midnight Sun stays above the horizon, and it is light 24 hours a day. The sky must be clear and there must be unobstructed visibility northwards in order to see the Midnight Sun. A summer night on the fjord or in the mountains is an experience not to be missed, you can go fishing in the fjord, which contains splendid variation of fish, or you can take a walk in the wilderness surrounding.


Aurora Borealis is the Latin name for the Northern Lights – solar winds that meet the atmosphere in a zone around the magnetic North Pole. The Northern Lights are only visible when the sky is dark and clear, from August to April, and they are most intense from 10 pm to midnight. The region on the 700 northern latitude is a fantastic place for experiencing the beautiful and intense play of colours given off by the Northern Lights.


The dark time, or the long, dark Polar Night, lasts from 30th November - 12th January - there is only a twilight-dusk type of light (the blue light) for a few hours during the middle of the day. This does not mean that it becomes totally dark, however. The aurora borealis trails its multicoloured banner across the sky and the moon lights the scene just like the nightlight of Our Lord. The experience of the winter with the uniqueness of the light, the northern lights and snow is fantastic. Especially beautiful is the blue light southwards, just before it becomes dark.


Fishing enthusiasts can fish in lakes for Arctic trout and trout, in the rivers for salmon, Arctic sea trout, and sea trout, and in the sea for salt water fish. You are able to fish in the sea from the shore or in a rented boat. Specially recommended is fishing for Coalfish at Kibygrunnen (shallows).


Golfclubs in Finnmark.