We love Varanger
Vadsø is known as «kvenbyen» («the Kvennish town’) and had a Finnish-speaking majority in the 1860s. The Kvens are a Norwegian ethnic minority, descended from Finnish farmers and fishermen who emigrated from northern areas of Finland to Sweden and Norway in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 1833 Vadsø was awarded the status of market town, with its citizens having a monopoly on trade in the area, and the population of the town grew. In the autumn of 1944 large parts of central Vadsø were bombed and burnt and half of its buildings were destroyed. Today Vadsø is the administrative centre of Finnmark. The municipality has a total population of 6 000, with 5 000 people living in the town and around 1 000 in the surrounding communities.
Varanger Museum consists of three departments, located along the Varanger Fjord, in Vardø, South Varanger and Vadsø. The museum documents and presents the multicultural history of Norway’s North border area.
Varanger is the world’s easiest accessible arctic birding destination. In Varanger you have the northern taiga, tundra and arctic coastline in one destination. Within a day’s drive, you can experience the pine grosbeaks in the taiga, and see a wide variety of spcies on the tundra of the Varanger peninsula.
Get on board a traditonal fishing boat or a sailboat and have a fabulous day at the king crabs’ kingdom! King crabs can weigh up to 15 kg and on this trip you will be served a delicious meal prepared from this delicacy.
Vadsøya Culture Park Here you can see traces of Vadsø’s multi-faceted history, such as the remains of a medieval town, the airship masts from voyages made by Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile, war memorials and a rich bird life. Admission free. Open wooden shelter and barbecue area.
More and more people are choosing to explore Varanger from the saddle on their bicycle. It’s no wonder why, considering the spectacular beauty one can see from the roads, mountains and valleys. The infrastructure in Varanger is excellent and easily accessible . This, combined with low volume traffic on the roads, makes bicycling in Varanger a pleasurable experience.
Explore Varanger from the saddle. You will find rides suitable for all experience levels, even for children and beginners. Professional riding instructors will teach you all the necessary skills and provide you with needed safety equipment. In most places, you will even learn how to take care of your horse.
The Varanger region are synonymous with fish. People of Varanger have fished for centuries, and fishing still plays an essential role in our community. Whether by boat or from shore, in a salmon river or in our lakes on the peninsula there are plenty of opportunities to fish in Varanger.
Naturally, the Finns brought the sauna or steam bath with them when they came to Varanger in northern Norway. Sauna should be heated suitably, not too hot. After a warm sauna session you can cool down with a icebath in th arctic ocean that is good for your blood circulation. We warmly recommend it!
The Birdpark is an privat area of 32000 m2, situated in the arctic birch forest in Vestre Jakobselv – south side of the Varanger Peninsula. The area has feeding stations that attracts WILD birds. The diversity of birds is high – in a concentrated area.
Varanger has good, easy hiking terrain suitable for both short and longer walks. There are signposted hiking trails for those who wantto experience the beautiful scenery and also a number of paths and bridleways which you can explore freely.
Varangerfestivalen The Varangerfestival is one of the biggest and oldest music festivals in the high north. The festival presents jazz, rock and world music and is the best place to experience the vibrant Arctic music scene live! The festival takes place in week 32 annually.
Ekkerøy is one of the oldest fishing villages in Finnmark. Previously a typical old Sami settlement along the Varangerfjord, Ekkerøy became one of the new «Norwegian» villages.
The village of Vestre Jakobselv, Ánnejohka, Annijoki, has around 800 inhabitants and is situated in the middle of Varanger. The village is a historic multicultural community, strongly influenced by Kvennish/Finnish settlers.
Varanger Golf-club is the easternmost 9-hole golf course in Europe. The club invites you to play golf in the middle of the night, in the light and warmth of the midnight sun. Try a nightly game of «Golf on top of the world» with new friends.
The Varanger Peninsula National Park stretches across the Varanger Peninsula between Syltefjord and Varangerfjord. The park was established in 2006 to preserve the most Arctic area of the Norwegian mainland. Special and unique landscapes and topology formed in the Ice Age can be found here, along with flora and fauna with eastern and Arctic features. It is also a key area for Arctic foxes and unique Sami cultural artefacts.
National scenic route Varanger is about the long lines in the landscape as well as the long lines of history. Varanger is perhaps the most exotic stretch. A trip along the route leading to the Arctic Ocean will reveal natural surroundings full of contrasts, and the lunar landscape out towards Hamningberg in many ways feels like this is a journey to the world’s end.
Founded in 1789, Vardø is the oldest town in northern Norway. The first settlement in Vardø dates back to the 1330s when Håkon Magnusson had Vardøhus Fort built to defend Norway’s eastern border. Today’s fort is the most northerly in the world, and was completed in 1738.