Hammerfest – the world’s northernmost town – is one of the most important travel destinations in Northern Norway. It has approx. 9,500 inhabitants, and a surface area of about 844 km2. It covers parts of the islands of Sørøya, Kvaløya and Seiland, and ever since it was awarded city status in 1789, it has been the natural centre of the region. Trade and industry is characterised by fishing, fish processing, the Snøhvit field (LNG), service industries and tourism.
Kvalsund is a suburb of Hammerfest. Kvalsund’s approx. 1,200 inhabitants have 1,850 km2 at their disposal, most of which is open countryside. Kvalsund boasts excellent places for fishing and hunting. Repparfjord River is well-known as one of the best salmon rivers in Norway. Kvalsund became a separate municipality as early as in 1869. The administrative centre is in the village of the same name, Kvalsund. The municipality is centrally situated in west Finnmark with only a short distance to the nearest airport. The distance from the village of Kvalsund to Hammerfest is 32 km, and to Alta and Lakselv the distance is 112 km.
The municipality is composed to a large extent of untouched countryside, which provides great opportunities for experiences on the sea and coast, lakes and rivers, valleys and mountains. In Kvalsund, there are also unique opportunities for sea fishing from the shore. On a tour around the municipality, you will also find rock carvings, a Sami church, a chapel built by German friends of peace, a stone monument from World War II, the Sami sacrificial stone “Stallo”, one of Norway’s longest suspension bridges, the world’s first tidal power station and much more.
Rivers, Mountains and Valleys
Most of the municipality is an open recreational area and there are many excellent fishing lakes and rivers. The largest lakes are Doggevann, Nagjet, Nedre Saltvann and Trollvannet on the island of Seiland. One of Norway’s best salmon fishing rivers, the Repparfjord river, is also in Kvalsund municipality, and there are many other rivers where you can find salmon such as the Skaidielva, Kvalsundelva and Russelva rivers.
For the most part, the terrain rises steeply from the coast. In the north and west, the terrain is hilly, but it flattens out towards Sennalandet in the south. Sennalandet lies approximately 200-300 metres above sea level, and is a typical mountain plateau area which is divided by numerous rivers and lakes. Between the mainland and the two islands of Kvaløya and Seiland, there are two narrow sounds, Kvalsundet and Vargsundet.
If you want to climb in the mountains, the highest mountain tops are Seilandsjøkelen (986 m) on the island of Seiland, Store Savgastat (713 m) to the south and Skinnfjellet (713 m) in the Kvalsunddalen valley, all of which are easily accessible. The biggest valleys in the municipality are Repparfjorddalen, Kvalsunddalen and Russelvdalen.
Skaidi, “the place where the rivers meet”, is where you will end up whether you are travelling from Nordkapp, Porsanger, Alta or Hammerfest. Skaidi is a prime destination for both summer and winter experiences.
The settlement pattern in Hammerfest and Kvalsund is scattered. We find isolated houses in areas without roads, plus small villages as well as Hammerfest with all its amenities of urban living.
The earliest traces of human settlement on the islands goes back some 9,000 years, several millennia after the remaining ice receded and made the area inhabitable for people and animals. The first settlers in the Hammerfest region were nomadic and subsisted on fishing and hunting.
Nature has given the region mountains, coastline, fjords and mountain plateaus, a lively coastal heritage and incredible flora and fauna – all waiting for your discovery.
Both Hammerfest and Kvalsund/Skaidi are excellent starting points to experience the mountains, plains, land and sea – in all seasons. Experience the midnight sun in the summer and the ice, snow, cold, darkness and the northern lights in the winter.
The cultural life in Hammerfest and Kvlasund is dynamic, with many high-quality contributions within the fields of textile arts, wood carving, painting, music, dance and theatre. Our rich and versatile cultural life is best experienced all year round.
Choose Hammerfest and/or Kvalsund as your point of departure for your holiday through Finnmark (a part of the Norwegian Lapland), to ensure a great start to your vacation, or finish your trip here for a memorable end to your holiday. You will feel the warmth of our welcome!