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Sørøya

Sørøya is Norway's fourth-largest island and is located along the western Finnmark coast - more precisely at 70.40° N. The island is divided between the two boroughs of Hasvik (the south-western region) and Hammerfest (in the north-east).

Hasvåg, Copyright © 2003, Anne Olsen-Ryum
Of the island’s population, 93 % live in the borough of Hasvik, which comprises the three main villages of Hasvik in the south, Sørvær at the western tip and Breivikbotn within the Breivik fjord between the two villages.

Nature

Sørøya has unique and magnificent nature. Though very few trees grow successfully on the island, throughout the summer months the landscape is surprisingly green with beautiful flowers, shrubs, ferns and mosses.

There are also spectacularly rugged areas littered with rocks, steep cliffs and mountaintops reaching for the clouds. The Vatnafjell at 653m is Sørøya’s highest point. In the western part of Sørøya, you will encounter two cliffs where numerous marine birds have their nesting sites: Andotten (‘North Cape in miniature’) and Storgalten. Both are protected wildlife areas.
Copyright © 2003, Anne Olsen-Ryum

Outdoor activities

Despite the rather rocky landscape and absence of soil in most parts, Sørøya offers its visitors numerous unforgettable outdoor activities, such as fishing adventures in fresh and saltwater, hunting for hare and grouse, collecting seagull eggs and the gathering of berries and mushrooms.

Throughout history such activities have played an essential part in harvesting daily foods. However, even today many people take delight in spending their pastime out of doors.

Winter

Undoubtedly, the winter months can be challenging, with no direct sunlight from November to January. The arrival of rough weather in late autumn brings the fierce storms, snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Conditions force closed roads and cancelled flights and ferry departures. These months, though, are always charming in their special way.

Spring

As a result, it is always a magical sight (and a relief) when the sun returns at the end of January, after two months of hibernation. At the beginning of May, the seagulls start to nest, and many locals launch their boats after a long winter.

Summer and autumn

The summer and early autumn months offer all sorts of outdoor activities. If you are lucky, you’ll have the weather on your side and if you are not just remember, “There’s no thing such as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing”!

Each July, a week-long festival called Sørøydagene (Sørøya days), with activities for young and old, is held. Many people find their way to Sørøya during this period. During autumn, many hunters come to the island to chase hare and grouse.