- The Capital of Lofoten

Lofoten is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful regions in Norway, and most appreciated by tourists that visit the district in thousands every summer.

Appr. 200 000 tourists is visiting every year.

The small town Svolvær is one of the most popular destinations, and here you get a real taste of Norwegian coastal life within the frame of a town.

Street in Svolvær, Norway

Svolvær is the administrative centre of Vågan municipality in Nordland, Norway.

The town itself has a population of 4,185 in January 2011, while the Vågan municipality has a population of about 9,023.

In 1919 Svolvær was separated from Vågan as a town and municipality of its own, but it was again merged with Vågan in 1964.

Svolvær Airport. Photo: Sindre Aanonsen

The airport in Svolvær, Svolvær Lufthavn Helle, has daily flights to Bodø , Stokmarknes and Leknes, and has also flights to Tromsø .

Many will find it to be rough conditions, but the rather small airplanes takes the passengers safely to their destinations, all year around.
The town is partly built on small islands, connected by bridges, and Svolvær has boat and ferry connections to Skutvik and Bodø.

Svolvær and Hurtigruten

On Sunday, July 2. In 1893, at 08.30 in the morning, the Hurtigruten ship ”Vesteraalen” started from Trondheim on it’s first voyage ever.  After visiting Rørvik, Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen and Bodø, "Vesteraalen" arrived Svolvær in the evening on July 3.

Svolvær is still a port of call for the Hurtigruten , and two times a day one of the Hurtigruten ships visits the harbour of Svolvær.


Svolvær Church

The Svolvær Church was build in 1934 from funds donated by the people of the town.

A beautiful church in the centre of the town, designed by architect Harald Sund and August Nielsen.

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The Lofoten Cathedral

Close to Svolvær, also located in Vågan municipality, you find scenic Kabelvåg, and the Lofoten Cathedral.

The Fishery

For hundreds of years, Lofoten has been famous for it's cod fishery, when spawning ready cod from the Barents Sea comes to Lofoten to spawn.

Fishermen from the whole Norwegian coastline are coming to Lofoten that time of the year, just as they have done for centuries.

With background from archeologic discoverys, one believes that the Lofoten fishery has probably been going on for as long as 6000 years.

It is also believed that the Vikings were the first to hang the fish on racks to dry, before they were brought to other European countries by ships

The real Lofoten fishery, is supposed to start when King Øystein in the 11th century build the first fishercabins in Lofoten to attract more fishermen to the region, as the fishery was important to the Norwegian economy.

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Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms for Vågan municipality was granted in 1973, presenting a silver colored cod on a blue background.

The cod and fishery has always played an important role in the development of Svolvær and the surrounding district.