Utvær Lighthouse. North Sea Meets the Norwegian Sea

This is Norway’s westernmost lighthouse, and thus it marks the line of transition between the North Sea to the southwest and the Norwegian Sea to the northwest.

Utvær Lighthouse

  • Utvær Lighthouse was built in 1900 and automated in 2004.
  • Located on little Utvær island in Solund municipality about 50 miles northwest from Bergen and 20 miles northwest from Fedje.
  • The population of Solund is around 875 with most of the people living on the main islands of Sula and Ytre Sula
  • Solund is at the mouth of the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest fjord and the second deepest fjord in the world.
  • The lighthouse stands 101.7 feet (31 meters) tall and 147.6 feet (45 meters) above high tide mark.
  • The round cast iron tower was produced by the Parisian company Barbier. The entire lighthouse is painted red.
  • There are also several keeper’s houses and other light station buildings.
  • Solund Kommune manages the light station, which is staffed in the summer by volunteer keepers.
  • Utvær is a small, rocky island about 6.5 km (4 mi) due west of Ytre Sula.  It is not inhabited year round. Accessible only by boat, but guided tours are available. Site open, tower open to guided tours.

Lenst Vest

Utvær is defined at a national heritage island. All the islands around and including Utvær are protected bird reservations and national park. Lenst Vest takes care of and looks after Utvær’s interests. It’s leader, Torald Storøy is on the island most of the time from May to September. Lengst Vest has a great website for anyone interested in knowing about or visiting Utvær. The site has a good picture gallery too.

The County Governor of Sogn og Fjordane declared Utvær to be a nature reserve. This decision applies to the Utvær island group and surrounding sea. An exception is made for the island of Utvær itself and the sea immediately around it. The Norwegian Riksantikvar (preservation of Norwegian heritage) has made a proposal to preserve the lighthouse itself.

History

  • Utvær is famous in history right back to the Viking Age. In 1066 Harald Hardråde sailed from Solund when he left to conquer England. 200 vessels plus supply boats and other small craft were gathered together, and the saga says that some of the vessels departed from Utvær. The battle ended with defeat at Stamford Bridge. On the east side of the bay near the Likberget Mountain you can see some marks in the mountainside. The story is that these are marks made by Vikings sharpening their swords before leaving on a raid.
  • Fishing is the most important industry in Solund. Solund is popular with boaters with its myriad exciting islands and also attracts numerous tourists looking for outdoor recreation and fishing. Utvær island and the Utvær fyr (lighthouse) is a popular destination for tourists during the summer.
  • In the Middle Ages there was a chapel to the south of the existing settlement. The first written references to it appear in the work of Bjørgynar Kalveskinn from 1320. The chapel was made of timber and was approximately 7.5 by 6.3 metres (25 × 21 ft), and it could seat a congregation of about 120. The chapel bell from 1641 is currently exhibited at the Heibergske Samlingar exhibition in Kaupanger. Four sermons a year were held in the chapel and the priest had to come by boat from Eivindvik. He was often stranded on the islands nearer the mainland as a result of bad weather. In 1718 the chapel was moved in to the island of Husøy. It was pulled down at the end of the 19th century when Straumen church was inaugurated.
  • The lighthouse burned down in February 1945 during an allied air attack during World War II. The lighthouse was reconstructed from 1948–1952. The lighthouse itself took on a different form from previously and the “balcony” on the top was one storey lower. It was rebuilt in 1948.

Accommodations on Utvær Island

  • It is possible to get lodging at the schoolhouse on the island. There are 10 beds.
  • The standard is very simple, mattresses and outdoor toilets.
  • You have to bring your own food and water. There are no shops.
  • Cooking is done by gas.
  • For reservations and more information, call or send a sms-message to: 
Torald Storøy.
    Tel.: +47 99 39 68 13.
    Or send an e-mail to: bestilling@lengstvest.no

Getting to and from Utvær

  • There is a service available on request from Kolgrov all year round. In the summer season there is a scheduled service with departures from Hardbakke, Eivindvik, and Korssund.
  • From Bergen: Boat from Strandkaia – Name of the route: Bergen- Nordfjord – Ålesund
  • Reservation required. Tel.:+ 47 55 90 70 70
  • All days except Saturdays and Sundays : 4:30 pm ( 16:30)
  • To Mjømna: 5.50 pm.(kl. 17:50), From Mjømna 5:55 p.m. ( 17:55) ( A different, smaller boat)
  • To Nåra 6:30 p. M. ( 18.30)
  • Bussdirectly from Nåra to Kolgrov
  • Boat to Utvær from Kolgrov. ( A different, smaller boat)
  • Reservation required : Tel.: +47 993 58 259 or +47 95 78 96 35 within 08:00 pm ( 20:00) the day before travel
  • Return from Utvær: 08:20. All days except Sundays and Mondays.
    The trip back to Bergen is all connected: Kolgrov, Nåra, Mjømna, Bergen, in Bergen 11:40 a.m. (kl. 11.40)

Package offer to Utvær

  • Tel.: +47 91 18 98 22
  • Online Contact form
  •  Email: bahus@online.no
  • www.solundaktiv.com
  • Accommodation at Solund Leilegheitshotell, Steinsund Marinesenter, Gåsvær Fiskeferie, Solund Rorbuferie or Solund Gjestegaard.
  • Guided trip to Utvær included. Departure every Sunday between June 24 and August 19.
  • Solund is an island paradise with more than 1700 islands and islets. The myriad of islands, little trafficated roads and well marked hiking trails make Solund an eldorado for outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, biking and hiking.

Lighthouse Safari to Utvær

  •  Bookings: Tel.: +47 57 73 90 20
  •  Email: stiftinga@jensbua.no
  • The trip starts by boat from Hardbakke, the municipal centre of Solund. Depending on the weather conditions, you will go either north or south to Ytre Sula and through the islands of Solund. No stop is planned on the way out to Utvær. On reaching Utvær the boatman will guide you on a walk round the island along the North Sea Trail (Nordsjøløypa). Those who want to will also have the opportunity to go up to the top of the lighthouse. The return route to Hardbakke goes via Notøy, Husøy and Indrevær to Kolgrov, and then on to Hardbakke. No food or beverages are available on the trip, so take something with you if you need it, and remember your camera!
  • Timetable: Sundays 24 June – 19 August
  • Hardbakke 16:15 hours
  • Utvær 16:45 hours
  • Utvær 17:15 hours
  • Return from Utvær 18:00 hours
  • Kolgrov 18:30 hours
  • Hardbakke 19:00 hours
  • Please note that this trip must be booked at least one day in advance. It is also subject to favourable weather conditions.

Photo essay on Utvær by photographer Svein-Magne Tunli.

 Wonderful video of the lighthouse in action on a midsummer night.


See larger map

Share

This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål

One Response to Utvær Lighthouse. North Sea Meets the Norwegian Sea

  1. Pingback: Westernmost Norway: Utvær Lighthouse | Lighthouses of Norway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


3 + 6 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>