Værøy Lighthouse, at the tip of the Lofoten archipelago
- Built in 1880, Værøy Lighthouse was automated in 1984, but has been inactive since 2008.
- Standing 13.8 meters tall, and 14.5 meters above the high tide level, the square cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, rises from a 1-1/2 story stone keeper’s house. The lighthouse is painted white; lantern roof is red.
- Located at the east side of the entrance to the harbor of Sørland. A road leads to a spot near the lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. Værøy is in Nordland county, Norway.
- Only Skomvær lighthouse is further along on the archipelgo.
Væroy — A spectacular Lofoten island in Lofoten.
- Værøy, also called Sørland, is one of the outermost of the Lofoten Islands, about 18 km (11.5 mi) west southwest of Sørvågen. The closest “city” is Bodø. The helicopter takes 20 minutes from Værøy to Bodø. The ferry takes the same route 4 hours if it goes direct. This is the longest ferry route in Norway.
- The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sørland. Most of the residents live in the Sørland area surrounding the main harbor. The old Værøy Lighthouse sits at the end of that harbor.
- The Old Norse form of the name was Veðrøy. The first element is veðr which means “weather” (here referring to harsh weather and the exposed and unsheltered position of the island). The last element is øy which means “island”. Historically, the name has been spelled Værø.
- The island municipality is made up of many islands, the two largest islands being Værøya and Mosken. The Norwegian Sea lies to the northwest and the Vestfjorden lies to the southeast. The Moskenstraumen maelstrom lies to the north between Værøy and Moskenesøya.
The weather in Værøy can be very changeable. Sunshine, rain, wind, and mist may interchange rapidly. The winter climate is mild and the temperature seldom drops below 0 °C (32 °F). This makes conditions for stockfish exceptionally good. Røst and Værøy are rather famous with meteorologists, as this is the most northern location in the world where there is no meteorological winter: the average temperature is mostly above freezing all winter. The winter temperatures in southern Lofoten represent the highest temperature anomaly in the world relative to latitude due to the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean Sea. However the winter weather is rather windy and damp, so it does not feel so mild.
Puffins and Lunehunds (Puffin Dogs)
- The large seabird colonies on the outer side of the Måstadhalvøya Værøy, were formerly an important and necessary food for the islanders. Today seabirds are among Værøy’s biggest tourist attractions. There are around 300,000 puffins in Måstadfjellet. Puffins adorn the town’s coat of arms.
- Norwegian Lundehund (Puffin hound) . So important were puffins for Værøy’s people, that they bred special dogs for this hunt. Today there are less than 600 Lundehunds in Norway – and they are all come from the small, roadless hamlet Måstad on Værøy. The Norwegian Lundehund is a small dog of the Spitz type. Its name is a compound noun composed of the elements Lunde, meaning puffin (Norwegian: lunde “puffin” or lundefugl “puffin bird”), and hund, meaning dog. The breed was originally developed for the hunting of puffins and their eggs.
- The Lundehund has a great range of motion in its joints, allowing it to fit into and extricate itself from narrow passages. Dogs of this breed are able to bend their head backwards along their own spine and turn their forelegs to the side at a 90-degree horizontal angle to their body, much like human arms. Their pricked, upright ears can be folded shut to form a near-tight seal by folding forward or backward. The Norwegian Lundehund is a polydactyl: instead of the normal four toes per foot, the Lundehund normally has six toes, all fully formed, jointed and muscled. Some specimens may on occasion have more or fewer than six toes per foot. The outer coat is dense and rough with a soft undercoat. The Lundehund is adapted to climb narrow cliff paths in Røst where it originally would have hunted puffins.
The Moskstraumen (whirlpool) is located between the Lofoten Point of Moskenesøya (Moskenes municipality) and Værøy, at the small island of Mosken. It involves strong tidal currents flowing through the shallows between these islands and the Atlantic Ocean and the deep Vestfjorden, creating eddies and whirlpools, the largest one having a diameter of some 40–50 meters (130–160 ft) and inducing surface water ripples up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) in amplitude.
The currents are about 8 kilometers (5 mi) wide and suck in various small microorganisms, thereby attracting fish and fishing boats, which could be in danger even in modern times. The flow currents are strongest around July and August. They can be clearly seen from a plane or the nearby Lofotodden Hill (601 m above sea level) on Moskenesøya. There are regular tourist boat trips between Moskenesøya and Værøy. The Moskstraumen was described in the 13th century in the Old Norse poems Edda and remained an attractive subject for painters and writers, including Edgar Allan Poe, Walter Moers and Jules Verne. It was here in this stream that Jules Verne said that Captain Nemo and the submarine “Nautilus” disappeared as described in his book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Video: Værøy – an island in Lofoten
Lighthouses near Værøy
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