Vågsøy: Scenic West Norway
Vågsøy is a municipality in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Nordfjord. The municipality’s administrative center is the town of Måløy. Vågsøy is also the name of the main island in the municipality with an area of 25 sq miles (64 square kilometres). Vågsøy is the second largest fishing municipality in Norway and is one of the most scenic areas in Western Norway.
Vågsøy has four of the nine lighthouses in Sogn og Fjordane county: Kråkenes, Skongsnes, Ulvesund, and Hendanes – the first three name lighthouses have accomodations for vacation stays. The municipality is comprised in large part by the island of Vågsøy which is connected to the mainland by the remarkable Måløy Bridge.
The most popular attractions in Vågsøy are Kråkenes Lighthouse, Kannesteinen Rock, Vågsberget (a trading post with roots in the early 17th century), and Refviksanden beach which has beautiful silver sand and is one of Norway’s finest swimming beaches. If you are looking for good sea fishing, you cannot do any better than the outer Nordfjord. Here you can catch a huge cod or the salmon of your dreams, not to mention other delicacies such as wolf fish and monkfish! The fishing in this area is rich and varied, and it is possible to catch most of the different kinds of fish that live along the coast.
Vågsøy lies at the opening to the Nordfjord, where the North Sea bearing down with its full might have shaped the local landscape and history. “Storm at Stadt” is a common weather report. Norway’s Hurtigruten coastal ships service crosses the exposed waters twice a day, 365 days a year, sometimes encountering massive seas.
Hendanes Lighthouse, on the west of Vågsøy, is currently empty and awaiting refurbishment for a new life. It stands beside Torskangerpoll, a tranquil fjord, and the unusually sculpted Kannesteinen. Over thousands of years, ocean waves have ground this rock to the special shape it has today. You find it in the village of Oppedal, approximately 6 miles (10 km) west of the center of Måløy. Both places can be seen from the unusual village of Kvalheim, which sits high on steep green slopes illuminated by light reflected off the sea, and where sheep graze peacefully along the old stone fences.
Nordfjord’s website has lots of helpful information and links for Vågsøy and the surrounding area.
Getting to Vågsøy
Transportation from Oslo and Bergen to Nordfjord
- Sandane Airport is located in the middle of Nordfjord, with good connections to Oslo and Bergen with Widerøe airline. Widerøe tel +47 81 00 12 00 www.wideroe.no
- Ålesund Airport is 2.5 hours from Nordfjord, and offers good connections to Oslo and other Norwegian cities.
- SAS www.sas.no
- Express bus to Nordfjord from Oslo (3 daily departures), Bergen (3 daily departures) and Trondheim (1 daily departure). Nor-Way Bussekspress tel. +47 81 54 44 44. www.nor-way.no www.nordfjordekspressen.no
- Local bus routes, and bus to Briksdal Glacier: www.fjord1.no and www.ruteinfo.net
Express Boat from Bergen
- Express boat from Bergen to Måløy and Selje. www.fjord1.no/fylkesbaatane
Via HURTIGRUTEN (COASTAL STEAMER)
- The Hurtigruten calls daily at Måløy on both its northbound and southbound voyages. Hurtigruten, tel. +47 81 03 00 00, www.hurtigruten.us
Traveling by vehicle
- Traveling around Nordfjord by car or bus is a pleasant way of exploring the landscape. Many of the roads have good views, and there is relatively little traffic. There are many excellent day trip options in and around Nordfjord. It is important not to underestimate the time it takes to get around by car or bus. Even though distances look short, many of our roads are steep and winding, which can slow you down. If you are used to driving in towns, you should take it easy on these open country roads.
Distances to Nordfjord from:
- Oslo via Otta approx. 298 miles (480 km)
- Oslo via Fagernes approx. 292 miles (470 km)
Bergen via Lavik approx. 155 miles (250 km)
- Trondheim via Otta approx. 280 miles (450 km)
- Ålesund approx. 93 miles (150 km)
A journey along the Nordfjord offers an exceptional variety of scenery ranging from blue glacier arms and towering mountains to fertile valleys and deep lakes, and taking you right out to the coast and the relentless breakers of the Stadhavet
Guided tours in Måløy and Vågsøy
Choose between a cultural walk in the fishing village of Måløy, a bus tour of Vågsøy or a sunset tour of Refviksanden. Terje Sølvberg is the founder and guide with a lot to tell about the history and present times and Måløy and it`s surroundings. English and Norwegian. Contact the tourist information for more information: Tel.: +47 57 84 50 77
The roads in Nordfjord are some times interrupted by fjords – and ferry trips. A relaxing break from driving or a bit of an interruption, depending on your point of view. Most of the ferries serve meals on board and offer a lovely view of the fjords. Be warned, there may be queues in the summer months. On many stretches of water, it is possible to book a place on the boat. Contact the ferry company. There are four ferry-trips in Nordfjord: Lote-Anda, Stårheim-Isane, Måløy-Oldeide and Smørhamn-Kjelkenes. www.fjord1.no