View of Leknes in winter (Bulitinden and Guratinden mountains in background)
|• Total||2.37 km2 (0.92 sq mi)|
|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|• Density||1,340/km2 (3,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+01:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+02:00)|
|Post Code||8370 Leknes|
Leknes (help·info) is a town in Nordland county, Norway. The town is also the administrative centre of the municipality of Vestvågøy (with 10,764 inhabitants, it is the most populous municipality in Lofoten and Vesterålen). The 2.37-square-kilometre (590-acre) town has a population (2013) of 3,176. The population density of the town is 1,340 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,500 /sq mi). Leknes was designated a "town" (Norwegian: by) in 2002.
The town is situated in the geographical middle of the Lofoten archipelago on the island of Vestvågøya. It is approximately 68 kilometres (42 mi) west of the town of Svolvær and 65 kilometres (40 mi) east of the village of Å in Moskenes. Leknes is one of the few towns in Lofoten that does not depend on fisheries and does not have its town centre by the sea. Because of this, and because of its rapid growth in recent years, it does not have the same traditional wooden architecture as most other towns in Lofoten, and may thus not be as picturesque as its neighbouring fishing villages. However, the natural surroundings are among the most stunning in Norway, with mountains, peaks, cliffs, and white sandy beaches.
The town's harbour Leknes Havn is one of Norway's most important and visited harbours for cruise ships. The old school in the Fygle neighborhood has been converted into a museum. Hol Church is located on the eastern edge of the town. Leknes is a "twin town" with nearby village of Gravdal, where one branch of the Nordland Hospital is located. Gravdal is located about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) southwest of Leknes. In Leknes, the sun (midnight sun) is above the horizon from May 26 to July 17, and in winter the sun does not rise from December 9 to January 4.
Leknes is the trading and shopping centre of Lofoten, only rivaled by Svolvær. The European route E10 highway runs through the town connecting all the main islands of Lofoten to the mainland. Leknes also has an airport, Leknes Airport, for regional aircraft, with 7 daily scheduled flights to Bodø and some daily flights to Svolvær with the airline Widerøe. The town has a small bus terminal that is a hub with bus links to the rest of Lofoten.