Vestvågøy within Nordland
|• Mayor (2007)||Jonny Finstad (H)|
|• Total||423.36 km2 (163.46 sq mi)|
|• Land||405.58 km2 (156.60 sq mi)|
|• Water||17.78 km2 (6.86 sq mi)|
|Area rank||233 in Norway|
|• Rank||338 in Norway|
|• Density||26.7/km2 (69/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||1.7 %|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||NO-1860|
|Official language form||Neutral|
Vestvågøy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Lofoten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Leknes. Some of the villages in the municipality include Ballstad, Borg, Bøstad, Gravdal, Knutstad, Stamsund, Tangstad, and Valberg. With over 10,800 inhabitants, Vestvågøy is the most populous municipality in all of the Lofoten and Vesterålen regions in Nordland county.
The municipality of Vestvågøy was created on 1 January 1963 when the old municipalities of Borge, Buksnes, Hol, and Valberg were all merged. Initially, it had 12,288 residents. The borders have not changed since.
The municipality is named after the island of Vestvågøya. The Old Norse name of the island was Lófót (see Lofoten) - but when Lofoten became the name of the whole archipelago, the old name was replaced with Vestvågøy. Vestvågøy can be broken down into three parts: vest-våg-øy which can be roughly translated as west-bay-island.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times. They were granted on 7 September 1984. The arms show two dried codfish in white on a blue background. This was chosen since the municipality is one of the main Norwegian exporters of (dried) cod or stockfish and has been since the Middle Ages.
|Parish (Sokn)||Church Name||Location of the Church||Year Built|
Vestvågøy municipality is among the most scenic in Norway. It encompassed the whole island of Vestvågøya with the Norwegian Sea to the north and the Vestfjorden to the south. The island has rugged cliffs and peaks facing the southeastern coast. Towards the northwest, however, the land is flat, with extensive farmlands. Most people are found in the town of Leknes and in its "twin town" Gravdal, where Nordland Hospital is located. Along the southeastern coast, one finds picturesque fishing villages like Ballstad and Stamsund, where the Hurtigruten (coastal ferry) stops.
The coastline is dominated by high mountains, such as the 671-metre (2,201 ft) tall Skottinden, and on the west coast also sandy white beaches. Utakleiv the most romantic beach in Europe, according to the British newspaper The Times, and the neighbouring Hauklandsstranden is ranked by the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet as the best beach in Norway.
In Leknes, the sun (midnight sun) is above the horizon from May 26 until July 17, and in winter the sun does not rise from December 9 until January 4. The midnight sun is best viewed from the western beaches, such as Utakleiv and Eggum.
|Climate data for Kvalnes, on northern Vestvågøya|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||117
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||16.2||14.2||15.1||11.7||8.9||9.9||11.5||11.0||15.8||18.0||18.2||17.7||168.2|
|Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute|
Leknes is the municipal and administrative centre and is situated in the geographical middle of Lofoten, approximately 68 kilometres (42 mi) west of Svolvær and 65 kilometres (40 mi) east of Å. Leknes is the trading and shopping centre of Lofoten, only rivaled by Svolvær. Leknes Airport is for smaller aircraft, with 7 daily scheduled flights to Bodø and some daily flights to Svolvær and Røst with Widerøe airlines. There is a small bus terminal which serves as a hub with bus links to the rest of Lofoten. The Leknes Havn (harbor) is one of Norway's most important and visited harbors for cruise ships. The coastal steamer has been an important means of communication for a century. It docks in Stamsund twice every night, one heading south towards Bodø the other heading north towards Svolvær.
The European route E10 highway crosses the municipality (and island) with the Sundklakkstraumen Bridge connecting to Vågan in the north and the Nappstraumen Tunnel connecting to Flakstad in the south.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Vestvågøy is twinned with:
- "Personnemningar til stadnamn i Noreg" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
- Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
- Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
- "Twin municipalities Norway-Iceland" (in Norway). Norwegian government. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
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