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Vågsøy kommune
View of the town of Måløy
View of the town of Måløy
Coat of arms of Vågsøy kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Vågsøy kommune
Sogn og Fjordane within
Vågsøy within Sogn og Fjordane
Vågsøy within Sogn og Fjordane
Coordinates: 61°55′16″N 05°11′37″E / 61.92111°N 5.19361°E / 61.92111; 5.19361Coordinates: 61°55′16″N 05°11′37″E / 61.92111°N 5.19361°E / 61.92111; 5.19361
CountySogn og Fjordane
Administrative centreMåløy
 • Mayor (2015)Kristin Maurstad (Ap)
 • Total176.69 km2 (68.22 sq mi)
 • Land171.32 km2 (66.15 sq mi)
 • Water5.37 km2 (2.07 sq mi)
Area rank#345 in Norway
Population (2017)
 • Total6,031
 • Rank#174 in Norway
 • Density35.2/km2 (91/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)-0.5%
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1439
Official language formNynorsk

Vågsøy is a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Nordfjord. The municipality's administrative center is the town Måløy. Other population centers in Vågsøy include the villages of Bryggja, Deknepollen, Holvika, Kvalheim, Langeneset, Raudeberg, Refvika, Silda, Tennebø, Totland, Vedvika, and Vågsvåg. The municipality includes the island of Vågsøy, several small surrounding islands, and part of the mainland.

Totland Church
The bay Sildegapet
Ulvesundet at Måløy

The 177-square-kilometre (68 sq mi) municipality is the 345th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Vågsøy is the 174th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 6,031. The municipality's population density is 35.2 inhabitants per square kilometre (91/sq mi) and its population has decreased by -0.5% over the last decade.[2]

The municipality of Vågsøy is the second largest fishing municipality in Norway, and is home to one of Norway's most modern fish-processing plants.[3]

General information[edit]

Historically, Vågsøy was part of Selje Municipality. On 1 January 1910, the municipality of Selje was split into three separate municipalities: Nord-Vågsøy (population: 1,111); Sør-Vågsøy (population: 1,517); and Selje (population: 3,367). Nord-Vågsøy included the northern half of the island of Vågsøy and Sør-Vågsøy included the southern part of the island and some of the mainland.[4]

During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, a new municipality of Vågsøy was created by merging the following areas together:

The new municipality had an initial population of 6,962.[4]

On 1 January 2020, Vågsøy will merge with the municipality of Flora to the south to create a new (non-contiguous) municipality called Kinn.[5]


The municipality is named after the island of Vågsøy. The Old Norse form of the name was Vágsøy. The first element is the genitive case of vágr which means "bay" and the last element is øy which means "island".[6]


The coat-of-arms of Vågsøy is of modern design. The coat of arms was granted on 27 March 1987. The arms show two rudders, used in the one-man boats which have been used for a long time in the village. The rudders are silver and the background is blue.[7]


The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Vågsøy. It is part of the Nordfjord deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

Churches in Vågsøy
Parish (Sokn) Church Name Location of the Church Year Built
Vågsøy Nord-Vågsøy Church Raudeberg 1960
Sør-Vågsøy Church Måløy 1907
Totland Church Totland 1912


All municipalities in Norway, including Vågsøy, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.

Municipal council[edit]

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Vågsøy is made up of 27 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[8]

Vågsøy Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
 Labour PartyArbeiderpartiet6
 Progress PartyFramstegspartiet2
 Conservative PartyHøgre8
 Christian Democratic PartyKristelig Folkeparti1
 Red PartyRaudt1
 Centre PartySenterpartiet4
 Liberal PartyVenstre3
 Local ListsLokale lister2
Total number of members:27


The mayor (ordførar) of a municipality in Norway is a representative of the majority party of the municipal council who is elected to lead the council. Kristin Maurstad of the Labour Party was elected mayor for the 2015–2019 term.

In 2007, Vågsøy participated in a trial where the mayor was directly elected. The sitting mayor, Roger B. Silden, received 44.1% of the votes and won the election. His party (the Norwegian Labour Party), however, did poorer than in 2003 and it became the second largest party with only 21.8% of the votes.



Vågsøy is made up of the mainland and islands on the northern and outer shore of the Nordfjorden. The municipality is named after its largest island, Vågsøy. Other populated islands in Vågsøy include Silda, Moldøen, and Husevågøy. The lake Degnepollvatnet is located between the villages of Degnepoll and Tennebø.

The municipalities of Selje (in Sogn og Fjordane county) and Vanylven (in Møre og Romsdal county) border to the north, the municipality of Eid lies to the east, the municipality of Bremanger lies to the south, and the North Sea borders Vågsøy to the west.



Måløy attained city status in 1997. It lies along the Ulvesundet strait on the island of Vågsøy, and is joined to the mainland by the 1,224-metre (4,016 ft) long Måløy Bridge, a structure that forms a gateway for all seagoing traffic. The Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten) has daily departures.[3] The old part of the city lies on the island of Moldøen, from which the city that has expanded onto the mainland and further west to Holvik, has its name.


Over thousands of years, ocean waves have ground the rock to the shape it has today. It is located in the village of Oppedal, approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of the center of Måløy. Every year many visitors come to Oppedal to take a closer look at the stone. The Kannestein or Kanne Stone was formed by loose stones and the pounding of the waves over a period of thousands of years, and stands today as a 4 to 5 metres (13 to 16 ft) high, narrow-footed rock. This is caused by stones having split loose, which have knocked and gnawed at the rockface until they have become polished and rounded. Loose stones have then worked themselves deeper into the rock. New stones have come, and in time the potholes have become deeper and wider. Several potholes near to each other have been polished for so long that the sides have been rubbed away, leaving just the middle section, such as the Kanne Stone.[3]

Vågsberget trading post[edit]

In 1636, trader Didrik Fester from Bergen came to Vågsberget to open a trading business. There was probably trading activity and an inn before Fester's arrival, and the trading post at Vågsberget has changed hands several times throughout the years. Restoration work is being carried out on Vågsberget,[9] but the café and exhibition is open in summer and guided tours are available. There is also an exhibition featuring old fishing boats and equipment.[3] Vågsberget is now part of the large village of Vågsvåg.


Silda, the island in Sildagapet bay, is an old fishing community, which in its heyday had a population of 150 who made a living from fishing and farming. Its current winter population is only about 30, while in summer it is host to several hundred people, staying in holiday houses and cabins. The island has a restaurant perched on a rock out in the southern harbor. There are also cabins for rent there. The jetty in Silda's northern harbor was started in the 1860s and completed in the 20th century. With the exception of a few tractors, the island is "car free", but it has cycling and walking tracks, footpaths and walking terrain. A regular boat service runs to and from Måløy several times a day.[3]


Vågsøy municipality has four lighthouses. Three of them are open daily and are available for let for short or long periods.[3]

  • Kråkenes Lighthouse is a working lighthouse and also a weather station that collects important information. Kråkenes lighthouse, which offers views of the ocean at Stadhavet, lies at the most northerly point on the island of Vågsøy and is accessible by road.
  • Skongenes Lighthouse is an automatic lighthouse with no road access. It is a one-hour walk from Langeneset in easy hiking terrain. There are also views towards Stadlandet. Ytre Nordfjord Turlag runs this lighthouse and offers overnight accommodation and day visits.
  • Hendanes Lighthouse is an automatic lighthouse on the west side of the Torskanger inlet. It is located a short walk from the road and offers views of Stadhavet and Klovningen.
  • Ulvesund Lighthouse is a lighthouse located south of Stadlandet, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Måløy. It was built in 1870, and was manned until 1985 when it was automated.


Refviksanden Beach is a 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long beach. Refvika is approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Måløy.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Vågsøy Kommune". GoNorway.no. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  5. ^ "Nye Kinn kommune" (in Norwegian). Vågsøy kommune. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  6. ^ Askheim, Svein, ed. (2017-06-02). "Vågsøy". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  7. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2017-10-22.
  8. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.
  9. ^ Vågsberget Handelsstad

External links[edit]