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Værøy kommune
Coat of arms of Værøy kommune
Coat of arms
Official logo of Værøy kommune
Nordland within
Værøy within Nordland
Værøy within Nordland
Coordinates: 67°40′23″N 12°40′9″E / 67.67306°N 12.66917°E / 67.67306; 12.66917Coordinates: 67°40′23″N 12°40′9″E / 67.67306°N 12.66917°E / 67.67306; 12.66917
Country Norway
County Nordland
District Lofoten
Administrative centre Sørland
 • Mayor (2003) Harald Adolfsen (H)
 • Total 18.53 km2 (7.15 sq mi)
 • Land 18.49 km2 (7.14 sq mi)
 • Water 0.04 km2 (0.02 sq mi)
Area rank 428 in Norway
Population (2011)
 • Total 748
 • Rank 418 in Norway
 • Density 40.5/km2 (105/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years) -3.6 %
Demonym(s) Værøyværing[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-1857
Official language form Bokmål
Website www.varoy.kommune.no
Data from Statistics Norway

Værøy is an island and municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Lofoten. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sørland. The other village in Værøy is Nordland. Most of the residents live in the Sørland area surrounding the main harbor. The old Værøy Lighthouse sits at the end of that harbor.

General information[edit]

Location of Værøy

The municipality of Værøy was established on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 July 1928, the southern district of Værøy (population: 731) was separated to become the new municipality of Røst.[2]


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.[3]


The coat-of-arms is from modern times; they were granted on 10 July 1988. The arms show a puffin on a blue background. Puffins nest in large numbers in the area and used to be of great importance for the village, both for meat and down.[4]


The Church of Norway has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Værøy. It is part of the Bodø deanery in the Diocese of Sør-Hålogaland.

Churches in Værøy
Church Name Location
of the Church
Year Built
Værøy Værøy Church Sørland 1939
Old Værøy Church Nordland 1799


Looking south at Mosken and then Værøya (from Moskenes)

The island municipality is made up of many islands, the two largest islands being Værøya and Mosken. It is located at the end of the Lofoten archipelago. 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 famous with meteorologists, as they are the most northern locations in the world where there is no meteorological winter, as 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.


All municipalities in Norway, including Værøy, 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 Værøy is made up of 13 representatives that are elected to every four years. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[5]

Værøy Kommunestyre 2015–2019
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
  Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet 2
  Christian Democratic Party Kristelig Folkeparti 3
  Local Lists Lokale lister 8
Total number of members: 13


Helicopter transport is available from Bodø at the Værøy Heliport in Sørland. There was airplane service at Værøy Airport, but it was discontinued after the Værøy accident in 1990 in which five people lost their lives. The airport was determined to be in a bad position, due to the location next to a mountain and the frequent presence of strong and unpredictable winds, which made takeoffs and landings dangerous.[6] Ferry service is also available from Bodø, Moskenes, and Røst.

Tourist attractions[edit]

View of the southern part of the island of Værøya, the abandoned village of Mostad is located here
Norwegian Lundehund looking out at the ocean on the north side of the island Værøya. The island on the top, in the middle, is "Mosken"
  • Lofoten Sjokolade is located on Værøy. Lofoten's most exotic attraction.
  • Sportfishing for cod, coalfish, and halibut is popular here.
  • Turstien is a floodlit track which has been very popular ever since its opening in 1999. The surface is suitable for bikers, prams, and wheelchairs.
  • Breivika is situated on the road between Sørland and Nordland, and here you find the beach Skarsursanden. From the main road there is a signposted path going up Breivikdalen.
  • Heia offers a magnificent view of the island. It can be reached via a step path called Bjørka, or by following the tarred road up Rømdalen. About halfway up you pass by an old eagle trapping site.
  • Eagle trapping is a tradition peculiar to the Værøy islanders. They caught eagles with their bare hands. Ancient sites can still be seen, at Rømdalen, for instance.
  • Gjerdeheia forms a vast and completely flat plateau on top. It can be reached from Breiviksdalen by turning left at the end of the valley or following the path going up Rømdalen and turning right before passing Hornet.
  • Nordlandsnupen is Værøy's highest mountain. One must reach it by walking up Breiviksdalen and turning right at the end of the valley.
  • Mollbakken in Nordland consists of smoothly ground round stones. Here, many burial sites from the Viking Age have been found.
  • Old Værøy Church in Nordland is the oldest church in Lofoten, built around 1740. The altarpiece dates back to about 1714 and features alabaster figures made in England in 1430.
  • Nordlandshagen - the Garden of Nordland - is a popular area for the outdoor life. The midnight sun can be seen here from May 30 to July 13.
  • Mostad is located in the south. The mountainside more or less hangs right over the old, derelict village of Mostad. This is where the puffin dog originated. Often people will walk from Nordlandshagen.
  • Norwegian Lundehund or Puffin dog is one of Norway's seven species of dogs, and the rarest one. It has an extra toe, is small, and very agile. Puffin dogs were used solely for the puffin hunt and because the hunt was of such great importance to the islanders, this race of dogs managed to survive in Værøy.
  • Sanden is a beach with a 400-metre (1,300 ft) tall wall of rock towers over the spot, making it incredibly warm on fine summer days. Access is only by boat.

In literature[edit]


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  2. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 
  3. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1905). Norske gaardnavne: Nordlands amt (in Norwegian) (16 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 351. 
  4. ^ Norske Kommunevåpen (1990). "Nye kommunevåbener i Norden". Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  5. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015. 
  6. ^ "Accident description". Aviation-Safety.net. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  7. ^ Fisher, Benjamin F., ed. (2004). The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Spark Educational Publishing. p. 231. ISBN 1-59308-064-6. 

External links[edit]