Vardø – gateway to the Northeast Passage
Vardø is the oldest town in northern Norway and the easternmost in the country.
Vardø has the best viewpoint towards the Norwegian-Russian Arctic and the Northeast Passage. It will thrill you with its location on a windy island, connected to the mainland with Norway’s oldest underwater tunnel. It will freshen you up with its climate (this is the last stop before the North Pole). And it will amuse you with its good-humored and friendly people. Vardø municipality has approximately 2,200 inhabitants. It is the only town in Norway situated in the arctic climate zone. This of course means a lot for vegetation and animal life.
In Vardø you should visit the local Varanger Museum as well as the Pomor Museum, the Vardøhus Fortress and the Witch-burning monument. If you extend your stroll, experience the seaside promenade and the Brodtkorbsjåene buildings. From the eastern side of the island, you will have great views towards Hornøya, the easternmost island in Norway and also the easternmost point of the country.
The Vardø Lighthouse, built in 1896, is erected on the island’s peak. The island is now uninhabited and in the steep mountainsides around 40,000 pairs of birds have their nesting place. Hornøya is, because of this, a preserved wildlife reserve. When you turn south, you will see the southern side of the Varanger Fjord behind the Globus-II radar. In Vardø you can enjoy wind from all directions, waves splashing, snow in large amounts and in clear winter weather, truly fantastic Northern Lights.