By a small fjord on the west side of the Nordkinn peninsula, the northernmost part of the European mainland, lies Kjøllefjord, a small fishing village with around 1,000 inhabitants. It offers an excellent view toward the ocean and the Finnkirka rock formation. Despite its small size, Kjøllefjord offers many services and shops. The atmosphere is serene and friendly, the air very clean, and the weather mild, considering the latitude of 70°N.
Nine Sami families move their reindeer to summer pasture in the area each year, and the contemporary culture of the region is influenced by Sami traditions. The Sami culture is several thousand years old, and has been heavily influenced by the natural environment in the Barents region. Sami culture emphasizes harmony with nature, and has a long heritage of reindeer herding, coast fishing and herbal medicine.
The snowmobile is an important vehicle for the inhabitants. It allows everyone to enjoy the winter countryside, and its a practical tool for transporting equipment to cabins in the wilderness. Two thirds of the locals own snowmobiles, and the snowmobile season runs from December to May.
The abundance of fish in the Barents Sea attracted settlers here as early as the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. The Sami have a long presence in the area. Since the 1500s, this fishing village has been a marketplace for fishermen, tradesmen and the Sami. The fjord provides shelter from the open sea, and has been used as a haven for mariners throughout the ages. The first written references to the fishing villages in the area are from the early 16th century. The Pomor (Russian) trade started in the 18th century, and local fish products were traded for agricultural goods and other merchandise.