Sheltered at the east side of the island of Vågsøy, Måløy is a major port for the export of Norway's treasured seafood.
Charming Måløy, with a population of just over 3,000 people, is the administrative center of the municipality of Vågsøy. As a coastal village, Maloy's fortunes are still closely tied to the fishing industry. Today, Maloy relies on fish brought in from farther afield than it used to, as well as from fish farms. Factories to process fish catches in the village can do a number of things, from filleting the catch to producing cod liver oil and animal foods. Maloy is the most important fishing port in Norway, and exports many fish products to destinations across the globe. As your ship is docked in Maloy's harbor, pay attention to people loading cargo into other, larger ships - there's a good chance most of that cargo is fish and fish byproducts. In fact, every year 180,000-200,000 tonnes of fish are brought ashore here and then exported directly abroad.
Vågsøy has several unique characteristics. In addition to Måløy town center and its many lighthouses, the area is known for the well-known Kannestenen rock, molded by the sea over thousands of years into a spectacular mushroom-like shape. Also, for lazy summer days, you'll find a beautiful silver sand beach. Some say it's the most beautiful in Norway. Adding to its local attractions, Måløy is close to several famous national attractions like the Jostedalsbreen National Park - where you'll find the largest glacier in continental Europe.
Legend has it that Viking King Magnus the Good went ashore on the small island of Moldøen in 1035. From here he summoned all the peasants in the area to 'thing' (meaning assembly of free men). His father, St. Olav, had been fighting these peasants for a long time, but Magnus wanted peace and promised them better laws and more freedom. The island was then named Málstefna, literally 'speaking stone'. This was later modernized to Moldøen. Måløy was originally founded as a trading center on this small island. As trade flourished, the town gradually moved to the larger island of Vågsøy, while keeping the name of the smaller island. This is the cause of some confusion, although the smaller island is today often known as Lisje-Måløyna (the smaller Måløy). Måløy has officially been a town since 1997.
World War II history in Maloy
During World War II, Maloy was the site of an operation called Maloyraidet, or Operation Archery, that was meant to convince the Germans that the Allied powers would invade Norway at any moment. It was a successful play, though its result was that Germany held a strong military presence in Norway throughout the occupation, though actual military activity was scarce. There was an air attack in 1945 in which Allied fighters attacked German ships in the Maloy area. If you have an interest in World War II history, Maloy bears quiet signs of that period of history - during the occupation and the military operations in the area surrounding it, several Norwegians died and many buildings were destroyed. You can see a memorial to the Norwegian soldier Captain Martin Linge close to the Maloy Bridge if you wish.