Nordland County, Norway

Nordland County is one out of 19 countys in Norway with a area of 38.463 km2 and a population of approximately 241,682.

Principal industries are Fishing, agriculture, industry, trade and commerce, public services. The Lofoten fishing season, abundant fishing of cod (ready for spawning) off Lofoten in January April which forms the basis of export of fish products.

Regardless of the time of year you visit – with the mystical Midnight sun, a spectacular thunderstorm or the magical Northern Lights. The polar night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This occurs only inside the polar circles.

The transition from North Trøndelag to Nordland is most noticeable in the mountain formations. The rounded shapes of the North Trøndelag mountains gived way to Nordland´s alpine mountains which dive almost vertically from snow-covered peaks into the mirror-like fjord. This transition is emphasised by the incredible skerry formation off the coast. The Helgeland coast, from Trøndelag to Bodø in the north, has more than 57.000 km of shoreline. The beautiful scenery, with unique mountain formations, has from ancient times given rise to myths and legends which are still very much alive today.

Rich fishing grounds formed the basis for settlment on the islands far out to sea. The boat was the only form of transport for the islanders, whether for work or leisure purposes. The fishermen today no longer need to row to the fishing grounds, but there is still a thriving community right out in the mouth of the fjord. The battle against the elements has made the people determined and perhaps a little reckless. North Norwegians are known for their openness and humour.

Each County is divided into different municipality. For Nordland County you will find the name of the municipality herunder, or read a short story given below.

  • Andøy
  • Ballangen
  • Beiarn
  • Bindal
  • Bodø
  • Brønnøy
  • Dønna
  • Evenes
  • Fauske
  • Flakstad
  • Gildeskål
  • Grane
  • Hadsel
  • Hamarøy
  • Hattfjelldal
  • Hemnes
  • Herøy
  • Leirfjord
  • Lurøy
  • Lødingen
  • Meløy
  • Moskenes
  • Narvik
  • Nesna
  • Rana
  • Rødøy
  • Røst
  • Saltdal
  • Sortland
  • Steigen
  • Sømna
  • Sørfold
  • Tjeldsund
  • Træna
  • Tysfjord
  • Vefsn
  • Vega
  • Vestvågøy
  • Vevelstad
  • Vågan
  • Værøy
  • Øksnes


Among the existing government incentives, all-electric cars are exempt in Norway from the annual road tax, all public parking fees, and toll payments as well as being able to use bus lanes. In Nordland the Charging stations is 20 and Charging points is 61 at the moment. Charging points can be found on street parking, at taxi stands, in parking lots, at places of employment, hotels, airports, shopping centers, convenience shops, fast food restaurants, coffeehouses etc., as well as in driveways and garages.


The total land area amounts to 1,227 sq. km. About 25.000 people live there. The road distance is almost 170 km from Fiskebøl near Vesterålen in the north to Å in the south, where the E10 ends. From Lofotodden, atthe south end of Moskenesøy Island, the air distance is more than 60 km to Skomvær, the southernmost point in Lofoten.

Lofoten stretches like a wall of mountains to the southwest in the sea. Between the mainland and the “Lofoten Wall” lies the Vestfjord. Lofoten consists of mountains and peaks, wide open ocean, sheltered inlets, stretches of seashore and large virgin areas.

On a clear day from Bodø, you can see Lofoten in the north-west. This large island group, which stretches far out into the Norwegian Sea, is one of Norway´s most popular tourist areas. People from all over the world come here to visit the wild scenery and experience the thriving coastal culture. Every year in January, a huge flotilla of fishing boats gathers to catch their share of the amazing quantity of cod. Lofoten has also inspired a large number of artists. Knut Hamsun, one of Norway´s most famous authors, used the Nordland coast as the setting for many of his novels.

The high mountains along the coast were, and still are, a hindrance to travelling inland. But in many ways they have also been the basis for the industrialisation of the county. The great height differentials provided perfect conditions for utilising water power. Towns and communities have developed around thriving industrial companies based on this clean, endless power source. Norsk Hydro´s plant at Glomfjord exports for example 400.000 tonnes of artificial fertiliser annually. The modern aluminium plant at Mosjøen is among the world´s most efficient of its kind in the world. Farther north is Mo i Rana, the town that grew up around Norwegian Ironworks (Norsk Jernverk). Today, commerce is more varied, but much of the new activity has its roots in the original industrial environment. Abundant power supplies combined with human ability and go-ahead spirit have created wealth. Salten Verk with its ferrosilicon production and the cement works at Kjøpsvik emphasise this assertion.


The ice-free harbours along the coast are of great significance. Thanks to the warm sea currents and the deep fjords, accessibility is unique. These coastal features provide natural ports for receiving goods by sea from the whole of the northern region. Industry in Narvik has for decades been an example of co-operation breaking down borders. Ore from Kiruna in Sweden is freighted by rail through Norway to Narvik, the Country”s largest port in terms of tonnage handled.

Farming and forestry are important to Nordland, especially in the southern part of the county. The coast is dominated by dairy farming, while inland south of Svartisen there are large areas of commercial spruce forests.


Many tourists come to Nordland to cross the Arctic Circle. Visitors from all over the world have been photographed by the monument that marks this magic line at the Arctic Circle Centre at Saltfjellet. The Arctic Circle crosses the large glacier, Svartisen, and is also marked for Coastal Steamer passengers to see. Together with the limestone caverns in Rana, these attractions have provided the basis of an extensive effort to build up a thriving tourist industry.

Most tourists follow the E6, the main route that connects Norway longitudinally. But traff1c is also increasing on the coastal route RV 17, which starts in Trøndelag. With the help of modern ferry services, this road winds between idyllic coastal towns and offers the tourist magnificent panoramic views.


Regardless of which route you take, Bodø is an important cross-roads and the terminal for the Nordland railway. The large, modern airport at Bodø serves both civil and military traffic and is the centre of a well developed network of minor airports in the county. Bodø is the centre of administration for the county and is a natural service centre for the whole of Nordland.

Tourism is a growth industry in the Green Arctic. This comes as no surprise – you only have to look at the scenery. It is different, exotic and pollution-free. This vastly contrasting region has a long, exciting coastline and wide open space. There are great opportunities to experience virgin wilderness. There has been great interest in adventure holidays as far back as the l9th century. Wealthy Europeans, many of noble descent, had discovered the opportunities of this region and travelled here to fish salmon and hunt wild animals. Nevertheless, it has only been in the last few decades that tourism has really begun to develop.

The Arctic Circle and North Cape became tourist attractions early on, and Lofoten and the Helgeland coast followed soon afterwards. Today, the number of attractions have grown to such proportions that we need a book rather than a brochure to do them justice. Common to the whole area is a conscious attempt to improve the service industry: accommodation, guiding, organising, in short all the factors which are important to ensure a positive development within tourism. Regardless of the schemes, the main reason for visiting the Green Arctic is more or less the same as before: fantastic nature and Norwegian character.


During the last 25 years, Norway has become a major exporter of oil products. Known oil and gas reserves represent between 1.5% and 5% of the world´s reserves. This industry started in the North Sea at the end of the 1960s. Operations spread along the coast, and today, the majority of exploratory drilling is undertaken from Trøndelag northwards. Whilst 80% of the total estimated resources in the North Sea have been established, the corresponding figures for Central Norway and North Norway are 33% and 17% respectively. In the Green Arctic, we are just commencing extraction, and are able to look to the future with optimism. Finds on the Norwegian continental shelf comprise both oil and gas, and the proportion of gas seems to increase the farther north we travel. Gas comprises 97% of known reserves in the Barents Sea, but it is too early to say how this will affect development in the region.

All petroleum finds have been made on the Norwegian continental shelf out at sea, making petroleum operations a coastal industry. This has led to optimism and growth, but it can also lead to competition with traditional coastal industry. Moreover, petroleum activities could have a serious effect on the environment. After all, we are talking about some of the world”s richest fishing grounds. Long, hard winters also represent new, and to a certain degree, unknown challenges. A moderate development schedule and strict safety regulations have meant that we have managed to avoid any major conflicts so far.

Along the Helgeland coast, Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen together form “Oil base Helgeland”. Work is under way here to develop an effective supply industry. Farther north, Harstad and Hammerfest have been chosen as centres for oil and gas operations in the northernmost region.