About this soundØrsta  is a municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. It is part of the Sunnmøre region of Western Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Ørsta. Other villages in the municipality include Hovdebygda, Flåskjer, Liadal, Urke, Barstadvik, Åmdalen, Follestaddalen, Nordre Vartdal, Vartdal, Sæbø, Sætre, Store-Standal, and Ytre Standal.

Ørsta kommune
View of the urban areas of Ørsta
View of the urban areas of Ørsta
Official logo of Ørsta kommune
Møre og Romsdal within
Ørsta within Møre og Romsdal
Ørsta within Møre og Romsdal
Coordinates: 62°12′01″N 06°07′56″E / 62.20028°N 6.13222°E / 62.20028; 6.13222Coordinates: 62°12′01″N 06°07′56″E / 62.20028°N 6.13222°E / 62.20028; 6.13222
CountyMøre og Romsdal
Established1 Aug 1883
Administrative centreØrsta
 • Mayor (2015)Stein Aam (Sp)
 • Total804.44 km2 (310.60 sq mi)
 • Land785.04 km2 (303.11 sq mi)
 • Water19.40 km2 (7.49 sq mi)  2.4%
Area rank138 in Norway
 • Total10,812
 • Rank109 in Norway
 • Density13.8/km2 (36/sq mi)
 • Change (10 years)
Demonym(s)Ørsting [1]
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1520
Official language formNynorsk [2]

The 804-square-kilometre (310 sq mi) municipality is the 138th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Ørsta is the 109th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 10,812. The municipality's population density is 13.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (36/sq mi) and its population has increased by 6.4% over the last decade.[3][4]

General informationEdit

Ørsta centrum
Ørsta seen from Vallahornet

The municipality of Ørsta was established on 1 August 1883 when it was separated from Volda Municipality. The initial population was 2,070. On 1 January 1893, the Ytrestølen farm (population: 13) was transferred from Ørsta to Volda. During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the municipality of Ørsta (population: 6,209) was merged with the neighboring municipalities of Hjørundfjord (population: 1,728) and Vartdal (population: 1,315) to form a new, larger municipality of Ørsta.[5] On 1 January 2020, the Bjørke and Leira areas of Ørsta were transferred to the neighboring Volda Municipality.[6]


The municipality is named after the Ørstafjorden (Old Norse: Œrstr). The meaning of the name is unknown. Before 1918, the name was written Ørsten.[7]

Coat of armsEdit

The coat of arms was granted on 13 July 1984. The arms consist of three white or silver diamonds on a blue background. The three diamonds represent the mountains reflecting in the waters of the fjord.[8]


The Brudavoll Farm, part of the Sunnmøre Museum Foundation, is located about 5 km (3.1 mi) from the village of Ørsta.[9]


The Church of Norway has three parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Ørsta. It is part of the Søre Sunnmøre prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Møre.[10]

Churches in Ørsta
Parish (sokn) Church name Location of the church Year built
Ørsta Ørsta Church Ørsta 1864
Vartdal Vartdal Church Nordre Vartdal 1876
Hjørundfjord Hjørundfjord Church Sæbø 1880


Mountains in Ørsta
View of a stabbur in Ørsta

Of the total area, 48% (386 square kilometres or 149 square miles) of the municipality is at an altitude of 600 metres (2,000 ft) or more above sea level. Apart from the mountains, Ørsta's dominant geographical feature is fjords: Storfjorden in the north, Vartdalsfjorden, Ørstafjorden in the west, and Hjørundfjorden in the east. Only in the south is it connected by land to neighbouring Volda Municipality. Otherwise, it borders the municipalities of Sula in the north, Hareid and Ulstein (by sea only) in the west, Sykkylven to the northeast, and Stranda to the southeast.

The municipality is also the heartland of the Sunnmørsalpene mountains, a particularly rugged and wild area of mountains in the southern part of Møre og Romsdal county. Prolific peaks include Slogen at 1,564 metres (5,131 ft), Skårasalen at 1,542 metres (5,059 ft), Kolåstinden at 1,432 metres (4,698 ft), Ramoen at 1,419 metres (4,656 ft), Saudehornet at 1,303 metres (4,275 ft), and Romedalstinden at 1,295 metres (4,249 ft).


All municipalities in Norway, including Ørsta, 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.[11] The municipality falls under the Søre Sunnmøre District Court and the Frostating Court of Appeal.

Municipal councilEdit

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Ørsta is made up of 33 representatives that are elected to four year terms. The party breakdown of the council is as follows:

Ørsta Kommunestyre 2020–2024 [12]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)4
 Progress Party (Framstegspartiet)5
 Green Party (Miljøpartiet Dei Grøne)1
 Conservative Party (Høgre)3
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)1
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)16
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)2
 Liberal Party (Venstre)1
Total number of members:33
Ørsta Kommunestyre 2016–2019 [13]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)5
 Progress Party (Framstegspartiet)5
 Green Party (Miljøpartiet Dei Grøne)1
 Conservative Party (Høgre)7
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)4
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)8
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)2
Total number of members:33
Ørsta Kommunestyre 2012–2015 [14]  
Party Name (in Norwegian) Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)7
 Progress Party (Framstegspartiet)6
 Conservative Party (Høgre)8
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)4
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)5
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)2
Total number of members:33


Important sectors are mechanical industry and furniture manufacturing, agriculture, commercial fishing, and aquaculture. The first two are predominant in the village of Ørsta while agriculture dominates in adjacent valleys like the Follestaddalen, Åmdalen, and Bondalen valleys. On the other hand, the northern part of the municipality has strong maritime traditions, with Vartdal being the home of one of the largest factory trawler fleets in Norway.


These include Ørsta-Volda Airport, Hovden at Hovdebygda which is the regional airport for people living in the municipalities Ørsta, Volda, Vanylven, Sande, Ulstein, Hareid and Herøy, and European Route E39 which transects the municipality in a north–south direction. Ørsta is linked to Sula and Sykkylven by ferry on its northernmost extreme Festøy. It is also linked to Ulstein Municipality by the Eiksund Tunnel, an undersea tunnel that opened on 23 February 2008 that is, currently, the world's deepest at 287 metres (942 ft) below the sea surface.

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. ^ "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian). Lovdata.no.
  3. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2018). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  4. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå. "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  5. ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  6. ^ "Vedtar grensejustering mellom Ørsta og nye Volda kommuner" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  7. ^ Rygh, Oluf (1908). Norske gaardnavne: Romsdals amt (in Norwegian) (13 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 86.
  8. ^ "Civic heraldry of Norway - Norske Kommunevåpen". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  9. ^ "Brudavolltunet". Fjord Norway. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Kyrkjelydane i Ørsta" (in Norwegian). Den Norske Kyrkja. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  11. ^ Hansen, Tore, ed. (2016-05-12). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  12. ^ "Tall for Norge: Kommunestyrevalg 2019 - Møre og Romsdal" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  13. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  14. ^ "Tall for Norge: Kommunestyrevalg 2011 - Møre og Romsdal" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. Retrieved 2019-10-19.

External linksEdit