Kvaløya (Tromsø)

Kvaløya (Norwegian) or Sállir (Northern Sami) (lit. "Whale Island") is an island in Tromsø Municipality in Troms og Finnmark county, Norway. At 737 square kilometres (285 sq mi), it is the fifth largest island in mainland Norway. It is connected to the neighboring island of Tromsøya to the east by the Sandnessund Bridge, to the island of Ringvassøya to the north by the sub-sea Kvalsund Tunnel, to the small island of Sommarøya to the west by the Sommarøy Bridge, and to the mainland to the south by the Rya Tunnel. The island of Sommarøy, on the southwest coast, is a popular recreation area with magnificent coastal scenery.[1]

Kvaløya  (Norwegian)
Sállir  (Northern Sami)
Kvaløya seen from Tromsøya; the Sandnessund Bridge connects the two islands. (March 2006)
Norway - Kvaløya, Troms.png
Kvaløya is located in Troms og Finnmark
Location of the island
Kvaløya is located in Norway
Kvaløya (Norway)
LocationTroms og Finnmark, Norway
Coordinates69°34′33″N 18°21′59″E / 69.5759°N 18.3665°E / 69.5759; 18.3665Coordinates: 69°34′33″N 18°21′59″E / 69.5759°N 18.3665°E / 69.5759; 18.3665
Area737 km2 (285 sq mi)
Area rank5th in Norway
Length46 km (28.6 mi)
Width25 km (15.5 mi)
Highest elevation1,044 m (3425 ft)
Highest pointStore Blåmannen
CountyTroms og Finnmark
MunicipalityTromsø Municipality
Population13,030 (2018)
Pop. density17.7/km2 (45.8/sq mi)


Store Blåmann 1,044 metres (3,425 ft); 4 May 2009.

Kvaløya is a mountainous island, with at least ten mountains higher than 700 metres (2,300 ft), and three reaching an elevation of more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft); of which the highest is Store Blåmann (big blueman at 1,044 metres (3,425 ft), can be climbed without climbing equipment, last part is steep). There are also several small fjords, almost dividing the island in two or three parts: Kaldfjorden, Ersfjorden, and Kattfjorden.

The Rystraumen is a tidal current in the Straumsfjorden strait separating Kvaløya from the mainland to the south. Near this current, on the Kvaløya side, is Straumhella (30 kilometres or 19 miles from the city), a popular recreation area with good fishing opportunities.

Ryøya is an island in the midst of Rystraumen, formerly home to a small population of musk oxen that lived in the pine forest. The last musk ox, known as Alma, was discovered dead in 2013; an autopsy revealed that she had plastic in her stomach. Someone had left the rings of a beer six-pack behind on the island and Alma was found to have eaten them.[2]


Approximately 13,000 people live on Kvaløya, most of them on the eastern side near Kvaløysletta (which constitutes a suburban area of the city of Tromsø) near the Sandnessund Bridge.


According to official climate statistics, the west coast of Kvaløya, facing the open ocean, is the warmest part of Tromsø municipality. The weather station at Sommarøy on the west coast has 24-hr averages of −1.9 °C (28.6 °F) in January, 11.9 °C (53.4 °F) in July and a mean annual temperature of 3.9 °C (39.0 °F), while annual precipitation is 940 millimetres (37 in).

Media galleryEdit

Panorama Middagstinden, 2011

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Thorsnæs, Geir, ed. (2018-06-25). "Kvaløya – Tromsø". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2018-08-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Børstad, Sanna Drogset (2018-08-13). "Nå er det ikke lenger moskus på Ryøya" [There are No More Musk Oxen on Ryøya]. ITromsø (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-04-21.

External linksEdit