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Kjøllefjord

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Kjøllefjord is in Finnmark.

Understand[edit]

Kjøllefjord

Kjøllefjord is a small fishing village on top of the Norwegian coast and lies in a part of Norway called Finnmark. The local population amounts to about 1,100 people. The main form of income is from fishing. Kjøllefjord is a place rich in nature and cultural experiences.


Kjøllefjord has been a meeting and trading place for fishermen, Sámi and traders since before the 1500s. The traders often came from Russia and traded grains for fish and reindeer meat. In the late 17th century, Kjøllefjord was a bigger trading place than Vadsø or Vardø.

Sami people

The first church in Kjøllefjord was built in 1736, but it was, like rest of Kjøllefjord and Finnmark, burnt down towards the end of World War II. Today you can still see where the old church stood. After the war was over, the newly built church was the first one in Finnmark. It was donated by the Danish state and finished in 1951.

During the summer of 2013, the world record for halibut caught on a rod was here. The halibut was 234.5 kg! When you stay in Kjøllefjord, you are as close to the best fishing spots as you can get. You can actually fish cod and king crabs from the dock. The Sámi culture has through the times been a part of Kjøllefjord and parts of the population have Sámi roots. The Sámi who works with reindeer have since long ago used the Kjøllefjord area as summer pastures.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Widerøe

If you want to get to Kjøllefjord, the easiest way is to take a plane to Tromsø or Kirkenes and then another plane to Mehamn. From there you can take a bus from the airport to Kjøllefjord, which takes about 25 minutes. Getting here by plane is the easiest and fastest way, but not always the most affordable.

By bus[edit]

If you already are in Finnmark, you can take the bus. It takes some time due to big distances, but you will get to experience Finnmark.

Hurtigruten

You can also get to Kjøllefjord by car or campervan/caravan, but please be aware that it is a long drive from most places. From Tromsø it is about 710 km, from Alta 420 km and if you want to drive all the way from Oslo, it is about 2050 km.

By boat[edit]

Another popular way of getting here is by Hurtigruten. They call at ports all the way from Bergen up to Kirkenes and back and they do this every day of the year. So you can get on the ship in one port and enjoy the voyage until you get to Kjøllefjord. On the voyage you will get some unique experiences, you will see how the Norwegian culture changes the further north or south you go. You will also get to see spectacular nature. Hurtigruten is scheduled to arrive in Kjøllefjord from Honningsvåg (northbound) at 17:00 and from Mehamn (southbound) at 02:45.

Get around[edit]

Once you are in Kjøllefjord, there are no big distances. From one end of this small village to the other it is 5 km. You can take a bus or taxi if you plan on going any longer distances.

See[edit][add listing]

Finnkirka

Kjøllefjord is the home of the beautiful rock formation Finnkirka, which lays out in the fjord. It is an old and sacred Sámi offering spot and also the fishermen used to bring offerings there before they sailed. Nowadays Finnkirka is used as a point of reference and as a symbol for Kjøllefjord and the Lebesby kommune. In the winter, Finnkirka is lit up by different colored spotlights. Those who arrive with Hurtigruten get the best view of Finnkirka and its lights. Finnkirka has its name because it has a bit the form of a church. “Kirka” means church in Norwegian. Finnkirka has been named the most spectacular rock formation in Europe. The church in Kjøllefjord is a popular sight to visit. The queen of Norway visited the church once and thought it was so beautiful that she came back with some of her friends from the Royal House of Denmark.

One of the historical buildings in Kjøllefjord is Foldal. It is an old fish factory, which has been transformed into a museum and accommodation. At Foldal you can learn about the history of the old ways of fishing, producing stockfish, exporting fish and much more as well as other relevant local history.
Northern Lights

At Gallery Christensen you can see beautiful paintings done by both local painters and others who have fell in love with Kjøllefjord and its beautiful nature. Christensen is an old fish factory like Foldal. You can also buy arts and crafts on the top floor of Christensen.

During the cold and dark winter, we have no sunlight in the period from mid- November to the end of January. Nevertheless, in wintertime from the end of October to April we have the fantastic Northern Lights. They color the sky green and purple. Even those who have lived here their whole life are amazed when the lights dance around on the night sky.

Starting mid-May until the end of July, we have 24 hours of daylight. If it is not cloudy, it is possible to see the famous midnight sun. During a perfect night, the sun paints the sea and sky in pink and orange colors.

A little bit outside of Kjøllefjord lies the northernmost forest in the world. This forest consists mainly of birch trees and some of these can be up to 6 meters tall.

Do[edit][add listing]

Deep sea fishing

If you are in Kjøllefjord, you are in the nature. You can go fishing on the nearby lakes or rivers for Arctic char, trout, sea trout or salmon. You can also fish from the dock or if you have a boat, you can go out on the ocean to do some deep sea fishing for a chance to catch halibut, cod, wolfish, monkfish and many other fish species. If you just want to be out on the ocean without doing any fishing, that possibility exists as well. You can have a local guide with you on a high-speed boat and go to different places like Finnkirka and Sværholt.

Grouse hunting

In the beautiful nature around Kjøllefjord is it also common to go hunting. You can find two types of grouse as well as hare. To hunt you will need a hunting permit. This you can buy in Mehamn or online for the area to want to hunt in. To get this you will need a hunterslicense. This you will get by paying a license fee. BUT you can only pay this and get the license if you have passed a hunter exam or if got the necessary papers from your country. ] The Kjøllefjord area is also increasing popularly for hiking. You can hike directly from the town and for many kilometers in raw and beautiful nature without meeting other people, only reindeers and other animals. On the whole Nordkyn peninsula you find more than 240 km of marked hiking trails. One of the most popular hiking trails is the one leading to Kinnarodden, the northernmost tip of mainland Europe.

Ice fishing

The winters here can be harsh, but are still popular for people to visit. It is a fantastic place to see the Northern Lights and go snow mobiling, cross-country skiing or ice fishing on the mountains around the village.

If you would like to go swimming or even skinny-dipping in Arctic climate with water-temperatures rarely over 6°C, then Kjøllefjord is the perfect place. In the area around you can find many lakes where you can be perfectly alone.

If you do go to Kjøllefjord at the end of June, there is a chance you will notice that the town is very much alive. That is because of the local festival called Chrisfestivalen.
Chrisfestivalen
This festival is dedicated to the Blues artist Chris Lyngedal from Kjøllefjord. To start with this festival was a Blues and jazz festival but now there is many different genres. During the festival there are many things going on in the small village. Many visitors during that time are people who have moved away or have family here and come back only to experience Chrisfestivalen.

Another festival in Kjøllefjord is the Winterfestival. This festival is like chrisfestivalen held by local volunteers. This festival is held each year during the winter to make the dark time a little brighter. This festival gathers all the young and old people in the area to different activities. There is a cross-country race, concerts, outdoor movietheatre, quizzes, parties, bingo and much more. Kjøllefjord is also a unique place to experience authentic Sámi culture. There is a tour for Hurtigruten guests every day during summer with a visit to a local Sámi family, who has reindeer herding as their main form of income. It is also possible for non-Hurtigruten guests to join this tour. The family will tell you about Sámi history, traditions and modern life. This tour is offered by a local company called Arctic Coast. The same company also offers a tour called “Sámi Autumn” during the fall and snowmobile trips during the winter with a big chance of seeing the spectacular Northern Lights.

Buy[edit][add listing]

In Kjøllefjord there are two grocery stores. Coop is more or less in the center of the village. Lies in Strandvegen 148 Joker is another grocery store; it lies in the start off the village. Placed at Breivikveien 2

Backclash Fishing is one fishing shop there you can buy the necessary fishing equipment. This store lies right next to the hotel in the centrum. Placed at strandvegen 126

If you need some hardware, building material or garden decorations there is a coop byggmix placed in the town. Placed at strandvegen 129

Kjøllefjord has their own bookstore, they sell many things besides books. Like makeup, offices supplies, boat equipment and many other things. Placed at Strandvegen 96

If you come in need of any medicine or first aid equipment we have a pharmacy located on Strandvegen 153. And they also do sell some baking equipment.

There is also a kiosk in Kjøllefjord; they sell candy, food, newspaper and etc. It is located at Strandvegen 141

If you want to buy clothes or sports gear the right store is located in the Centrum at Strandvegen 142.

If you want to buy a souvenir from Kjøllefjord you can buy it on either the art gallery, the tourist information or at the bookstore.

As you can see most of the stores are located at strandvegen. This is the main street which goes through almost the whole village.


Eat[edit][add listing]

Hotel Nordkyn is open all year and offers a restaurant and pub. They have both traditional menus including different dishes with fish and reindeer and typical Norwegian dishes. Furthermore, they are popular for their pizzas, burgers and fries.

There is also a cafê/resturant located more or less in the center of Kjøllefjord that offer pastries, food and sweets. It is open every weekday from 10 AM to 3PM, and 11AM to 3PM on Saturdays.

Davvi Siida offers a traditional Sámi meal prepared and eaten inside a lavvu (traditional Sámi tent), but this you need to book in advance.

Drink[edit][add listing]

If you want to take a drink the only place to go is the local pub. The pub is located at the hotel in the centrum.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Located in the very center of the village with fantastic views of the fjord and rock formation Finnkirka, you find Hotel Nordkyn. It offers a cozy atmosphere and also a restaurant, pub and meeting rooms. [1] If you are on a budget, Hotel Nordkyn also owns a guesthouse. This is more like a hostel.

To get a feeling for what it was like to live here as a fisherman in the earlier days, you can stay at Foldal. Telephone: +47 91 81 60 75 Mail: [email protected]

A bit outside of town you also find Davvi Siida, which is owned by a local Sámi family. They offer accommodation in two cottages and it is also possible to sleep in a traditional Sámi lavvu. Furthermore, you can sleep in your own campervan/caravan or tent. [2]

Kjøllefjord also has a camping place where you can stay with your campervan or caravan. There is electricity, wardrobes, showers and toilets. This is administered by Arctic Coast. [email protected]

If you plan on staying in Kjøllefjord for fishing, Striptind owns a fishing camp. The company is run by professional fishermen. They offer apartments and boats for rental. You will also be able to use their service rooms and other necessary facilities for a fishing vacation. [email protected]


Contact[edit]

If you have any questions about Kjøllefjord you can contact the tourist information, either by e-mail [email protected] or phone +47 784 98 250 or if you are in Kjøllefjord you can pop by the office which is located on Strandveien 164.

Free internet can be found at the public liabrary and at the tourist information.

Get out[edit]

  • Mehamn is a similar fishing village less than half an hour drive away, it is also Hurtigruten's northernmost destination. The village offers a beautiful view of the ocean and exciting history.
  • If Mehamn isn't far enough north for you, Kinnarodden is the next best thing. The headland can be reached by a 23km hiking trail and the promontory is known as the northenmost point of mainland Europe. During certain summer-periods it is also possible to reach it by boat from Mehamn.

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