Experience the world' strongest tidal current, just 33 kilometres from Bodø town centre. Visit when the tide is at its highest and marvel at the forces of nature.
Every six hours, 400 million cubic metres of water at speeds of up to 20 knots (40 kilometres per hour) rush through the 150-metre wide and 3-kilometre long sound connecting the Saltenfjord and the Skjerstadfjord.
The powerful whirlpools can be up to 10 metres in diameters and 5 metres deep. A tide table for Saltstraumen is available at the local tourist information office.
Saltstraumen is famous for its diving and abundance of fish, including cod, coalfish, wolffish and halibut. The world record for coalfish caught with a fishing pole was set here, an impressive 22.7 kilos.
If you want to try your luck fishing you can either rent tackle for fishing from shore, or you can fish from a boat. You can hire a boat on the spot, or join a group going out on one of the deep-sea fishing charter boats.Every time the current turns there is a "time window" when larger ships can pass through the sound. You can obtain information about these times from a local signal station on the VHF. At these times the current is almost calm.
Anyone being in a boat or down by the sea must show caution because Saltstraumen is dangerous, there are underwater currents even when the surface is calm. Even if the weather is fine in the morning it does not mean that it will stay that way all day. Check the weather forecast or ask a local before you leave. If the clouds darken and start to gather, it is a good idea to head back. It is smart to tell someone where you are going. Remember lifejackets!
The surrounding area is a great starting point for rambling and hiking in the beautiful mountain wilderness, such as Børvasstindene, or for wandering through areas rich in archaeological remains.
The earliest known traces of human settlement in Bodø are in the Saltstraumen area. There was a settlement of hunters here 10,000 years ago. They lived practically on the edge of the ice, attracted by an abundance of fish in the fast-moving currents. The remains of their settlement were discovered only a few years ago, and are among the oldest archaeological findings in Norway.
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Saltstraumen is the world’s most powerful maelstrom and is situated outside of Bodø.
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