Kjerringøy, half an hour's drive from Bodø, is situated in a picturesque, coastal-alpine landscape sheltered from the ocean by a garland of small islands, islets and rocks. It has been used as the location for several films based on the novels of Knut Hamsun. In this compact and varied landscape you will find everything from sheer mountain faces and shiny, white, sandy beaches, to vibrant farming communities and the historical Kjerringøy Trading Post.
Just 33 kilometres from Bodø lies the world's strongest maelstrom, Saltstraumen.Visit when the tide is at its highest and marvel at the forces of nature. Every six hours, 400 million m3 of water rush through the 150-metre wide and 3-kilometre long sound connecting the Saltfjord and the Skjerstadfjord at speeds of up to 20 knots. The mighty whirlpools that are formed by this phenomenon can be up to 10 metres in diameter and 4-5 metres deep. The tide is caused by the attraction of the moon here on Earth, and therefore it is the tide and the phases of the moon that determine when the current is at its strongest.
Saltstraumen is famous for its abundance of fish, including cod, saithe, wolf fish and halibut. The world record for saithe caught with a fishing pole was set here, an impressive 22.7 kg! Saltstraumen offers a wide range of activities and exciting experiences. If you want to try your luck fishing you can either rent tackle for fishing from the shore, or you can fish from a boat. Stella Polaris, Tuvsjyen, and Saltstraumen Fiskecamp all arrange fishing tours to Saltstraumen. Read more about Saltstraumen.
Out at sea, amid the isles and skerries, lies a magical island realm. Try a round trip on the fast passenger boat and see with your own eyes what is so special with this unique stretch of coastline. The fishing villages of Sørlandego, Bliksvær, Helligvær, Givær, Fleinvær and the Arnøyene islands are small communities whose livelihood depends on the sea. There is excellent fishing all along this coast. And you almost have to be unlucky not to spot a sea eagle! There are daily express boats to many of the islands and fishing villages.
Here you will find exciting culture and wilderness adventures in an area incorporating unspoilt countryside. Enjoy the silence while sitting on the frozen lake fishing for trout or go dog-sledging in the wilderness. You can also visit the herb garden at Misvær and drink locally produced herbal tea.
In Bodø's museums you can walk right into the town's dramatic and fascinating history. Learn more about aviation at the Norwegian Aviation Museum, where you can see famous and infamous aircraft like the Spitfire, the Twin Otter and the U-2 spyplane at close quarters. The Nordland Museum is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Bodø centre (built in 1903). The museum provides an insight into the history of Bodø from 1816 and up until the present day. The open-air department of the Nordland Museum situated in Bodøsjøen is a popular recreational area.
Bodø Cathedral boasts a 12-metre-high stained glass window, 10 tapestries from Nordland, and a rose window that decorates the beautiful interior. The cathedral is built as a basilica in the Gothic style. It was designed by the architects Blakstad & Munthe Kaas and was one of the first churches in Norway to have a detached steeple. The Bodin Church, 3 kilometres from the town centre, was built around 1240. One of its treasures is the original baroque altar piece, which dates from 1670.
The northern lights
Witness the elegant dance of the shimmering northern lights at what must be one of the principal theatres in Nordland. The northern lights can be seen on dark, clear evenings from September to April. In Bodø, beneath the Auroral Oval, a belt of light that centres around the geomagnetic poles, the odds are very good for seeing the northern lights. They often start faintly in the far north, moving higher up in the evening and night sky.
The midnight sun
Since the sun never sets in summer, you can wander barefoot along the chalk-white beaches and warm rocks just outside Bodø. You can admire the midnight sun from Mount Rønvikfjellet, or watch it hang on the horizon like a polished gold pendant as you enjoy the tranquillity on the legendary beach at Mjelle. The island of Landegode is another good spot – and a popular postcard motif.
Bodø has the densest population of white-tailed eagles (sea eagles) in the world. There is no better guarantee of encountering these majestic birds of prey. Here, you can see sea eagles all year round. These huge birds are observed daily soaring high above the town or perched on rocks on the islands near Bodø. Operator: Stella Polaris.