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Rafting and fishing in Saltstraumen, Norway - Photo: Benn Henriksen
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Rafting and fishing in Saltstraumen, Norway Photo: Benn Henriksen

The Saltstraumen maelstrom

Saltstraumen is the world’s most powerful maelstrom and is situated outside of Bodø in Arctic Norway. Join an eagle safari or go sea rafting.

Where

Experience the world' strongest tidal current, just 33 kilometers from Bodø town center, and close to the Lofoten Islands, in Northern Norway. Visit when the tide is at its highest and marvel at the forces of nature.

Eagle safaris, fishing or diving

There are several ways of experiencing this natural phenomenon. Saltstraumen Naturopplevelser offers eagle safaris and sea rafting. 

Saltstraumen is famous for its diving and extremly good fishing opportunities, 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 maelstrom

Every six hours, 400 million cubic meter  of water at speeds of up to 20 knots (40 kilometer per hour) rush through the 150-meter wide and 3-kilometer long sound connecting the Saltenfjord and the Skjerstadfjord.

The powerful whirlpools can be up to 10 meters in diameters and 5 meters deep. A tide table for Saltstraumen is available at the local tourist information office.

Go for a wander

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.

Archaeological findings

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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Last updated:  2014-07-29
Diving in Saltstraumen in Norway - Photo: Vebjørn Karlsen/NordNorsk Reiseliv
Diving in Saltstraumen in Norway
Saltstraumen in Norway is famous for extremely good fishing opportunities - Photo: Vebjørn Karlsen
Saltstraumen in Norway is famous for extremely good fishing opportunities
Rafting in Saltstraumen in Norway - Photo: Roger Johansen/NordNorsk Reiseliv
Rafting in Saltstraumen in Norway

Interest:  Nature attractions, Coast and coastal culture

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Rafting and fishing in Saltstraumen, Norway - Photo: Benn Henriksen

The Saltstraumen maelstrom

Saltstraumen is the world’s most powerful maelstrom and is situated outside of Bodø in Arctic Norway. Join an eagle safari or go sea rafting.

The Saltstraumen maelstrom

Source: Visitnorway

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