Kvænangen municipality is located at 69 degrees north in Troms and Finnmark county. The name comes from the folk name kven and the norse word angr, which means fjord. Kvænangen was established in 1863 as its own municipality by separation from Skjervøy. Today (2021), the municipality has 1,170 inhabitants, with settlements scattered around the villages of Sørstraumen, Jøkelfjord, Seglvik, Reinfjord, Valanhamn, the island of Spildra and the municipal center Burfjord. The population is a rich mixture of Kvens, Norwegians, Sámi and immigrants from several parts of the world.
The nature in Kvænangen gives you most of what you could wish for, it offers both mountains, sea, forest and fields. The municipality is a popular departure point for people in surrounding municipalities, and has a relatively large proportion of holiday homes.
Kvænangstindene is an important landmark that can be seen over almost the entire municipality. Øksfjordjøkelen, which is the only glacier in Europe that calves directly into the sea, is also found in Kvænangen. The Sørstraumen is Northern Europe’s second strongest fishing stream, which attracts many fishermen to the municipality. There are also no less than three salmon-carrying rivers in the area and several landscape conservation areas that offer unique animal and bird life.
Kvænangen also offers midnight sun from mid-May to the end of July, and darkness from the end of November to mid-January. Northern lights are also common in the municipality in winter.
The business world has a high proportion of public workplaces and otherwise consists largely of small businesses divided into business lines as shown in the figure above. The fish farming industry has the highest proportion of employees in the private business sector. The tourism industry is growing and has almost doubled in the last 5 years, and is mostly based around experiences and outdoor activities.
Over the past few years, the number of unemployed has fallen, and is now down to 2.2% of the working population in the municipality (2020).
Leisure and culture
In Kvænangen, there is a diverse range of cultural and leisure activities for children from kindergarten age and adults. There are many associations and teams that offer various activities, everything from skiing to pistol shooting, and other social events. The cultural school has a wide range of activities, where choir, theater and band are among the many things you can choose from. The municipality also has a Kven and Sami competence center that provides language training and other cultural activities for people of all ages.
In Burfjord is a newly built multi-purpose hall, where you can take part in organized sports activities or you can apply for an allocation of your own time.
For those who like to be out in nature, there are many different activities throughout the year:
- Ski tours, both on slopes or in untouched nature.
- Snowmobile driving on official trails, where you can also rent a cabin on the road or spend the night in a tent or lavvo.
- Walks along the fjords, in the forest or on mountain tops.
- Good opportunities for fishing and hunting all year round.