Kirkenes Tourist Attractions
The Norwegian port and industrial town of Kirkenes lies on the south side of the Varangerfjord, on a promontory between the Langfjord and the broad estuary of the Pasvikelv. The Russian frontier runs only a few kilometers east of the center of town.In the town center are a number of modern office buildings. The town's economy is centered on the mining and processing of iron ore.The midnight sun shines from May 17 to July 21, while darkness envelopes Kirkenes from November 21 to January 21.Tourist attractions in Kirkenes include the the Border Country Museum as well as Andersgrotta, a vast underground bunker built during WWII.
The midnight sun provides a memorable experience at Kirkenes; it is visible for two months, beginning May 20.
To the north of Kirkenes, on the Holmengrå peninsula and the island of Kyøøy, are two stone mazes, probably medieval but possibly dating back to the Iron Age.
To the north of Kirkenes the Varangerfjord cuts deep inland from the east and combines with the Tanafjord to cut off the Varanger peninsula from the mainland. From Kirkenes there is a ferry service to Vadsø, on the north side of the Varangerfjord, and also daily sailings to the Russian port of Murmansk.
From Kirkenes and Vadsø there are boat services to Vardø (pop. 3,000), the most easterly town in Norway, which received its municipal charter in 1788. The North Harbor, sheltered by two breakwaters, is the base of a considerable fishing fleet which brings in most of the town's income. Note the large racks for drying stockfish.Fridtjof Nansen sailed from Vardø in the "Fram" on July 21 1893 on a voyage which took him to latitude 86°4' north, returning to Norwegian soil here in 1896.Vardø is connected with the mainland by a road tunnel running under the sea.Vardø is noted in birding circles for the abundant variety of bird species that are found, particularly at the Hornoya Nature Reserve, an island just outside the harbor.
Map of Kirkenes Attractions