Sortland - capital of the district of Vesterålen

Church Tower in Sortland

Sortland is the capital of the district of Vesterålen, Northern Norway. Sortland has a population of about 9230, but it seems to grow every day. Sortland is in a top position in Norway when it comes to the population growth... at least when you compare it to the number of inhabitants. First half of 1998, the population increased with 1,1 percent. If this continues, the first million will be reached during the summer of 2214.

The modern and rather unappealing town of Sortland has little to offer but an overnight stop or a petrol station to help you move on... (The book "Lonely Planet - Norway" describes Sortland).

On the 19th of June, 1997, Sortland was awarded the title of city. If there is a connection between great sport events and millenniums, Sortland will have the pleasure of hosting the WC on Ski in the year of 2997!

About half of the inhabitants work either as hairdressers, in traffic schools or in a clothing shop. The other half consists mainly of children and those who will die of age during the next few years.

Saturday is probably the best shopping day if you are planning to study the urban life of all the Sortlendinga. On a good day, you will probably spot more than 500 people in the main shopping street, Strandgata. Many of them are different.

During the summer of 1999, a handful of houses were painted blue, among them the waterfront storehouses. According to press releases, the next stage in transforming Sortland to be "The Blue City" will start in May 2000. Then, there will be a gradual development over three years, terminating in 2003.

And, visiting Sortland, you will be surprised to notice the amount of shops! And you may even be surprised to see the density of hairdressers, traffic schools and fashion shops.

What else, you may wonder. What else do we have to offer? You want more, don't you? Well, maybe the Blue City Project will give you what you are looking for?

Rugged islands featuring dramatic mountain scenery, picturesque villages and sheltered bays with crystal-clear seas... (Lonely Planet describes the islands of... Lofoten).
blue city sortland

Getting there and away in Sortland

There are several options for the one going to Sortland. As the strategic communication centre of the district, Sortland serves as a natural meeting place and is easy to reach by:

The most convenient is to take the north- or southbound Coastal Express which arrives twice a day. From Trondheim, the northbound Coastal Express spends two days. From Tromsø, the southbound Express spends about a night. To read more about the schedule, visit: Hurtigruten.

Twice a day, a train from Trondheim is heading for Bodø. If you want to go by train, you have to stop in Fauske and go by bus from Fauske to Sortland. This is by far the most popular for the budget traveler.

The nearest airport is also the most used feeder airport in Norway, Skagen, only 25 kilometers away. There are several routes every day from the major destinations in Northern Norway... Unfortunately, there are no routes directly between Skagen and Tromsø, 400 kilometers away. Consequently, going to and from Tromsø by plane is just as expensive as going to and from Cuba...
Another option is to go to Evenes, about 100 kilometers from Sortland.

Sortland is possible to reach by bus from all major cities in Northern Norway. If you want to know more about the schedule, call Nordtrafikk. If you come from southern Norway, the most convenient is to go by train before changing to bus.

Sortland is certainly the transport hub of Vesterålen, and you have a choice of buses...
"Lonely Planet - Norway" describes Sortland as a centre of transportation.

Sights & what to do in Sortland

Sights & what to do in Vesterålen

Sortland from the air

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