Krøttøya is an island in Harstad Municipality in Troms county, Norway. The 1.3-square-kilometre (0.50 sq mi) island is the northernmost inhabited island in the Andfjorden. It is located int he Meløyvær archipelago, consisting of 365 small islands, with over 20 white-sand beaches. Several other islands are connected to Krøttøya by road, but the island group is only accessible by boat. Krøttøy is surrounded by the large islands of Senja to the east, Bjarkøya and Grytøya to the south, and Andøya to the west.
Aerial image of Krøttøy (lower) and Meløyvær (upper)
Location of the island
|Area||1.3 km2 (0.50 sq mi)|
|Length||3.4 km (2.11 mi)|
|Width||1.7 km (1.06 mi)|
|Coastline||7 km (4.3 mi)|
|Highest elevation||99 m (325 ft)|
|Highest point||Nordlystoppen (Kollen)|
|Population||3 in winter, ca. 100 in summer (2015)|
During the winter season (October–March) large schools of herring arrive in Andfjorden, followed by orcas, humpback whales, and fin whales. Sperm whales and pilot whales are encountered all year round.
The main attractions are Viking graves and the Meløyvær fortress which is a national museum. The island was of great strategic importance during the Cold War thus holding back a possible naval attack of the Soviet Navy on the supply lines and defence positions of the Norwegian Army in Northern Norway. Fully manned, it had stationed up to 450 soldiers of the Norwegian Army. In 2002 the army left the fort and since then visitors from outside are allowed in the fort without security clearances. Some of the bunkers and military buildings are now privately owned. Valhall, an ex-military summer residence was renovated in 2007 and now serves as a hotel. The main activities are whale watching, sea eagle safaris, fishing, sea kayaking, and diving.
Krøttøy is inhabited year-round by a few people and in the summer its population increases dramatically. It is connected daily by a catamaran operated by Boreal Transport with the islands of Bjarkøya and Senja and with the town of Harstad. There is also a bridge connecting Krøttøya with Meløyvær.
Allied Forces North Norway (NON) was a NATO command tasked with the defense of Northern Norway. NON's area of responsibility covered the three northernmost counties of Norway: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark, as well as the adjacent sea territory. It formed part of Allied Forces Northern Europe.Andfjorden
Andfjorden is a fjord on the border of Nordland and Troms counties in Norway. It primarily flows between the large islands of Andøya and Senja. Grytøya and the smaller islands Bjarkøya and Krøttøya are located in the fjord. The main crossing is via the Andenes–Gryllefjord Ferry between Andøy and Torsken municipalities. Other municipalities through which the fjord flows are Tranøy, Harstad, and Kvæfjord.
The fjord is about 60 kilometres (37 mi) long, has a maximum width of 30 kilometres (19 mi), and has a maximum depth of 517 metres (1,696 ft) which makes it a rich feeding ground for Sperm whales and Killer whales. Whale safaris are run from Andenes and from Krøttøya. Several other fjords branch off the Andfjorden including the Kvæfjorden, Godfjorden, and the Vågsfjorden.At the tiny Steinavær islands in the Andfjorden, there is a large coral reef.Bjarkøy
Bjarkøy is a former municipality in Troms county, Norway. The 73.6-square-kilometre (28.4 sq mi) municipality existed from 1838 until it was merged with Harstad Municipality on 1 January 2013. The administrative centre of the municipality was the village of Nergården on the island of Bjarkøya. The island municipality was spread across several islands: Bjarkøya, Sandsøya, Grytøya (northern half), Krøttøya, and many smaller ones. Originally, the municipality also included the southwestern part of the large island of Senja.
One of the reasons why Bjarkøy merged with Harstad in 2013 was due to the promised funding of the Bjarkøy Fixed Link project. It would link the main islands of Bjarkøy together with a bridge and undersea road tunnel enabling residents to drive further which would drastically shorten the ferry ride to Harstad.Harstad
Harstad (Norwegian) or Hárstták (Northern Sami) is the second-most populated municipality in Troms county, Norway. It is mostly located on the large island of Hinnøya. The municipal center is the town of Harstad, the most populous town in Central Hålogaland, and the third-largest in all of Northern Norway. The town was incorporated in 1904. Villages in the municipality include Elgsnes, Fauskevåg, Gausvik, Grøtavær, Kasfjord, Lundenes, Nergården and Sørvika.
The 445-square-kilometre (172 sq mi) municipality is the 227th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Harstad is the 45th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 24,820. The municipality's population density is 57.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (150/sq mi) and its population has increased by 5.1% over the last decade.Meløyvær Fortress
Meløyvær fortress is a coastal fortress in Norway on Krøttøya in Troms. The construction was of strategic importance to NATO and northern Norway's role during the Cold War. Meløyvær fortress was the last of the fortresses with the 120 mm Bofors guns to be built in Norway. It is a complete construction, authentic and in good condition.Senja
Senja (Norwegian) or Sážžá (Northern Sami) is an island and future municipality in Troms county, Norway. At 1,586.3-square-kilometre (612.5 sq mi), it is the second largest island in Norway (outside of the Svalbard archipelago). It has a wild, mountainous outer (western) side facing the Atlantic, and a mild and lush inner (eastern) side. The island is governed by four municipalities: Torsken, Tranøy, Lenvik, and Berg, however in on 1 January 2020, the four municipalities are scheduled to be merged into one large Senja Municipality. The island of Senja had 7,864 inhabitants as of 1 January 2017. Most of the residents live along the eastern coast of the island, with Silsand being the largest urban area on the island. The fishing village of Gryllefjord on the west coast has a summer-only ferry connection to the nearby island of Andøya: the Andenes–Gryllefjord Ferry.The island sits northeast of the Vesterålen archipelago, surrounded by the Norwegian Sea to the northwest, the Malangen fjord to the northeast, the Gisundet strait to the east, the Solbergfjorden to the southeast, the Vågsfjorden to the south, and the Andfjorden to the west. Ånderdalen National Park is located in the southern part of the island.Whale watching
Whale watching is the practice of observing whales and dolphins (cetaceans) in their natural habitat. Whale watching is mostly a recreational activity (cf. birdwatching), but it can also serve scientific and/or educational purposes. A study prepared for International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2009 estimated that 13 million people went whale watching globally in 2008. Whale watching generates $2.1 billion per annum in tourism revenue worldwide, employing around 13,000 workers. The size and rapid growth of the industry has led to complex and continuing debates with the whaling industry about the best use of whales as a natural resource.