Kvaløya (Norwegian) or Sállir (Northern Sami) (lit. "Whale Island") is an island in Tromsø Municipality in Troms county, Norway. At 737 square kilometres (285 sq mi), it is the fifth largest island in mainland Norway. It is connected to the neighboring island of Tromsøya to the east by the Sandnessund Bridge, to the island of Ringvassøya to the north by the sub-sea Kvalsund Tunnel, to the small island of Sommarøya to the west by the Sommarøy Bridge, and to the mainland to the south by the Rya Tunnel. The island of Sommarøy, on the southwest coast, is a popular recreation area with magnificent coastal scenery.
Sállir (Northern Sami)
Location of the island
|Area||737 km2 (285 sq mi)|
|Area rank||5th in Norway|
|Length||46 km (28.6 mi)|
|Width||25 km (15.5 mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,044 m (3,425 ft)|
|Highest point||Store Blåmannen|
|Population||ca. 13,000 (2018)|
|Pop. density||13 /km2 (34 /sq mi)|
Kvaløya is a mountainous island, with at least ten mountains higher than 700 metres (2,300 ft), and three reaching an elevation of more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft); of which the highest is Store Blåmann (big blueman at 1,044 metres (3,425 ft), can be climbed without climbing equipment, last part is steep). There are also several small fjords, almost dividing the island in two or three parts: Kaldfjorden, Ersfjorden, and Kattfjorden.
The Rystraumen is a tidal current in the Straumsfjorden strait separating Kvaløya from the mainland to the south. Near this current, on the Kvaløya side, is Straumhella (30 kilometres or 19 miles from the city), a popular recreation area with good fishing opportunities. Ryøya is an island in the midst of Rystraumen, with a small population of musk oxen grazing in the pine forest, the only such population in Northern Norway.
According to official climate statistics, the west coast of Kvaløya, facing the open ocean, is the warmest part of Tromsø municipality. The weather station at Sommarøy on the west coast has 24-hr averages of −1.9 °C (28.6 °F) in January, 11.9 °C (53.4 °F) in July and a mean annual temperature of 3.9 °C (39.0 °F), while annual precipitation is 940 millimetres (37 in).