Visit the pleasant fishing town of Gjesvær, which was once inhabited by the powerful Vikings. Discover the spectacular Gjesværstappan islands nearby, where you’ll find one of the largest bird colonies in all of Norway.
The name Gjesvær comes from Geir, which means spear. During the Viking Age, Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by sea in order to conquest, colonize and trade. Norsemen means “Men from the North.” These were the Germanic people who used to live in Scandinavia and spoke the Old Norse language.
Explore the location the Vikings chose to rest on their way to Bjarmaland, which was a territory that included the southern shores of the White Sea and the basin of the Vienanjoki River. The town of Geirsver was mentioned in the Heimskringla saga, a historic collection of stories about the Norwegian kings and Viking voyages.
Although the original houses and buildings of Gjesvær were destroyed by German occupying forces in 1944, you can still find some construction that is an important part of the region’s culture and history. Look for the Gjesvær Chapel, built in 1960. This small white wooden chapel, privately owned, can seat about 70 people in its simple interior. The charming building is considered one of Norway’s cultural heritage monuments.
The village of Gjesvær also houses a fish processing factory, a post office, a school and a retail shop. Tourism has grown over the last years from activities including fishing and bird watching in Gjesværstappan natural reserve. Gjesværstappan is a group of small islands in the Norwegian Sea and is located nearby, north of the town. It features a beautiful natural reserve, home to a huge seabird colony. Take a bird-watching trip from Gjesvær to the islands and admire some of the amazing birds living in the archipelago.
Gjesvær is a small village in the Nordkapp Municipality in Finnmark county, in the northeastern part of Norway. Travel to Gjesvær and enjoy the charm of this traditional fishing town with about 130 inhabitants.