County: Finnmark fylke.
Altitude: sea level. Population: 5000.
Postal code: N-9900. Telephone code: 085. TsTuristkontor,
HOTELS. Kirkenes Rica Turisthotell, 117 Kirkenes Gjestgiveri, 30 Solia Gjestgiveri, 16 Stenby’s Overnatting, 12b.- CAMP SITE.
The Norwegian port and industrial town of Kirkenes lies on the S side of the Varangerfjord, on a promontory between the Langfjord and the broad estuary of the Pasvikelv. A major source of income is the working and processing of iron ore. The midnight sun provides a memorable experience here; it lasts for two months, beginning 20 May.
SIGHTS. In the middle of the town there are several modern office buildings. Tothe N of the town, on the Holmengra peninsula and the little island of Kjoeya, are two stone mazes, probably medieval but possibly dating from the Iron Age.
SURROUNDINGS. To the N of the town the Varangerfjord drives deep inland from the E and combines with the Tanafjord to separate the Var-anger peninsula from the mainland. From Kirkenes boats ply to Vadse on the N side ofthe Varangerfjord.
Vadso (pop. 6000; Vadso Hotell, 67 b.), on the S coast of the Varanger peninsula, is the administrative capital of Finnmark county and a busy port, shipping fish and fish products. There are boat services (Hurtigrute) several times weekly to Hammerfest and S to Bergen. On the offshore island of Vadseya is an airship anchoring mast which was used by Amundsen in 1926 and Nobile in 1928.
There are boat services from Kirkenes and Vadso to Vardo, the most easterly town in Norway.
Vardo (pop. 3500; Vardo Hotell, 36 b.) received its municipal charter in 1788. The North Harbour, sheltered by two breakwaters, is the base of a substantial fishing fleet. The fleet is responsible for most of the town’s income. Note the large racks for drying stockfish. To the W of the town is the fortress of Vardohus (1737). From the VardefjeI, a rocky crag 59 m (195 ft) high, there are fine views of the town and island, and also of the rugged and barren interior of the Varanger peninsula.