Welcome to Sortland - the blue city

Sortland, with a population of ten thousand, is centrally located in the Vesterålen islands. A rapidly developing regional hub, Sortland is one of the few urban centres in Northern Norway that has had an increase in population during recent years.

The Blue City

Sortland the Blue City has become the centre of local, national and international attention. It all began in conjunction with the new millennium observances. Sortland was given the idea of painting the city blue. This was the start of a lively process involving not only local artists, but the general public as well. 

We invite you to pay us a visit and see how the blue colour scheme is coming along. Set aside some time for a poetic stroll through the downtown area, where you can enjoy "Writings on a field of blue", - meaning literary decoration on the blue walls of the city. In cooperation with author Lars Saabye Christensen, young people from Vesterålen have adorned the urban centre with original, thought-provoking texts. A separate folder and a CD are also available about the project "Writings on a field of blue".

The Blue City is also known for its rich cultural life. In particular, music has long been a hallmark. Among other musical powerhouses, we might mention Sortland's jazz society, the music department of the Upper Secondary School and the highly active School of Culture.

In addition, the city boasts art exhibitions, a church dating from 1901 and breathtaking hiking trails. Sortland also has plenty of shopping opportunities and is known for the highest annual turnover per capita in all of Northern Norway.



The Vesterålen islands are linked by a number of bridges, and in only one hour's driving time, you can cover almost all of Vesterålen. Skagen airport is only 20 minutes away; 1.5 hrs to Evenes airport, and about an hour to Andenes airport. The coastal steamer calls at Risøyhamn, Stokmarknes and Sortland twice a day.

Vesterålen is an exciting place for visitors and offers everything from working fishing villages, incredible hiking, churches, museums, nature safaris featuring seal, bird, whale and orca watching, not to mention deep sea fishing.

Vesterålen Tourism at Sortland is ready and able to help you find memorable experiences in the islands.

Tourist Information

Photos of Vesterålen

If you need help and further information – get in touch.

We will gladly assist you!