Fishing village Mefjordvær
Mefjordvær is a picturesque fishing village. It is surrounded by tall, beautiful mountains in one of the finest and most fish abundant fjords of the Senja island.
Mefjordvær had its heyday around 1900 when it was the second largest fishing village in Troms and Finnmark fylke. Back in these times, up to approximately 230 boats were fishing here with almost 800 fishermen from all over Lindesnes (the southernmost point of Norway) and eastern Finnmark in the north. Providing accommodation for as many visiting fishermen could probably be a problem, but “der det er hjerterom er det husrom” (from Norwegian, “where your heart lives, there is an extra room”). So, many people had enough rooms for one or two boat’s crews living with them. And because of the lack of separate preparation rooms for fishing equipment, the fishermen used the same kitchen for both cooking and making ready to fish. It was probably not without its problems for the women having to perform their daily activities between long line barrels (lines with many hooks on) and agnkasser (a box with fish bait). At this time there were 7 fishing companies and 14 other businesses, among which, of course, a cafe and a bakery.
Mefjordvær’s prime has disappeared when the boat engine was introduced and the boats became bigger. The fishing conditions were bad and building a stone pier in 1930 to protect against the dangerous winter storm did not help much either. The boats moved to the neighboring village Senjahopen, which had a natural harbor, sheltered from the weather. After 1945, there were only three fishing companies left, which eventually burned down in 1978. Today, Senjahopen, located just 5 km from Mefjordvær is one of Northern Norway’s largest fishing villages.
However, the stone pier is still there and it is called “Mefjordværs Karl Johan”. Here you can meet both locals and visitors for a chat and perhaps a cup of coffee. In this small village it is natural to greet and talk with everyone.
Mefjordvær participates in “Footprints in the North” project – a cultural gateway to Northern Norway and Namdalen and is the largest project in Troms district. A walk along the path, which also Queen Sonja took when she visited Mefjordvær in 2010, gives you insight into Mefjordvær’s about 6500 years old history. Here you can see the Neolithic dwellings and tombs from the early Iron Age. Gårdshaugen, 250 m long and 75 m wide, is one of the largest in North Norway. “Russehula” – with its dramatic history from the 1300s, when Russian explorers invaded the Norwegian coast is also worth a visit. You should also visit the place where the last witch was burned in Senja, “Knutskjærringa” had a power that made the fishermen give her money to get good fishing.
Perhaps it was just what Storlygar-Einar had done when he got “a halibut that was so great that he had to tow it. At the top of the pier, he had to get the horse to pull it ashore. The horse went for 8 days to get the halibut out of the tide”.
Mefjordvær has an accessible trail network of approximately 20 km – to nearby lakes, beaches and lookouts, to access shelters and rest areas, mountains and river and also to the memories of our local history.
Come to Mefjordvær, because where the road ends the adventure begins!