Kvænangen – Ice Age landscape in North Troms
Few places in Norway can claim such strong and distinct traces of the last Ice Age as Kvænangen. At the head of Kvænangen Fjord, you will discover the bare and polished coastal rock, and the same is the case along other parts of the fjord. The whole fjord is in a U-shaped valley where the ice scraped down the seafloor down 200-400 m. In North Troms and the whole of Northern Europe, the sharply pointed Kvænangen Peaks are a unique landmark. These are the most prominent nunataks in Norway, created at the time when they rose above thick ice masses on their way towards the islands of Nord Fugløy (North Bird Island) and Arnøy to calve into the sea.
Out in Kvænangen, there are many traces of the last Ice Age. On the island of Spildra, there are many shorelines that lie well above today’s high-water mark. The highest shorelines constitute what geologists refer to as the marine boundary or the level the sea rose to when the ice masses at the pole began to melt 11,000 years ago.
When the ice masses left the fjords, the downward pressure of the ice masses on the earth’s crust also disappeared. Slowly but surely, the land (earth’s crust) began to realign itself. That explains why several different shorelines can be found on Spildra and the other islands. The most prominent shoreline, known as “the Tapes transgression”, was created around 6000 years ago. This is where most settlements from the Stone Age are found.
Tours in a unique cultural area in Troms
Spildra is an idyllic island located in the Kvænangen Fjord, surrounded by high mountain chains on the southern and northern sides. Spildra has no roads and there is no car ferry connection with the mainland. The island has a permanent population of 36, who survive like the generations before them over thousands of years through fishing, hunting and small-scale farming. The majority of the island’s residents live in the south-facing village of Dunvik, where facilities include a fishing boat harbour, ferry office, postal services and a general store.
The hospitality here is legendary and everyone who visits the island feels like they have come home. As a guest of Kvænangen Adventure, you will be received as one of the family and have the option of being involved in many tasks that provide an extra (and free) sense of feeling welcome.