Visit Norway’s Smallest Municipality

Visit Norway’s Smallest Municipality

There’s much to experience both on land and at sea in Norway’s smallest municipality in area and second smallest in population, Kvitsøy in Rogaland. Visit Norway’s smallest municipality.

The Old Norse form of the name Kvitsøy was Hvítingsøy (jar) which means “the white island(s)”, probably because there is white quartz in the rocks on the islands. Originally, the spelling of the municipality was “Kvitingsø”, but later it was shortened to “Kvitsøy”.

Related: Some of Norway’s Most Spectacular Sights

The Lighthouse

Visit Norway’s Smallest Municipality
Kvitsøy lighthouse was built in 1829. Photo: Fjord Norway

If you’re in the area, a place not to be missed is the Kvitsøy lighthouse, south of Skudesneshavn, located near Ydstebøhavn harbor in a maritime environment. The place offers also several other cultural monuments.

Kvitsøy lighthouse was built in 1829. It was then 18 meter-high with a coal burner on top. In 1859, the tower was raised by a further 7m and equipped with an oil-fired flame and a lens system. The top of the lighthouse is now 45 m above sea level. In 1938, the lighthouse was electrified, and in 1969, automated.

The lighthouse is heritage-listed. The history of the tilting Kvitsøy lighthouse has, however, a history dating back to the year 1700 when Henrich Petersen set up a so-called bascule lighthouse in Ydstebøhavn.

Related: Norway’s Capital of Street Art

Fine dining

Visit Norway’s Smallest Municipality
Grøningen guest marina. Photo: Visit Norway

The charming gourmet restaurant Grøningen on the quay in Ydstebøhavn is worth a visit in itself and don’t miss the few but cozy streets or one or more of the secluded little beaches. The trails here are well marked. Don’t miss the stone cross on Krossøy.

On the island there are great opportunities to fish for crab and lobster. Bjellandsparken is an old facility for lobsters from 1902.

Related: Popular Adventures in Stavanger

Historical site

Visit Norway’s Smallest Municipality
Kvitsøy stone cross. Photo: Visit Norway

Kvitsøy is first mentioned in the Snorre Saga, where Snorre records a truce being made between King Olaf II of Norway later to be known as St. Olav (Norwegian: Hellige Olav) and Erling Skjalgsson, under the stone cross.

The 6-square-kilometre (2.3 sq mi) municipality is the 356th largest by area out of the 356 municipalities in Norway, making it the smallest in the nation. Kvitsøy is the 349th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 523. The municipality’s population density is 83.3 inhabitants per square kilometer (216/sq mi).


There are few accommodations on Kvitsøy, so book early or bring a tent, your own boat or motorhome. People here are very friendly, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation.

Visit Norway’s Smallest Municipality, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top) photo: Wikipedia

Previous articleScandinavian Berries
Next articleNorwegian Photographer Loves Silence, Mystique and Unease
Avatar photo
Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.