Around 300km north of the Arctic Circle, Troms surprises visitors with its strikingly luxuriant landscape and exuberant and colourful culture.

Green and fertile far to the North

The county of Troms lies about 300 kilometres (200 miles) as the crow flies north of the Arctic Circle, but is nevertheless green and fertile. The central areas of the county consist of rolling hills covered in birch and pine forests. Some of Norway’s largest islands are in Troms; they are like mini-continents with coastlines, fjords, forests, mountains, lakes and rivers. On the mainland, countless fjords stretch far into the forest and mountain landscape.

Fjords and mountains in border country

The Lyngsalpene (Lyngen Alps) at 1,800m (5,905 ft) form the roof of Troms, and define the geography of the northern part of the county. Mountain plateaux, lakes and rounded peaks characterise Kjølen, the range of mountains towards the border in the east. The Øksfjordjøkelen glacier, which calves into the fjord, and the 600m (1,968 ft) sea cliffs of the island of Nord-Fugløy, form the northern end-point of the county.

Meeting place for people

Norwegian and Sami culture both go back many centuries in Troms, and the two peoples have set their mark on the county through at least the past 2,000 years. South Troms and the outer coast have traditionally been dominated by the coastal culture of Northern Norway associated with the sea, while the Sea Sami culture has been strongest along the fjords in North Troms. Today, Troms County Authority and two Troms municipalities have both Norwegian and Sami as their official languages.

Watch movie from Troms county


In the 18th and 19th centuries, many people from the valleys of central Norway and Kven people from northern Finland migrated to Troms and contributed to further cultural riches.

Easily navigated coast

Troms is a county of fishing villages, farming communities, urban centres and three cities. A well-developed network of roads, with bridges connecting the larger islands and ferries the smaller islands, binds the county together. Along the inner shipping lanes fast-going vessels and the Hurtigruten coastal service ply their routes between the coastal towns. The county has four airports.


The people of Troms have traditionally made their living from fisheries and farming, all according to season. Today, the fisheries are modern, industrial enterprises carried on from busy fishing communities on the coast. Fish farming is becoming more important in Troms.

Agriculture, manufacturing, oil, research

Agriculture helps retain the settlements along the fjords and in the inland valleys. In the urban centres in Troms and in Harstad there is a variety of industry, much of it related to the oil and maritime sectors. The presence of the Norwegian Armed Forces means a lot for the area of inner Troms. Tromsø, the county’s largest city and the world’s most northerly university town, is dominated by research and education.

Facts about Troms:

Area: 25,870km2 (9,986 sq. miles) Population: 163 ,000

Cities and Towns:

Tromsø: pop. 73 000

Harstad: pop. 25 000

Finnsnes: pop. 11,400