After completing the road to Havøysund we extended the trip by taking a ferry to Ingøya further north in the Arctic Ocean. My younger brother and his family had invited us to join them for a trip to their summer vacation home and we were thrilled to experience this arctic island in the Barents Sea.
Fishing tourism at Ingøya
Ingøya has history back to the 14th century as a fishing village, back then it was actually called a ‘city’. Today the island is sparsely populated. During summer there is an increase in the population as many of the descendants from the islanders have vacation homes on the island, as well as an increase in fishing tourism along the coast of Finnmark.
Worth mentioning if you are planning a trip to Ingøy is that the ferry traffic is limited with one daily arrival so you must expect to spend the night. Accommodation is limited and should be booked in advance. The ferry has no ramp so if you want to bring your car it will be lifted off the ferry in a special car net, we left the car in Havøysund. The island is less than 20 square kilometers and a car is strictly not needed.
View of Fruholmen lighthouse in the far distance
On Ingøya you will find Fruholmen Lighthouse, said to be the northernmost lighthouse. It sits om Fruholmen island, a small island only 350 meter long and 300 meters wide. It was lit in 1866 and was manned until 2006 when it was automated. The lighthouse was victim to the scorched earth tactic during WWII and the lighthouse you will find here today was rebuilt after the war.
I always think it is interesting to learn about those who lived and manned the lighthouses along our long coastline. Who where they and how must their life have been? I managed to find some history from the start of Fruholmen Lighthouse in 1866 and have loosely translated parts of it to english:
A lighthouse keeper and his assistance was running the lighthouse. They had their families with them and after some time at the island they both had 5 kids each. The wives struggled with the daily chores. They had to collected rain water as there was no water source on the island. During winter they could melt snow, but that was costly. The weather was harsh this far north in the arctic and it could be more than 6 months before they had the chance to visit the store on the mainland. But they had animals on the island to help keep them with milk and meat.
Ingøya fishing community
In addition to picking all the cloudberries we could eat we did some sightseeing on the island. We hiked up the Ingøy mountain. and from there we had a 360 degree view and could see Fruholmen Lighthouse, Ingøy fishing community and all the way to the wind mills on the mainland at Havøysund. We also hiked to Sanden nature reserve where we had hundreds of meters of beach all to ourselves. The beach was like a treasure chest full of sea shell in different shapes and forms.
Sanden nature reserve
Ingøya is the perfect summer paradise where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Relax, hike, go berry picking, fishing or just read a book on the porch. Oh – and don’t remember to go for apple cake and waffles at the local cafe which is open a couple of hours every day. That is where you’ll meet the locals.