— Municipality —
Solund within Sogn og Fjordane
Coordinates: 61°7′51″N 4°56′52″E
County Sogn og Fjordane
Municipality ID NO-1412
Administrative centre Hardbakke
- Mayor (2003) Gunn Åmdal Mongstad (Sp)
Area (Nr. 314 in Norway)
- Total 229 km2 (88.4 sq mi)
- Land 219 km2 (84.6 sq mi)
- Total 874
- Density 4/km2 (10.4/sq mi)
- Change (10 years) -19.5 %
- Rank in Norway 413
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
- Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Official language form Nynorsk
Demonym Suling 
Year Pop. %±
1769 855 —
1951 1,802 110.8%
1960 1,695 −5.9%
1970 1,376 −18.8%
1980 1,211 −12.0%
1990 1,144 −5.5%
2000 959 −16.2%
2010 878 −8.4%
2020 857 −2.4%
2030 863 0.7%
Solund is a municipality in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It is located in the traditional district of Sogn. Solund is the westernmost island municipality in Norway, and the only municipality in Sogn og Fjordane that is made up only of islands. The island of Steinsøy in Solund is the westernmost point of Norway.
The population today is around 900, with most people living on the main islands of Sula and Ytre Sula. The administrative centre of Solund is the village of Hardbakke on the island of Ytre Sula.
The name (Old Norse Sólund, Sólundir plural) originally belonged to the islands of Sula. The meaning of the name is unknown. In Old Norse times, the sea between Norway and Scotland was called Sólundirhaf which means "the sea (haf) of Solund."
The municipality was named Utvær from 1858 until 1 July 1890 when it was changed to Sulen. The spelling was altered to Solund on 16 November 1923.
The coat-of-arms is from 1990, but is inspired by the coat-of-arms of the medieval noble family from the island of Losna.
Utvær was established as a municipality in 1858. Two sub-parishes or sokn (Solund and Husøy) were separated from the Gulen parish (prestegjeld) to form the new municipality and parish of Utvær. The initial population of Utvær was 1,384.
On 1 January 1888, the Krakken farm (population: 17) was transferred from Hyllestad and eight farms (population: 317) from Askvoll were all transferred to Utvær.
On 1 July 1890, the name Utvær was changed to Sulen. The spelling was later altered to Solund by royal decree on 16 November 1923.
On 1 January 1964, the island of Losna (population: 40) was transferred from Gulen to Solund.
The Church of Norway has three churches within the municipality of Solund. It is part of the Diocese of Bjørgvin and the Rural Deanery (Prosti) of Ytre Sogn.
Churches in Solund
(Sogn) Church Name Year Built Location
of the Church
Solund Parish Solund Hersvik kyrkje 1892 Hersvik
Husøy kyrkje 1896 Straumen
Solund kyrkje 1869 Hardbakke
*The three sogns were merged into one sogn in 2000.
All municipalities in Norway, including Solund, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.
The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Solund is made up of 14 representatives that are elected to every four years. For 2007–2011, the party breakdown is as follows:
Solund Kommunestyre 2007 - 2011
Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of
Labour Party Det Norske Arbeiderpartiet 3
Progress Party Fremskrittspartiet 4
Conservative Party Høyre 2
Centre Party Senterpartiet 4
Socialist Left Party Sosialistisk Venstreparti 1
The mayor (ordførar) of a municipality in Norway is a representative of the majority party of the municipal council who is elected to lead the council. The mayor for the 2007-2011 term is Gunn Åmdal Mongstad of the Centre Party (Senterpartiet).
Solund is one of the least populated municipalities in Norway. The population of Solund is scattered among the islands in small villages as follows:
Hardbakke - 326 inhabitants
Storøy/Dalesund - 139 inhabitants
Nesefjord - 89 inhabitants
Kolgrov/Trovåg - 62 inhabitants
Hjønnevåg - 59 inhabitants
Strand/Oddekalv - 53 inhabitants
Færøy/Leknessund - 52 inhabitants
Hersvik - 42 inhabitants
Austrefjord/Dumbefjord - 26 inhabitants
Indrevær/Utvær - 11 inhabitants
Krakhella - 6 inhabitants
Losnegard - 4 inhabitants
Solund is a municipality made up of many islands. The two largest islands are Sula and Ytre Sula. Other islands are Losna, Nesøyna, Ospa, Rånøyna, Færøyna, Lågøyna, and Hågøyna. The westernmost point in Norway is the tiny Utvær islands which are mostly uninhabited.
Solund is bordered to the north by the municipality of Askvoll, to the east by Fjaler and Hyllestad, to the south by Gulen, and to the west by the North Sea.
Fishing is the most important industry in Solund. Solund Verft is the largest industrial business with 21 employees working on the maintenance, reconstruction, and repair of ships. Solund is popular with boaters with its myriad exciting islands and also attracts numerous tourists looking for outdoor recreation and fishing. Utvær island and the Utvær fyr (lighthouse) is a popular destination for tourists during the summer.
Gåsvær is among the outermost islands of northern Solund. It is far west out at sea between the Lågøy fjord and the Gåsværosen river outlet. The fishing banks are just off the island’s coastline, and Gåsvær most probably has a long history of trade. In 1767, the island had both its own guesthouse and pub. Over the past century, the islanders have made their living from fishing and agriculture, and in more modern times, taking passengers over the waters and tourism. The oldest section of the characteristic main house dates back to the 18th century, while another section was built using timber from a shipwrecked sailing ship.
You cannot travel any further west in Norway and still be on solid ground. There are no longer any permanent residents on the island of Utvær, but there are always two people on duty at the lighthouse. To visit Utvær you have to travel by boat. There is a service available on request from Kolgrov all year round. In the summer season there is a scheduled service with departures from Hardbakke, Eivindvik, and Korssund.
The County Governor of Sogn og Fjordane has decided to define Utvær as a nature reserve. This decision applies to the Utvær island group and surrounding sea. An exception is made for the island of Utvær itself and the sea immediately around it. The Norwegian Riksantikvar (preservation of Norwegian heritage) has made a proposal to preserve the lighthouse itself.
In the Middle Ages there was a chapel to the south of the existing settlement. It is somewhat uncertain when the chapel was built. The first written references to if appear in the work of Bjørgynar Kalveskinn from 1320. The chapel had an income from gifts and fishing tithes. In the 17th century the chapel owned 15 cows and 27 sheep that were rented out. Later on in the 17th century the chapel of Utvær was robbed by Scottish pirates.
The chapel was made of timber and was approximately 7.5 meters long and 6.3 meters wide, and it could seat a congregation of about 120. The chapel bell from 1641 is currently exhibited at the Heibergske Samlingar exhibition in Kaupanger. Four sermons a year were held in the chapel and the priest had to come by boat from Eivindvik. He was often stranded on the islands nearer the mainland as a result of bad weather. In 1718 the chapel was moved in to the island of Husøy. It was pulled down at the end of the 19th century when Straumen church was inaugurated.
The lighthouse burned down in February 1945 during an allied air attack during World War II. The lighthouse was reconstructed from 1948 – 1952. The lighthouse itself took on a different form from previously and the "balcony" on the top was one storey lower.
The Coastal Arboretum in Hardbakke is a collection of trees and plants of largely indigenous species. There are 60 different species planted there. The rhododendron collection is a sight to behold in early summer. Integrated into the arboretum, there is a 5 km footpath over a variety of terrain with a wonderful view over the outer Sognefjord. There is also a marked foot path up to the top of Ravnenipa mountain.