Måløy - with its back against the sea
Sheltered at the east side of the island of Vågsøy, Måløy is a major exporter of Norway's treasured seafood.
Charming Måløy, with a population of just over 3,000 people, is the administrative centre of the municipality of Vågsøy. While the town is small, it has huge facilities for preserving and processing fish. Every year, 180,000-200,000 tonnes of fish are brought ashore here and then exported directly abroad.
Vågsøy has several unique characteristics. In addition to Måløy town centre and its many lighthouses, the area is known for the well-known Kannestenen rock, molded by the sea over thousands of years into a spectacular mushroom-like shape. Also, for lazy summer days, you'll find a beautiful silver sand beach. Some say it's the most beautiful in Norway. Adding to its local attractions, Måløy is close to several famous national attractions like the Jostedalsbreen National Park - where you will find the largest glacier in continental Europe.
Legend has it that Viking King Magnus the Good went ashore on the small island of Moldøen in 1035. From here he summoned all the peasants in the area to "thing" (meaning assembly of free men). His father St. Olav had been fighting these peasants for a long time, but Magnus wanted peace and promised them better laws and more freedom. The island was then named Málstefna, literally "speaking stone". This was later modernized to Moldøen. Måløy was originally founded as a trading centre on this small island. As trade flourished, the town gradually moved to the larger island of Vågsøy, while keeping the name of the smaller island. This is the cause of some confusion, although the smaller island is today often known as "Lisje-Måløyna" (the smaller Måløy). Måløy became an official town in 1997.