Sortland, the largest town of the beautiful Vesterålen archipelago, is one of Northern Norway’s most unique destinations.
Nicknamed ‘Blue Town’, Sortland is almost entirely painted in various shades of blue, thanks to any idea put forward by artist Bjorn Elvenes at the start of the new millennium. Elvenes proposed that – with the help of other local artists and residents – Sortland should become a living 3D painting, and today the town’s mix of architecture, comprising Swiss style wood, concrete and glass structures, is an exhibit of his vision. It’s worth exploring the town to see how the blue colour scheme is developing alone, though there are plenty of attractions such as interesting art exhibitions, a beautiful early 20th century church and the pretty downtown, where you can enjoy ‘Writings on a Field of Blue’.
Visiting Sortland offers chances to seek-out Vesterålen natural treasures, too. Rugged, unspoilt countryside landscapes and miles of gorgeous island coastline are within reach, while the archipelago and its surrounding waters are also home to diverse wildlife, from seals and seabirds to whales. In the summer months it is possible to experience the magical midnight sun here; and in the winter, visitors might be lucky enough to witness the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.