Finnsnes – the gateway to Senja
Fisheries and agriculture add character to this small town in sheltered waters south of Tromsø
Finnsnes is a small town located on the mainland in the municipality of Lenvik. Every summer, the community prepares for the one-week summer festival, aiming to put Finnsnes on the map. The central park offers the rare attraction of a natural lake within it. Fishing and agriculture is still important, and fish farming is of increasing economic importance. Several small boroughs surround Finnsnes, forming one large urban area. It is an important hub for transportation both on land and sea. Tromsø and Harstad can be reached within a little more than an hour by speedboat.
There are several attractions in Finnsnes and for tourists this is the reference point when sightseeing in the region. Finnsnes has become known as the Gateway to Senja - also known as the island of adventure, and "miniature Norway" with mountains and fjords, small communities, hospitality and go-ahead spirit - and all kinds of weather.
The large municipality of Lenvik, where Finnsnes is the administrative centre, was established in 1838. It has its name from Lenvika, which from the Middle Ages until 1879 was the spiritual centre of the parish. During the 12th century, a church was built in the bay south of Malangen, and the Icelandic saga “Rimbegla” states that the church of Lenvik was the northernmost in the world. Perhaps it was meant to mark the northern boundary of that time for Norwegian jurisdiction and church law. When the municipal laws were instituted in 1837, municipal boundaries were the same as between the churches, so that each parish constituted one municipality. Lenvik had been a parish from 1759, and the name was transferred to the municipality.