Andøy has earned the name “Whale Kingdom of the North” because it is the prime location for Arctic whale watching. We have a geographical advantage that brings us closer to the whales all year round. Andøy is located nearer to the edge of the continental shelf and the sea abyss than any other place in Norway. A short distance from land lies a steep and narrow deep-sea canyon that affects the coastal currents along the shore and pushes cold nutrient-rich water from the abyss towards the surface – a phenomenon called upwelling. The result is a highly productive sea close to land that supports large fisheries and a high abundance of marine wildlife.
The birdlife along the coast of Andøy is stunning. Bleik Island is a bustling bird sanctuary and in the summertime home to one of the largest puffin colonies in Norway! Several other seabird species also nest on the island, for example kittiwakes, shags, cormorants, common guillemots, razorbills, and Arctic skua. The archipelago on the west coast is also a perfect nesting area for the largest of the seabirds, the gannet. Daily safari trips offer you the chance to get up close to these birds, you are also guaranteed to see white-tailed eagles on these tours.
Andøy is also home to a large harbor seal population and otters. Both species can be spotted from our harbors, while travelling along the coast or on one of the safari trips at sea. A more occasional visitor is the grey seal. If you get lucky you might get a glimpse of a European elk lurking in the bushes. The best time to spot these animals are at dawn or dusk. Andøy is often also granted with the visit of the bird species that performs the longest migration in the world- the Arctic tern. One of the most special sightings you might experience is the plankton feeding basking shark that can grow to an impressive size of 12 meters!