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Liefdefjord: Andøyane

360° panorama images and general background

Andøyane, map

The small island group of Andøya­ne is loca­ted in Lief­defjord.

Andøya­ne (“The duck islands”) are a group of small islands in outer Lief­defjord, south of Reins­dyr­flya. They are low-lying, most­ly almost flat, and seen from a distance, they don’t appear to be spec­ta­cu­lar. But if you get clo­se, then the mix­tu­re of litt­le bea­ches, cur­ved shore­li­nes, red rocks, flowers and lichens and many other litt­le scenic details unfold a charme that is hard to escape.

Andøya­ne Pan­ora­ma 1: Sørøst­re Andøya

The lar­gest island, Store Andøya, is a good two kilo­me­t­res in dia­met­re, the second lar­gest one – Ves­le Andøya – less than half that size and the remai­ning ones are even smal­ler. This first pan­ora­ma is from the sou­the­as­tern island. It does not have an indi­vi­du­al name, let’s just call her Sørøst­re Andøya (“sou­the­as­tern duck island”) here. It is a good 700 met­res long, but whe­re­ver you are, you are never more than a good 50 met­res away from the shore.

Andøya­ne Pan­ora­ma 2: Søre Andøya

Also this island, “Søre (sou­thern) Andøya”, does not have a name on the map, and it is hard­ly more than 600 across. Nevert­hel­ess, a litt­le walk across the island can be very rewar­ding. As the name of the islands sug­gests, the­re are a lot of birds bree­ding here: next to the com­mon eider ducks which breed here in lar­ge num­bers, the­re are ple­nty of arc­tic terns, grey phalar­opes and pur­ple sand­pi­pers, and if you look careful­ly, chan­ces to see a king eider are quite good, to men­ti­on just a few com­mon spe­ci­es for this area.

Andøya­ne Pan­ora­ma 3: Søre Andøya

So the­re is good reason to give the­se islands legal pro­tec­tion bey­ond the gene­ral rules of the Sval­bard­mil­jø­l­ov (Sval­bard envi­ron­men­tal law): sin­ce 2020, they are a bird reser­ve, which means that it is not allo­wed to approach them to less than 300 met­res during the bree­ding peri­od, legal­ly defi­ned as the time from 15 May to 15 August.

This does unfort­u­na­te­ly not pro­tect the islands from the pla­s­tic lit­ter which the curr­ents bring. It is most­ly what is thrown over­board from fishing ves­sels. And we coll­ect it on the bea­ches as much as we can. We – that’s both me per­so­nal­ly with col­le­agues and pas­sen­gers and others in the arc­tic tou­rism indus­try – have alre­a­dy done a num­ber of beach clean-ups on Andøya­ne, but I am afraid many more will be nee­ded until the pro­blem is sol­ved, if this ever hap­pens 🙁 and from 2025, this will not hap­pen any­mo­re, becau­se new regu­la­ti­ons will then now allow tou­rist visits any­mo­re. And nobo­dy else has the capa­ci­ty to do beach clea­ning at sca­le.

Andøya­ne Pan­ora­ma 3: Søre Andøya

Land­scape-wise, Andøya­ne are very simi­lar to Reins­dyr­flya, the lar­ge plain to the north of Lief­defjord. The­re are some huge erra­tic bould­ers, small lakes and wet­land are­as and series of old beach rid­ges and other geo­lo­gi­cal evi­dence for the post-gla­cial land uplift. The sand­stone belongs to the Devo­ni­an Old Red sand­stone and has hema­ti­te, hence the beau­tiful red­dish colour.

Pho­to gal­lery Andøya­ne

And final­ly, as usu­al on the­se pages, a coll­ec­tion of images from Andøya­ne, try­ing to trans­port some of their inher­ent beau­ty.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

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last modification: 2024-06-25 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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