Nestled at the foot of two lofty mountain ridges, connected by a low-lying area where two inlets meet, Klaksvik is the second-largest city in the Faroe Islands and an important fishing harbour. The city is located in the island of Borðoy, in a well sheltered bay surrounded by dramatic high mountains with some of the highest peaks in Faroe islands. To the north is the 750 meter high Enniberg, the highest promontory in world, dropping vertically into the ocean. Above the entrance to the harbour, is the magnificent pyramid mountain on the island of Kunoy, that forms a great protective barrier to the waves of the northern ocean.
Klaksvik is situated by the country’s best natural harbour with much fishing and fish processing activity both at sea and on land. These conditions have made Klaksvik the most important fishery center in the islands. About 10% of the country’s population live in Klaksvik, but the town accounts for 30% of the nation’s total fish exports. This is important when one considers that 98% of Faroese imports are bought with the earnings of its fishing industry. In addition, Klaksvik is home to one of the largest fish processing plant in the Faroe Islands as well as the slaughtery for one of its major salmon farms.
The first settlement at Klaksvik dates back to Viking times, but it was not before the 20th century that the district merged to form a large, modern Faroese town that became the cultural and commercial center for the Northern Isles and the Faroe Islands as a whole.
Originally, there were four farms located where Klaksvik is now. In time, they grew into four villages that finally merged to form the town of Klaksvik in 1938. It was quite natural for Klaksvik, which is located next to one of the best harbours in the Faroes, to become the commercial center of the region.
A turning point for Klaksvik was the opening of the Leirvík tunnel in 2006, that physically linked Klaksvik with the rest of the Faroe Islands. With this Klaksvik can now be considered one of its key ports poised to compete with larger terminals elsewhere. In addition, Klaksvik is exploiting its potential as a first-class tourist destination. The town will soon be home to one of the country’s largest retail and entertainment complexes while a new industrial park located by the tunnel entrance is being built.
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