About the national park
Precipitous mountainsides plunging into the sea, secluded flower meadows, and Europe’s most northerly glaciers glimmering above the island are just some of the things waiting for you in Seiland. Enjoy an easy and beautiful day trip on the north or south side of the island, or get a taste of wilderness in the heart of the national park. Seiland makes certain demands of its visitors, but offers a quite unique natural experience in return.
Seiland is an island off the coast of West Finnmark, and the national park covers just over half the island. There are permanent settlements, asphalted roads and overnight accommodation to the north and south of the national park. You can get here by ferry or express boat. You’ll also find marked paths that lead into the national park in these border zones. There are no marked paths or public cabins in the national park itself. So you’ll need to bring a tent and equipment to provide for yourself.
Seiland offers large unspoilt areas with little traffic in a unique location. This makes the island a haven for countless species of fauna and flora. Many of the heads of fjords and valleys were previously used as hay-making meadows and pastures, and this has given Seiland rare cultural landscapes that you can still see today.
Cultural landscape in Store Bekkarfjord. Photo: Per Arne Askeland
Bårdfjorden. Photo: Ingunn Ims Vistnes
Kulturlandskap i Store Bekkarfjord. Foto: Per Arne Askeland, Bårdfjorden. Foto: Ingunn Ims Vistnes
Melkevatnan. Photo: Per Arne Askeland
The Northern Lights over Seiland. Photo: Per Arne Askeland
Melkevatnan. Foto: Per Arne Askeland
Why a national park?
The national park was established in 2006 and covers an area of 316 km2, including 9.6 km2 of sea area. The national park is entirely located on Seiland, Norway’s seventh-largest island, and covers 53 per cent of the island.
The national park was established to:
- Preserve a coastal alpine landscape with a unique and varied biodiversity
- Safeguard the region’s wide variety of habitat types
- Preserve forms of landscape and distinctive geological deposits
- Protect cultural heritage sites
The regulations for Seiland National Park also state: “The general public shall be given access to nature-based experiences through engaging in traditional and simple outdoor activities with little technical adaptation. Maintaining the environment in the national park is important for Sámi culture and economic activities. It shall be possible to use the area for reindeer husbandry.”
What are you permitted to do in the national park?
You may hunt, fish and hike in the same way as outside the national park. Remember to purchase a hunting and fishing permit from the Finnmark Estate. You may pick berries and mushrooms. You may also collect dry kindling for fires, but due to the lack of trees in many parts of the national park, you should bring your own firewood.
You may not fly drones in the national park.
Motorised vehicles are prohibited in the national park. This includes snowmobiles, ATVs, motorboats on fresh water, flying below 300 metres and landing helicopters. Motorised boat traffic is permitted at sea.
You can pick berries in the national park. Photo: Ingunn Ims Vistnes
Melkevatnan. Foto: Per Arne Askeland
Camping in Bårdfjorden. Photo: Ingunn Ims Vistnes
Telt i Bårdfjorden. Foto: Ingunn Ims Vistnes
Do not leave any litter or waste behind in the national park. We also ask you not to leave toilet paper behind, if large groups have been in the same area.
Events that attract a large number of people or that are frequently held in the same place must be approved by the National Park Board. You also need permission from the National Park Board to cycle.
The national park is home to many interesting geological deposits. You may put a small stone in your pocket to take home, but you may not remove large stones or large amounts of stones from the national park.
Other protected sites on Seiland
Eidvågen nature reserve (nesting cliff) https://faktaark.naturbase.no/?id=VV00000048
Guillemot. Photo: Karl-Otto Jacobsen
Teist. Foto: Karl-Otto Jacobsen