The world’s strongest maelstrom

The world’s strongest maelstrom

Only 33 km outside Bodø city center, you can experience the spectacular natural phenomenon that has thrilled so many

The current is created when the tide turns and flows in and out of the channel between Saltenfjorden and Skjerstadfjorden. Every six hours, massive volumes of water are set to pass through the 3km long and 150m wide channel at speeds of up to 20 knots. The small strait and the tremendous forces at play generate large eddies, which can reach up to 10 meters in diameter and 4-5 meters in depth. The current is influenced by the moon and the sun, so if you want to witness Saltstraumen at its absolute strongest, it should be visited around the days of the new- and full moon, when the difference between high and low tide is greatest.

Saltstraumen Maelstrom Calendar

Visit Saltstraumen when the current is at its strongest and admire the enormous forces of Mother Earth.
The timing for this varies from day to day, and when it is a new moon or full moon, the current is extra strong. Use the calendar below to see the specific times for the day you plan to visit Saltstraumen.

Please note that the current is strong up to an hour before and after the specified time.

Experiences in Saltstraumen

Saltstraumen // Photo: Meike

Marine conservation area and an eldorado for fishermen and scuba divers

Saltstraumen is known for its fantastic underwater life. Here are rich deposits of cod, pollock, halibut, anglerfish and catfish. The world’s largest pollock is caught on a fishing rod in the current, and in the area you will also find the world’s largest population of sea eagles that feed on the fish here. Because of the rich biological diversity that the tidal current brings, people have established themselves in Saltstraumen since the Stone Age. In the area you will find one of Norway’s oldest documented settlements that is 11,000 years old.

In addition to vast fishing grounds, you’ll also find ancient kelp forests, colorful anemones, shells, crustaceans, and various species of nudibranchs. The walls within the current are adorned with white and orange sea anemones and vibrant sponges. The nutrient-rich water acts like a conveyor belt, providing food for all creatures that filter the water masses. There’s no shortage of food here, but space is limited, so the bottom is covered with layers upon layers of life. For sports divers and underwater photographers, Saltstraumen is an adventure world, but diving in this current is not for beginners.

Fishing in Saltstraumen

The marine life in Saltstraumen is fragile, and it is not recommended to fish directly within the current. Every year, professional divers in the area retrieve large amounts of old fish hooks and lines from the water. Hooks from fishing get tangled in seaweed and kelp, and the bottom becomes filled with metals and swallowed hooks that pollute and pose a danger to the wildlife in the current. We recommend enjoying Saltstraumen without fishing, appreciating the stunning views and the powerful current.

If you want to fish in the area, do so away from the current, and ask locals for tips on fishing spots. This way, you can help us take care of Saltstraumen and ensure that it continues to be a paradise for wildlife both underwater and above for a long time to come.

Map over Saltstraumen

Photo: SL Media
Photo: Karoline O.A. Pettersen

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