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Sortland (Vesteralen), Norway

Sortland is a town standing beside a narrow sound between two large islands in the Vesterålen archipelago in Northern Norway. The name Sortland has come down from archaic Norse referring to a ‘dark river farm.’ The 3,110-foot (948m), cantilever Sortland Bridge arcs above the sound, connecting the islands of Hinnøya and Langøya. The landscape of Vesterålen continues the chain of rugged, steep mountains that rises from the sea in the Lofoten Islands to the south. From Sortland it is easy to find breathtaking scenery in virtually every direction. The Møysalen National Park on Hinnøya surrounds the 4,140-foot Møysalen peak, the second-tallest mountain on any Norwegian island. Picturesque fjords such as the Sigerfjord invite exploration along the island coastline. This far north, the Midnight Sun endures between May 23 and July 23 each year, and it never really gets dark between late April and August.