RIB cruising close to Saltstraumen in Bodø

5 waterful facts about Saltstraumen in Bodø

Bodø, the lively town in Nordland just above the Arctic Circle, has many attractions to lure you in and keep your attention and adrenaline undiminished throughout your trip. But perhaps none as exciting as Saltstraumen!

It’s the strongest tidal whirlpool in the whole world!

Saltstraumen was created about 3,000 years ago, after the ice melted and the tide started turning and flowing between two fjords, the Saltenfjord and the Skjerstadfjord. Every 6 hours, the tide in this area moves so fast that 400 million cubic meters of water cross the strait at a speed of up to 20 knots (or about 10 meters per second).

As a result, a whirlpool is created — that can be up to 10 meters in diameter and up to 5 meters in depth. That’s a lot of whirling water!

RIB cruising close to Saltstraumen in Bodø
Photo: Tommy Andreassen | Nordnorge.com

Humans have lived here for millennia

Thanks to the strong tide that kept the water from freezing and the marine life moving, humans have called the banks of Saltstraumen home since the Stone Age.

Archaeologists have actually found remains of a hunting settlement from 10,000 years ago here — one of the oldest discoveries in all of Norway! As you can imagine, the area has a rich cultural history: in fact one of the famed Viking chieftains, Raud the Strong, lived here.

If you go fishing, chances are you’ll return with a good catch!

Because of these tidal waves that keep whirling, Saltstraumen is a fisherman’s heaven. If you go angler fishing here (a very popular activity), you’re bound to catch some cod, coalfish, halibut or saithe.

A group of fishermen fishing in Saltstraumen at sunset
Photo: Ernst Furuhatt | bodo.no

You can dive in it (or near it)

If you prefer to see and interact with marine and wildlife instead of catching it, Saltstraumen is also the place for you! You can go on a safari, where not only you’ll have the opportunity to observe this breathtaking natural phenomenon up close, you’ll also get to admire the many seabirds that frequent this area.

Or, if you’re an experienced diver, you can also choose to dive in the area and be surrounded by the rich marine fauna instead. No matter which activity you choose, it’s bound to be exciting!

A diver lighting up a jellyfish with a flashlight in Saltstraumen
Photo: Vebjørn Karlsen | nordnorge.com

You can “Saltstraumen and chill”

Can’t have enough of Saltstraumen? Understandable! Thankfully, you can now watch the world’s strongest maelstrom from the comfort of your own home, as there is a live webcam setup in the area.

And if you want even more waterful wonders, the NRK, Norway’s national television channel, has made a 10-hour special episode dedicated to Saltstraumen that you can access from anywhere in the world. Netflix and chill… or Saltstraumen and chill?

Experience the powers of Saltstraumen

RIB boat driving in the currents of Saltstraumen

RIB to Saltstraumen with sea eagle safari

See the world’s strongest tidal current at Saltstraumen and scout for sea eagles
From NOK 1195