Harstad (Northern Sami: Hárstták), is the second largest
municipality in Troms and Finnmark, by population. The municipality
has 24,703, of which 20,920 in the town Harstad. The municipality
has a population growth of about 2% per decade.
Harstad city is the third largest in northern Norway by population. The Greater Midtre Hålogaland region with Lofoten (Svolvær), Vesterålen (Sortland), the Harstad region and Ofoten (Narvik) constitute Northern Norway's most densely populated area with around 120,000 inhabitants.
The municipality includes the northeastern part of Hinnøya, and from 1 January 2013 also the former Bjarkøy municipality. Harstad borders Senja in the northeast, Andøy out on the Andfjord in the northwest, Kvæfjord in the west and Tjeldsund in the south. In the southeast, Tjeldsundbrua connects Hinnøya with the mainland over Tjeldsundet, and in the east is Vågsfjorden where Harstad borders Ibestad.
The town itself is located east of Hinnøya. Here, the northbound and southbound Hurtigruten meet every morning. There is a speedboat between Harstad, Finnsnes and Tromsø several times a day; the route is one of the country's largest in the number of passengers. From the city center to Harstad-Narvik Airport there is a stretch of road of 44 km.
Most of Harstad municipality is located on Hinnøya, which is
Norway's largest island. The municipality also includes a number of
adjacent islands. North of the municipality are the islands Grytøya,
Bjarkøya, Sandsøya, Helløya, Flatøya and Krøttøya, in addition to a
number of small islands between Andfjorden in the northwest and
Vågsfjorden in the east. Among these are Kjeøya, Litje Kjeøya,
Kjøtta, Kjøttakalven, Åkerøya, Russeholmen, Måga, Svartskjæret,
Litje Tjuvholmen, Store Tjuvholmen, Laukholmen, Arnøya, Store Rogla,
Litje Rogla and Gressholman.
The entire municipality is located in Troms and Finnmark counties. It borders Senja in the northeast, Andøy out in the Andfjord in the northwest, Kvæfjord in the west and Tjeldsund in the south. In the southeast, Tjeldsundbrua connects Hinnøya with Skånland in Tjeldsund and the mainland across Tjeldsundet, and in the east is Vågsfjorden where Harstad borders Ibestad. Harstad center is located on the northeastern part of Hinnøya and is the island's only city. Sætertinden is Harstad's highest mountain with its 1094.7 meters above sea level and is located above Sandtorg, in the far south of the municipality. On Grytøya is Nona, which is 1012 meters high.
Harstad has midnight sun from 22 May to 18 July and dark time from 30 November to 12 January.