Vadsø municipality (Kven: Vesisaaren komuuni, Northern Sami:
Čáhcesullo gielda) is a municipality located in eastern Finnmark on
the south side of the Varanger Peninsula. It borders in the north to
Båtsfjord, in the northeast to Vardø and in the west to Tana and
Nesseby, and meets Berlevåg at one point in the northwest. South of
Varangerfjorden is Sør-Varanger municipality. In addition to the
town and the administrative center Vadsø, the municipality covers
the settlement Vestre Jakobselv and Kariel in the west, and Kiby,
Golnes, Ekkerøy, Krampenes and Skallelv in the east. Most of the
plateau within the coast is protected as the Varanger Peninsula
National Park. The municipality's highest point is Skipskjølen
(633.8 masl), which also forms the border point towards Båtsfjord
Vadsø has had city status since 1833, and the city is the administrative center of Finnmark.
Vadsø municipality is located on the Varanger
Peninsula where you have easy access to good grouse terrain and
fishing for salmon and trout. The Varangerfjord is rich in fish
species such as cod, saithe, haddock, catfish and salmon, and also
in king crab.
Originally, Vadsø covered the whole country around the Varangerfjord, but Nesseby (with Polmak) was separated in 1839 and Sør-Varanger in 1858. From 1894 to 1964, the current municipality was also divided into the urban municipality Vadsø and the county municipality Nord-Varanger.
The town of Vadsø has had significant immigration from Finland in the 19th century, and the immigration of that time can be clearly seen today through the Finnish culture and a number of Finnish surnames among the inhabitants. Due to the significant immigration from Finland, many describe Vadsø as the "Kven capital". After the year 2000, the city has again gained a large proportion of immigrants. In 2017, it accounted for 18% of the population.
There are 4,784 inhabitants in Vadsø town and more than 1,000 scattered in the places east and west of the town where the settlement Vestre Jakobselv is the largest with 503 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020.