Vestnes is a municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. Vestnes is part of the traditional district of Romsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Vestnes. Other villages in the municipality include Vikebukt, Vik, Øverås, Fiksdal, Tomrefjord, and Tresfjord.

Vestnes kommune
View of Vestnes with mountains in the background

Møre og Romsdal within
Vestnes within Møre og Romsdal
Coordinates: 62°35′04″N 07°01′06″E
CountyMøre og Romsdal
Administrative centreVestnes
  Mayor (2011)Geir Inge Lien (Sp)
  Total352.04 km2 (135.92 sq mi)
  Land347.52 km2 (134.18 sq mi)
  Water4.52 km2 (1.75 sq mi)  1.3%
Area rank257 in Norway
  Rank163 in Norway
  Density18.9/km2 (49/sq mi)
  Change (10 years)
Demonym(s)Vestnesing [1]
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeNO-1535
Official language formNynorsk [2]

The area is known for nature and outdoor pursuits, and has a long history in ship building and maritime crafts. The village of Vestnes (Helland) dates back to early medieval times, and has 24-hour ferry and water taxi service with the town of Molde to the northeast. The ferry takes about 35-minutes each way.

The 352-square-kilometre (136 sq mi) municipality is the 257th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Vestnes is the 163rd most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 6,559. The municipality's population density is 18.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (49/sq mi) and its population has increased by 1.9% over the last decade.[3][4]

General information

The municipality of Vestnes was established in the fall of 1838 when the western district of the large Veøy Municipality was separated to form its own municipality (see formannskapsdistrikt law). On 1 January 1899, the southern district of the municipality (population: 1,408) was separated from Vestnes to form the new municipality of Sylte. During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1964, the neighboring municipalities of Vestnes (population: 3,895) and Tresfjord, formerly known as Sylte, (population: 1,319) were merged to form a new, larger municipality called Vestnes.[5]


The municipality (originally the parish) is named after the old Vestnes farm (Old Norse: Vestnes), since the first Vestnes Church was built there. The first element is vestr which means "west" and the last element is nes which means "headland". Before 1889, the name was written Vestnæs.[6]

Coat of arms

The coat of arms was granted on 11 April 1980. The arms have a red background with two triangular gold spikes pointing right. The arms represent the geography of the municipality: a headland between two fjordsthe Tresfjorden and the Tomrefjorden.[7]


The Møre og Romsdal Agricultural Museum (Landbruksmuseet for Møre og Romsdal) was established in the municipality at the Gjermundnes Farm in 1979.[8][9]


The Church of Norway has four parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Vestnes. It is part of the Indre Romsdal prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Møre.

Churches in Vestnes
Parish (sokn)Church nameLocation of the churchYear built
VestnesVestnes ChurchVestnes1872
FiksdalFiksdal ChurchFiksdal1866
TresfjordTresfjord ChurchTresfjord1828
VikeVike ChurchVikebukt1970


Vestnes is located in an area of great natural splendour on the southern shores of the vast Romsdal Fjord. The Tresfjorden and Tomrefjorden branch off Romsdal Fjord to the south. Vestnes borders Rauma Municipality to the east, as well as Stordal Municipality and Ørskog Municipality to the south. Across the Moldefjorden to the north is Midsund Municipality and Molde Municipality.


All municipalities in Norway, including Vestnes, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor.[10] The municipality falls under the Romsdal District Court and the Frostating Court of Appeal.

Municipal council

The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Vestnes is made up of 23 representatives that are elected to four year terms. The party breakdown of the council is as follows:

Vestnes Kommunestyre 2020–2024 [11]  
Party Name (in Norwegian)Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)3
 Progress Party (Framstegspartiet)4
 Conservative Party (Høgre)3
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)1
 Pensioners' Party (Pensjonistpartiet)2
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)7
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)2
 Liberal Party (Venstre)1
Total number of members:23
Vestnes Kommunestyre 2016–2019 [12]  
Party Name (in Norwegian)Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)3
 Progress Party (Framstegspartiet)2
 Conservative Party (Høgre)3
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristeleg Folkeparti)1
 Pensioners' Party (Pensjonistpartiet)1
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)10
 Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti)1
 Liberal Party (Venstre)2
Total number of members:23
Vestnes Kommunestyre 2012–2015 [13]  
Party Name (in Norwegian)Number of
 Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet)4
 Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet)4
 Conservative Party (Høyre)5
 Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig Folkeparti)2
 Centre Party (Senterpartiet)4
 Liberal Party (Venstre)4
Total number of members:23


Vestnes is a relatively good agricultural community with emphasis on livestock and milk production. Vestnes, however, is primarily a manufacturing district. The main industry is the ship-building industry with a number of different companies located in Vestnes. A total of 63% of industry employment (2004) in Vestnes is part of the ship-building industry. Other that shipbuilding, there are several companies in the food, textile and clothing, wood products, furniture, and metal products industries in Vestnes.[7]


The newspaper Vestnesavisa is published in Vestnes.[14]


The European route E39 highway goes through Vestnes on its way from Sjøholt to Molde. The European route E136 highway goes through Vestnes on its way from Ålesund to Dombås. The two highways intersect and share part of the route through Vestnes. The new Tresfjord Bridge carries the E136 highway over the Tresfjorden rather than the previous roadway that follows the shoreline all the way around the fjord.

Notable residents

  • Mali Furunes (1888–1968)
  • Bjørn Rune Gjelsten (born 1956), a Norwegian businessman
  • Bernt Hulsker (born 1977), a Norwegian retired footballer
  • Sigrun Misund (born 1955), poet and writer
  • Kjetil Rekdal (born 1968), a Norwegian football manager and a former footballer
  • Terje Rypdal (born 1947), a Norwegian guitarist and composer
  • Lars Vistnes (born 1927-2016), a Norwegian plastic surgeon
  • Barry Gjerde (born 1951), Norwegian-Canadian gaijin tarento in Japan


  1. "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet.
  2. "Forskrift om målvedtak i kommunar og fylkeskommunar" (in Norwegian).
  3. Statistisk sentralbyrå (2018). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  4. Statistisk sentralbyrå. "09280: Area of land and fresh water (km²) (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  5. Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  6. Rygh, Oluf (1908). Norske gaardnavne: Romsdals amt (in Norwegian) (13 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 217.
  7. Store norske leksikon. "Vestnes" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2010-10-25.
  8. "Landbruksmuseet for Møre og Romsdal, Gjermundnes". Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  9. "Gjermundnes" (PDF). Møre og Romsdal fylkeskommune. Vestnes kommune. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  10. Hansen, Tore, ed. (2016-05-12). "kommunestyre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  11. "Tall for Norge: Kommunestyrevalg 2019 - Møre og Romsdal" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  12. "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  13. "Tall for Norge: Kommunestyrevalg 2011 - Møre og Romsdal" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  14. Smith-Meyer, Trond, ed. (2012-05-12). "VestnesAvisa". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
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