The town of Vardo is situated on the island of Vardoya in the Arctic Ocean, near the entrance to the Varangerfjord. It is an ice-free port and has fish-processing plants. The northernmost fortress in the world was built at Vardo in 1307 and was rebuilt in the early 18th cent. Chartered in 1789, the town was long the center of a lively trade with Russia and Finland. Fridtjof Nansen used Vardo as the base for his important arctic expedition of 1893-96.