The Municipality of Tjeldsund covers Tjeldøya, part of Hinnøya to the north, separated from Tjeldøya by Tjeldsundet, and part of the mainland to the east, separated from the island by Ramsundet, a shallow and narrow sound.
Agriculture is the main source of income in rural areas, and has seen an upswing in recent years, particularly on Tjeldøya. Animal husbandry is most common, and dairy farmers deliver milk to the dairy in Harstad. Many farmers have also focused on raising sheep. Fishing is of minor importance. Most fishermen combine whaling and coastal fishing. The municipality's cornerstone employer is the Ramsund Naval Base, the Royal Norwegian Navy's supply base for Northern Norway. In addition, Tjelsund has some other industry, including mechanical workshops. A large percentage of the workforce has found employment outside of the municipality, primarily in Harstad and Evenes.
Many grave sites have been excavated along Tjeldsundet, and the artefacts discovered tell the story of what early explorers brought home from their quests: Glass, amber, bronze and gold beads. Archeologists discovered fashionable bronze jewelry that must have been extremely valuable in Iron Age Europe. There is a Viking era standing stone at Balstad on Hinnøy. Other attractions include the Tjeldsund Museum, Tjeldsund Church, the Steinsvik sword (discovered in a grave site from the early 9th century, unique in a Nordic context), and the boathouse remains at Sand, among the biggest discovered in Northern Norway at approx. 40 metres in length.
Tjelsund's contribution to the "Footprints in the North" project is Hovsveien. Tjeldsundet was a popular stop in the old fairway, and there are traces of powerful Iron Age chieftains here. The 2-kilometre hiking trail presents the landscape and cultural heritage sites found here.
Area (km2): 317
Administrative center: Hol
Key industries: Agriculture, industry, Armed Forces