Røst is an island municipality, covering hundreds of islands, islets and skerries. Røstlandet is the biggest of these, but it only stands 11 metres above sea level at its highest. The surrounding islands are relatively flat as well, whereas the islands further to the southwest have steep cliffs.
Its location far out to sea means Røst has a rough climate; summers are cool, yet the Gulf Stream means the winters are relatively mild. Skomvær lighthouse at the very southwest tip has an average January temperature of +1.1 °C. There are no forests here, but many of the islands have grassy fields.
The main source of income in these parts has always been fishing, particularly the Lofoten seasonal fishery in January–April. The rest of the year, local fishermen fish off the coast for various species of fish. The fishing fleet is typical of a Norwegian coastal fleet, with small vessels known as sjarker and skøyter. Almost all the fish is landed to fish processing plants at Røst, where most of the Lofoten migrating cod is used in the production of dried fish, which is subsequently exported, primarily to Italy.
Røst is famous for its bird colonies: Vedøy, Storfjellet, Ellefsnyken, Trenyken and Hernyken. These rocks are home to millions of seabirds, primarily puffins, but also black-legged kittiwakes, razorbills, murre and cormorants, as well as rarer birds, like European storm petrels and Leach's storm petrels. The seabird populations declined dramatically in the latter half of the 1970s due to the spawning stock of herring being at a very low level.
At Røst there are remains of several settlements from the late Mesolithic era. Most characteristic are the settlement mounds, rising out of the flat landscape as artificial hills, and burial mounds dated back to approx. 850 AD. At Storfjellet, there are remains of a chieftain seat from the Viking era or medieval times. Røst Church, from 1899, has an altarpiece triptych from the late medieval period. At Røstlandet stand the remains of the island's oldes church site, from approx. 1400, as well as the ruins of a stone church built in 1836.
In terms of communications, Røst is primarily connected to Bodø, in addition to Værøy. Daily flights to Bodø and Leknes. Ferry connections between the mainland (Bodø), Røst and the neighbouring municipalities of Værøy and Moskenes, daily departures.
Røst's contribution to the "Footprints in the North" project has been named "In Pietro Querini's footsteps". At Sandøy there is a standing stone commemorating the Italian nobleman Pietro Querini, who drifted ashore here after a shipwreck in 1432. He wrote down the history of this place and the people living here. His account offers a unique glimpse into the lanscape and cultural heritage. Arrangements for a guided boat tour can be made.
Area (km2): 11
Inhabitans: ca. 600
Administrative centre: Røstlandet
Key industries: Fishing