Finnmark or Finnmárku (Sami language) is a county in the extreme northeast of Norway. By land it borders Troms county to the west, Finland (Lapland) to the south and Russia (Murmansk Oblast) to the east, and by water, the Norwegian Sea (Atlantic Ocean) to the northwest, and the Barents Sea (Arctic Ocean) to the north and northeast.
The county was formerly known as Finmarkens amt or Vardøhus amt, and since 2002, has had two official names: Finnmark (Norwegian) and Finnmárku (Sami language). It is part of the Sápmi region, which spans four countries, as well as the Barents Region, and is the largest and least populated county of Norway.
Situated at the Northernmost part of continental Europe, where Norway swings eastward, Finnmark has always been an area where east meets west, in culture as well as in nature and geography. Vardø, the easternmost municipality in the country, is located further east than both St. Petersburg and Istanbul.
Finnmark is the northern- and easternmost county of Norway (Svalbard is not considered a county). In area, Finnmark is Norway's largest county, and is larger than Denmark. However, with a population of only 72,000, it is also the least populated.
Knivskjellodden in Nordkapp municipality (on Magerøya island) is the northernmost point of Europe; Kinnarodden at Nordkyn is the northernmost point on the European mainland. Honningsvåg in Finnmark claims the northernmost city of the world, and Vardø is the easternmost town in Norway and western Europe, and is actually east of Istanbul.
The coast is indented by large fjords, which in a strict sense are false fjords, as they are not carved out by glaciers. Some of Norway's largest sea bird colonies can be seen on the northern coast, the largest are Hjelmsøystauran in Måsøy and Gjesværstappan in Nordkapp. The highest point is located on the top of the glacier Øksfjordjøkelen (Øksfjord glacier, 45 km²). Both Øksfjordjøkelen and Seilandsjøkelen (Seiland glacier) are located in the western part of Finnmark.