The municipality of Balsfjord is situated in the middle of Troms county. The municipality consits of two fjords, Malangen and Balsfjord, and a countryside with rich agriculture, birch forests, and mountains. The tallest mountain peaks, such as Lyngsalpene and Piggtind, are above 1500 masl. In the same area you can also find Blåtind, the location for the world cup final in randonnée.
In the Viking Age the Malangen fjord was considered the border between permanent residents (farmers) and non-permanent residents (hunter-gatherers). Malangen also marks the border of where grains can be produced, and thus the border to the arctic agriculture. From the 17th century and onwards people moved to the region from the south, north and east. It resulted in a mixed population of Norwegians, Sami and Kven people by the end of the 19th century, speaking three different languages.
Balsfjord is one of the biggest agricultural municipalities in the northern part of Norway. The Norwegian dairy cooperative Tine’s facilities in Storsteinnes has the world’s largest production of brown cheese. Historically, fishing used to be important, but mostly as an
addition to agriculture. Malangen is known as a fjord rich in fish, where herring and pollock have been the dominating species.
The community centre Storsteinnes is situated in the middle of the municipality. It hosts most of the public services and offices, as well as private commerce. Both public and private services can also be found in the villages of Nordkjosbotn, Mestervik, and Mortenhals.
Due to its favourable position by the E6 and E8, the municipality has in recent years experienced a large increase in established industry production companies. Tømmerelv industrial area is an example of the blooming development, as there are plans for establishing data storage facilities for international companies. Several tourist destinations have been established to serve tourists all year around.