How to get here and how to get around
There are many ways to get to Helgeland, depending on whether you are travelling by sea or air, by road or rail. Here is a partial overview.
By car, caravan, motorcycle or bicycle
When you travel to Helgeland or are exploring our magnificent scenery, you can choose between three main routes. The fastest road is highway E6 through the centre of Helgeland. Travellers eager for a scenic adventure generally choose either Coastal Highway Fv17, which is a Norwegian Scenic Route, or the inland Wilderness Road (Villmarksveien) through the mountains.
As you might have guessed, the Coastal Highway runs along the entire Helgeland coast, from Bindal in the south to Meløy in the north. On the way, this Norwegian Scenic Route passes the coastal towns of Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen, and natural attractions such as Torghatten, the mountain with a hole through it, the mountain range called the Seven Sisters (De Syv Søstre), and the western portion of Svartisen glacier.
Highway E6 runs from Majavatn lake in the south, to Saltfjellet in the north. This route takes you through the towns of Mosjøen and Mo i Rana, and near attractions such as the Helgeland Stairs, the Okstindan mountains and Rabothytta cabin, and the eastern portion of Svartisen glacier.
The Wilderness Road, called Villmarksveien in Norwegian, is a shorter but incredibly beautiful drive, from Majavatn lake in the south to the village of Korgen in the north. It takes you through wilderness areas such as the Børgefjell National Park, and past Røssvatnet lake and the Okstindan mountains.
To Helgeland by plane
All of the four towns in Helgeland have airports with direct flights to and from Oslo, Trondheim and Bodø. To plan your flights and find tickets, please visit EnTur.no
The names of our airports are:
- Mo i Rana Airport Røssvoll
- Mosjøen Airport Kjærstad
- Sandnessjøen Airport Stokka
- Brønnøysund Airport Brønnøy
Travelling by train and bus
The Nordland Line, the railway that runs through the central part of Helgeland, passes many of the same places as highway E6. There are railway stations at Trofors, Mosjøen, Bjerka, Mo i Rana and at Saltfjellet. If you want to reach the Helgeland coast, there are buses from Mosjøen to Sandnessjøen and Brønnøysund, and from Mo i Rana to Nesna and Stokkvågen. The coastal towns and villages have express boat connections to many other destinations along the Helgeland coast.
Ferries or express boat
You have to travel by ferry and speedboat to reach most of the islands on the Helgeland coast.
On some of the larger islands, such as Vega and Dønna, it can be an advantage to have a car for getting around. However, many other islands, such as Rødøya and Lovund, have very few roads, and they don’t necessarily have sensible places to park your car. For these and similar destinations, you should leave your car behind on the mainland and instead explore these islands on foot or by bicycle. Before deciding, please seek advice from the Tourist Information Office or people who live and work in the area, such as your hosts where you’ve booked your overnight stay.
Think of the ferry or express boat ride as a mini-cruise on the fjord or across open seas. It’s a great opportunity to relax and really savour the magnificent coastal and island scenery from a seaborne perspective. However, please note that some ferries and express boats are rather infrequent. Plan your trip based on departure times, and to ensure your spot, show up at the ferry quay well in advance. Have some extra beverages and snacks or food at hand, and perhaps a book or something to entertain yourself with in case you have to wait a while.
A good rule of thumb during the peak holiday season is to arrive at the ferry quay at least half an hour before departure for the shorter ferry routes, and a full hour in advance for the longer and popular ferries such as Kilboghamn–Jektvik and Tjøtta–Forvik.
When you buy a ticket in advance, you are guaranteed a place on the express boat.
To buy a ticket or book a seat if you travelling with a Travel Pass Nordland, please visit reisnordland.com
The online ticket shop closes 30 minutes after departure time.
Some ports of call are by demand only. This means that you must request that the express boat pick you up – also if you have bought your ticket in advance. NB. You do not need to make a special request when travelling to these infrequent ports of call, only when returning from there. These occasional ports of call are clearly marked in the express boat schedules. You can find more information on this here.
This convenient trip planner lets you find every bus, ferry and express boat departure, all in one place.
To state the obvious: you cannot bring vehicles on the express boat. If you want to bring your car, you will have to take the ferry.
From July 1st 2022, several ferries on Helgeland will be free of charge:
- Horn – Igerøy
- Tjøtta – Forvik
- Jektvik – Kilboghamn
- Stokkvågen – Onøy – Sleneset – Lovund
- Nesna – Nesnaøyene
- Ørnes – Vassdalsvik – Meløysund – Bolga
- Nordnesøy – Kilboghamn (Rødyøysambandet)
- Igerøy – Tjøtta
- Mosjøen – Hundåla
- Stokkvågen – Træna
- Søvik – Austbø – Brasøy
- Sandnessjøen – Løkta
You can not pre-book tickets for cars or passengers on the ferries.
For travelers with AutoPass for ferries, ferry tickets will automatically be charged to the account associated with the AutoPass agreement. If you have an AutoPass chip in the car, you get a 10% discount on the price.
If you have an AutoPass chip in the car, and in addition have signed an agreement for “AutoPass for ferries” (an extension of the AutoPass agreement), or signed an AutoPass agreement with a ferry card, you will receive a 50% discount on the ferry price.
For travelers without AutoPass, ferry tickets will be billed afterwards to the address registered on the owner of the car.
You only pay for the vehicle. All passengers travel for free.
The price is calculated based on the length of the car, including the trailer or caravan if you have one. You can see what the price for you on your trip will be at autopassferje.no.
From south to north:
Holm – Vennesund
Horn – Andalsvåg
Forvik – Tjøtta
Levang – Nesna
Kilboghamn – Jektvik
Ågskardet – Forøy
Hurtigruten coastal steamers, and Nordlandsekspressen express boats
If you want to see some of the most exciting areas of the Helgeland coast, we recommend going “island hopping” with the Nordland Express that sails between Sandnessjøen to Bodø. The Summer Route has more frequent departures and calls at extra destinations, including the outer islands such as Lovund, Træna and Myken.
One of the best ways to explore Helgeland is to go “island hopping”, meaning you can jump off anywhere you like and continue your journey when you wish. When you travel north or south, you change boats at Myken.
You can also explore the Helgeland coast on board the Hurtigruten coastal steamer. It has regular calls at Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen and Nesna – and at each of these places there are opportunities for exciting excursions. For more information, please visit Hurtigruten.com.
Travel Pass Nordland
With Travel Pass Nordland you have almost unlimited travel by bus, express boat and ferry (with a few exceptions) for seven days in Nordland County.
For detailed information and updated prices about Travel Pass Nordland, please visit reisnordland.com
Other practical information
By express boat:
- When you are travelling by express boat in Helgeland, you can bring a bicycle, bike trailer or kayak.
- You should reserve a place for these at the same time you purchase your own ticket, at reisnordland.com.
- If you have a kayak, you must carry it on board. It should not be loaded full of luggage, as it is often necessary to lift it over the side of the gunwale.
With a bicycle or kayak on the ferry:
- Currently, the ferries charge only for passengers and vehicles. You may bring your bicycle, bike trailer or kayak free of charge.
- If you have a kayak, you must carry it on board yourself. It can be convenient to have a kayak trolley.
With a bicycle on the train:
- When you travel by train, you may bring a bicycle and/or bike trailer.
- Tickets for bicycles and bike trailers must be ordered via SJ’s customer service centre, tel. +47 61 25 22 00.
- For further information on travelling with a bicycle on the train, please see sj.no
Bicycling in tunnels:
- There are many tunnels throughout Helgeland. Cycletourer.co.uk has a good overview of where they are, how long they are, and what rules might apply to cycling them