The Nesna Islands

Nesnaøyene, consisting of Tomma, Hugla and Handnesøya, are an excellent base for kayaking the magnificent Helgeland coast. Experienced kayakers can head out from Nesna, or take an express boat or ferry to their preferred point of departure. Each of the three islands are surrounded by smaller ones, perfect for camping under the midnight sun. The area around Tomma is especially attractive for kayaking, with beautiful beaches, excellent campsites and numerous sources of freshwater.

Level 1 & 2
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Your kayak excursion is largely in sheltered waters and not unduly exposed to wind, heavy seas or strong currents. You should easily be able to reach the shore and beach your kayak. On shore, it may be fairly easy to request assistance, if needed. In many cases you are near a road.

Duration: 2–3 days


  • Take the ferry from Nesna to Tomma.
  • Launch your kayak on the bay near the quay. Paddle out past the ferry quay.
  • (Alternatively, carry your kayak 300 metres and launch it on the innermost part of Alsøyvågen.)
  • Continue southwards, and then along Alsøya.
  • Then veer westward, passing Storøya on its leeward side, with Alsøyvågen at your back.
  • Often the most exposed part of this journey is passing Trælneset.
  • As you continue, there are excellent sites where you can beach your kayak and enjoy a short or long pause. Gåsvika cove, just past Trælneset, is a great choice for your first pause.
  • After passing Husby, you have several options. A slight detour, but well worth it, is to explore the area between Store Hjartøya and Litle Hjartøya. There are many other alternatives, but make sure you factor in the weather before choosing your route.
  • As you round the southwestern part of Tomma, the waters open up. Up till now you were sheltered by islands to the south – but to the west there is now open sea.
  • While you will be more exposed as you continue along the island, the shore allows you to beach your kayak anywhere you please.


Advanced excursions require you to cross stretches of open sea, where you may be exposed to wind and currents. While there may be some good places to beach a kayak, you may have to be persistent in your search for ideal spots. In some of the area, it is possible to request seaborne assistance or help onshore.

Duration: 2–3 days


  • A 2–3 day excursion, starting at Nesna.
  • From Nesna, head towards Rognan, then to Vikholmen, Hugla and Mefjordsholman, and then to the island of Alsøya.
  • Head west along the southern shore of Tomma – passing Trælneset, Husby, Tomsvika, etc.
  • The scenic western shore of Tomma has many attractions. Finnvikdalen is especially worth a visit; we recommend an overnight stay in one of the cabins of Tomma Hytteutleie.
  • As you continue north, there are beautiful beaches, until you pass Kiløysundet.
  • Then continue westward along the northern shore of Tomma – passing Langneset, Svinøya and Sellåtøyene.
  • Although the eastern shore of Tomma faces open waters, this leeward side of the island rarely experiences harsh weather.
  • From Skeivstad consider crossing over to Handnes.
  • Continue along the southern shore of Handnesøya, crossing over to Nesna via the islet of Sauraholmen.
  • There are many good campsites along this journey. You can pitch a tent almost anywhere on the western shore of Tomma. We recommend a visit to Finnvikdalen. Tomma has many safe freshwater sources, making it unnecessary to carry large amounts of bottled water.

Tips: Would you like a guide or company on your excursion? Hav & Fritid at Nesna and Helgeland Kajakk on Tomma offer courses and guided excursions, for beginners as well as advanced kayakers. They also offer kayak and equipment rental.

You can combine your kayak excursion with an overnight stay at Havblikk Camping Nesna or Tomma hytteutleie.

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