A summer holiday in Helgeland means enjoying the midnight sun and summer evenings that never end. It means steady steps as you hiking the trails of the mountain wilderness, a refreshing swim in the sea, and the comforting rhythm of oars as you row sheltered waters between the islands. A summer holiday here means slowing down time itself to enjoy adventures with family, good food and refreshments with friends, and the warm hospitality of the Helgelanders. A summer holiday in Helgeland means so much more… Join us and discover the magic that awaits you here!

Where to go: The Helgeland coast and the mountain wilderness

Helgeland is vast. For a simplified overview, we have divided the region into four parts: the outer islands, the Norwegian Scenic Route along the coast, highway E6 through the centre of Helgeland, and the Wilderness Road (Villmarksveien) through Helgeland’s scenic interior.

Explore the outer islands with the Nordland Express boats

During the summer, the express boats call on extra many island destinations, including the outermost islands such as the Vega archipelago, Lovund, Træna, Myken, Bolga and Støtt.

These island communities are vibrant and intimate, and each is unique in its own way. Far from the mainland, they face the ever-changing sea. The islanders have a keen appreciation of the powerful forces of nature and have attuned their lives to the rhythms of the tides, wind and weather. When you visit, you may well find the vastness of the sea and sky breathtaking – after all, this is coastal Helgeland at its most rugged and magnificent.

You can take the express boat out to any one of the islands mentioned and be quite content spending most of your holiday there. Or you can go “island hopping” with the Nordland Express. Travel Pass Nordland is just like Interrail, except that you are travelling by express boat instead of by train

Norwegian Scenic Route Helgeland Coast – the Coastal Highway, Fv17

The Coastal Highway (Fv17) is the popular scenic alternative for a car holiday along the Helgeland coast. In fact, this has status as a Norwegian Scenic Route. The highlights and destinations en route include Torghatten, the mountain with a hole through it near the town of Brønnøysund, the Lomsdal-Visten National Park, the Seven Sisters mountains near the town of Sandnessjøen, the coastal village of Nesna, island mountains such as Rødøyløva, Meløy and the Svartisen glacier. And when you feel the outer islands beckoning, they are just a detour away by express boat.

We realize it is popular to drive the entire Coastal Highway and then return via highway E6, but consider slowing your pace and exploring a smaller area in depth. In addition to being able to see more of the attractions nearby and explore the varied landscape, you will gain a deeper experience of the local communities. Slow your pace – discover your own Helgeland!

Central Helgeland – via highway E6 or the Nordland Line

If you want a little of everything, or a lot more than that, travelling by train is a great way to go. By car, you can choose highway E6. Both means of travel will bring you to many exciting attractions and open up great opportunities for adventure. For instance, the historic town of Mosjøen has the famous Helgeland Stairs and a Zip-line, Hemnes offers the Okstindan mountains with the dramatic Rabothytta cabin, and Rana has the Svartisen glacier, Saltfjellet National Park, and the nearby Arctic Circle.

The advantage of this route and a holiday stay in these areas is that you don’t have to choose between fjords and mountains – you are close to both. Within easy reach you have the Helgeland coast and three amazing national parks: Børgefjell, Saltfjellet and Lomsdal-Visten

Drive the Wilderness Road – or hike the Nordland Trail

The Wilderness Road (Villmarksveien) runs from Majavatn lake in the south to the village of Korgen in the north. It takes you through the most scenic areas of the Grane, Hattfjelldal and Hemnes municipalities. You will travel close to Børgefjell National Park, Røssvatnet, the second-largest lake in Norway, and the Okstindan massif, which has the highest peak in Northern Norway.

This route is particularly satisfying if you are eager to go hiking and yearn to try your luck fishing the lakes and mountain tarns. The Nordland Trail goes from Børgefjell to Saltfjellet, with cabins that are spaced a comfortable day hike apart.

When should you visit Helgeland?

In Helgeland, each season brings its own delights and opportunities for activities and adventures. Let us mention some of them.

Early summer – green leaves and snow-capped mountains

By the beginning of June, the leaves will have unfolded in the lush woodlands and forests of Helgeland, and the lowlands are alive with bright green grasses. High above, the mountain peaks are still capped with winter snow. Many natives and visitors believe this is the time when Helgeland is at its most beautiful.

From 12 June, parts of Helgeland enjoy the midnight sun. Although by now most Helgelanders have put away their skis and brought out their hiking boots, bikes, kayaks or boats, those who wish can still easily find snow-covered mountains to ski.

For reasons beyond the scenic beauty, this is a great time to visit Helgeland. With the peak tourism season just around the corner, many seasonal companies have opened their operations, although in some cases starting with slightly reduced offerings. For instance, the ferries and express boats may not yet be on their summer schedules, which see more frequent departures and in some cases extra ports of call. And given that there is still a lot of snow in the high mountains, you want to carefully consider the conditions and weather before going hiking. That said, unless you are in a hurry, this really is a time to experience Helgeland – at perhaps its most beautiful.

Mid summer is peak season – warmer and full of light

From the end of June and well into July, we can enjoy warm bright days. The summer holidays have officially started. Although heat waves are the exception here in Northern Norway, we do suggest that you pack your shorts and swimwear as well as an all-weather jacket – you might well need them all. By now, the full range of summer activities is available, our opening hours are generally extended, and many ferries and express boats have extra departures and make additional destinations available.

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Our coastal mountains and the lowest of the inland mountains are by now more or less snow-free and ready for hiking. And although the midnight sun ends in early July in Helgeland, the evenings don’t really get dark until August.

This is the time for the long, lazy summer days and seemingly endless summer nights. Go kayaking in the archipelago or explore scenic Helgeland on two wheels, before you enjoy great conversation over a late dinner in the evening glow. If you prefer fast-paced adventure, there are plenty of opportunities for that too. Just be mindful that during this peak season, you should book accommodation and dining well in advance, especially at the most popular places. In fact for some places it’s a good idea to start thinking about booking already by December.

Late summer – late August to early September

As school approaches, Helgeland’s tourist season calms down. Some places have reduced their opening hours and selections, the ferries run less frequently, and express boats are no longer running on their expanded summer schedule. With fewer departures, you may need to plan your local travels more thoroughly.

On the other hand, the crowds are gone. Experienced hikers know that the wilderness and mountain realms are at their best right now. There is still warmth in the air, and after months of summer the snow has retreated to the highest peaks. The mountains and forests have a bounty waiting for you: a wealth of blueberries. And if you know where to look, you can find nature’s golden delicacies – chanterelles and cloudberries!

Late summer and early autumn are ideal times to explore beautiful wilderness areas such as Røssvatnet lake, the Okstindan mountains, or our three national parks: Saltfjellet-Svartisen, Børgefjell and Lomsdal-Visten. Each evening the sun sets earlier and the night is a little darker. With luck you may see the Northern Lights dance across the sky! Nonetheless these late summer days still last longer than at southern latitudes, giving you extra time to explore and experience the wilderness. The most eager connoisseurs of our great outdoors will tell you with grin: “Do your sleeping when you get home!”

Book your experience

Bindal Museum and the old croft at Vassås

Bindal Museum at Terråk documents local forestry, boatbuilding and other wood-working traditions. It contrasts past and present practices. The museum also includes Bindal Bygdetun, an open-air museum at an authentic old croft at Vassås, 2.5 km north of Terråk.

Yttervik

Yttervik, situated in idyllic surroundings by the Ranfjord, offers accommodation a short distance from Mo i Rana’s town centre. The cabins and campsite and the surrounding area is well suited for varied activities for the whole family.

Storli Camping and Aernie – Accommodation and a sámi experience

At Aernie, you can indulge in culinary and cultural experiences based on the history and traditions of the Southern Sami people. You can stay overnight in a luxury Sami hut or in a cabin, motorhome, caravan, or tent. Storli Camping and Aernie are located along the E6, a 20-minute drive north of Mo i Rana.

I Ro og Mak at Straumen Farm

Heartwarming stay and accommodation in the cozy Grandma’s Cabin. Find peace close to nature and the simple life in the countryside.

Fjellfolket Hus – in the middle of Hattfjelldal

Experience the beautiful natural areas along the Wilderness Road starting from the mountain village of Hattfjelldal. At Fjellfolkets Hus, you’ll find accommodation, tourist information, a museum, and a handicraft shop, allowing you to be close to both nature and culture in this fantastic mountainous region.

Rauvassgården mountain farm in scenic surroun

The historic Rauvassgården is a gem in the mountains outside Mo i Rana, perfect for larger groups on a trip together, or smaller groups looking for ample space.

Bergh-brygga and Gammelskolen in Leirfjord

Leirfjord Museum is located in the old Bergh-brygga at Leland. Also, make sure to visit the beautiful Gammelskolen, which was in operation until the mid-1950s. Welcome to a journey through time!

Grønligrotta Cave near Mo i Rana

Grønligrotta, with its network of passages and beautiful limestone formations, has long been one of the most visited caves in Scandinavia. Electric lighting allows you to more fully appreciate it this natural wonder, which ice and water took 700,000 years to sculpt.

Hildurs Urterarium – Accommodation

Stay in newly renovated and cozy rooms at Hildurs Urterarium outside Brønnøysund. Here you are met by pleasant hosts in homely and good surroundings.

Korgfjellet Lodge

Come and stay right in the heart of a beautiful mountain area, in the heart of Helgeland. From Korgfjellet Lodge, you have a beautiful hiking area right outside your cabin door, both in summer and winter. Perfect for those who want to go hiking or skiing, fish in mountain lakes, hunt, or pick berries.

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