Here are some tips for you who want a taste of the life of a native Helgelander. That does, of course, mean getting close to the land and the sea, but it also means getting to know the people who have adapted to life here, their culture and their heritage.
Live amongst the Helgelanders
The best way to get a flavour of the life here is to find a place where you can actually live amongst the locals and see what their daily life is like. Here are some suggested accommodation options where you can do just that.
Learn our heritage
The natives of Helgeland and the lives they lead are shaped by nature. We come from a long line of fishermen-farmers, who tilled patches of fertile land, kept hardy livestock, rowed out onto the sea to catch fish, and were caretakers of the eider ducks that come to nest each year. Their heritage includes the Sámi reindeer herders who followed their migrating flocks as they roamed the mountains. Our ancestors were boat-builders and iron-workers, sailors and merchants – and some of us still are.
We have seen many summer nights lit by the midnight sun, but also cold dark winter days when the sun scarcely rose up to the horizon. Use your imagination; how do you think this has shaped life in Helgeland? How did we live in centuries past? And how are our lives and identities formed today?
Dine with the Helgelanders
One of the best ways to know the locals is to eat with them and take part in the conversation that flows naturally over a hearty meal. Listen to the music of our dialects, and how they might be subtly different from those of the neighbouring table, people who might be from another village, the next valley over, or perhaps a different island. In Helgeland there are many vibrant local communities, each of them distinct. To share a meal with us is to taste the local culture!
Join the locals on an excursion
You are, of course, free to explore Helgeland on your own. But a knowledgeable local guide can greatly enrich the voyage. They can teach you about the history and heritage of the places you visit, give you good advice and, if you are lucky, show you some hidden gems.
Visit the recreated Viking chiefdom seat in Sandnessjøen
You are invited to an authentic Viking experience! Bring your family or friends and see the clothes and customs, partake in activities, and enjoy a Viking banquet. The chieftain at Sandnes was a power to be reckoned with in northern Norway during the Viking era (approx. 793–1066). This chieftain’s seat is mentioned in the saga about Egil Skallagrímsson, which tells of politics and power struggles, of trade and daily life at Sandnes, and of the people who lived here.
Consider a stay at Beverly’s Hill, situated right on the sea in beautiful surroundings!Here you can really feel the energy of the natural elements, and enjoy the summer sun all evening. You can go fishing, take a boat trip, hike the mountains, go bicycling or kayaking, and relax with sweet dreams in your cosy rooms.
Winter dream at Støtt
Do you dream of going from the hustle of the big city to “winter world” where the polar lights and the northern lights create magic? Visit the island Støtt and be close to nature, culture and history.
Visit Plura in Rana – A diver´s paradise!
Many experienced divers consider Visit Plura to offer world-class diving. Their facility offers everything you need for a perfect diving holiday. Moreover, they are situated right by the entrance of the underwater cave, Pluragrotta.
There is no better way to experience the magnificent Helgeland coast than on a sailboat voyage with family or friends. The boat allows you to jettison the moorings of your everyday life – and you have a wonderful opportunity to learn sailing skills and seamanship while exploring beautiful islands and islets, sheltered beaches and towering mountains, fishing villages and friendly islanders. A Sail Helgeland adventure brings you close to the natural elements as well as to your fellow sailors.
Hattfjelldal Hotell – GoExtreme
This hotel, located just outside the village centre, enjoys a fantastic view of Hattfjelldal, a picturesque community in the mountains of Helgeland.
Dog sledding together with Aaslid Polar
Aaslid Polar offers dog sledding with Alaska Huskies in a great mountain landscape in the beautiful Susendal in Hattfjelldal, close by to the Børgefjell National Park.
Norwegian Aquaculture Centre – A salmon success story
The Norwegian Aquaculture Centre is beautifully situated by Toftsundet. The actual fish farm is reached by a gangway from the shore. This is the place to learn more about the fascinating life cycle of salmon, and the pioneering work that made Norwegian aquaculture such an international success.
Velfjordferie – A holiday stay for guests who love fishing!
Velfjordferie is beautifully situated by the fjord, with great fishing spots and hiking trails nearby! The area lies just south of the Arctic Circle, which means you have daylight virtually round-the-clock, from mid-May to the end of July. Fishing is especially popular at “night”, when the wind dies down and the sea often is calm as a mirror.
Eider ducks, luxurious down and the bird guardians of Lånan
The largest eider duck nesting site on the Helgeland coast is situated in the Vega World Heritage area. You can join us on a visit to the island of Lånan, where the nesting eider ducks and their bird guardians have a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship.