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Torghatten i Brønnøysund

Torghatten is the famous mountain outside of Brønnøysund, known for its distinctive hole right through it. Here, humans feel small as they wander through the 35-meter-high tunnel that the sea carved out thousands of years ago. The journey through is suitable for people of all ages, and even though you aren’t at a great height, the view is spectacular.

Torghatten is a mountain on the island Torget, just south of Brønnøysund in the south of Helgeland. You can drive there by car or bus, bike or paddle a kayak from Brønnøysund

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The mountain and the legend

According to legend, this hole was created when the Sulis Troll-King threw his hat into the air to deflect an arrow fired at the Maiden of Leka by the enraged Horseman who was chasing her. Just as the arrow pierced the hat, the sun rose and all were turned to stone.

The troll kings Vågakallen and Suliskongen would often sit and gaze at each other. Vågakallen on Aust-Vågøy in Lofoten and Suliskongen up in Sulitjelma. They would often argue about who was the king over the larger territory. The only times they agreed were when they complained about the youth of their time, who, just like today, were impossible to control. They only cared about play and fun and wouldn’t listen to their fathers.

Suliskongen had felt compelled to send his seven daughters to Landegode, so that Lekamøya, known for her wisdom and beauty, could turn them into responsible and proper young ladies.

Hestmannen on the “hunt”
Vågakallen had given up on his son, Hestmannen. He was full of mischief and not pleasant to be around. He had moved away on his own and could wreak havoc as he pleased without being disturbed by his father.

On a beautiful late spring evening, Lekamøya took her seven sisters out for an evening swim and play in the water. Hestmannen was up north, feeling bored, when he suddenly spotted them from afar. The sisters played and joked in the water, but it was the beautiful Lekamøya that caught his eye. He had to have her. He threw his cloak over his shoulders, mounted his horse, and chased southward into the night. Suliskongen woke up from the commotion and moved closer to the sea to see what was happening.

Ladies in flight
Lekamøya heard the noise and realized they had to get away. She and the seven sisters set off southward along the Helgeland coast. Lekamøya knew he was after her, so she ran faster than her sisters, who found the whole thing amusing and exciting, unable to resist playing a bit along the way.

The arrow through the hat
When Hestmannen realized he couldn’t catch up to her, he drew his bow and shot an arrow after her. But the troll king in the Sømna mountains, who had been nearby in Brønnøysund observing the scene, threw his hat as he saw the arrow coming. The arrow pierced through the hat, causing it to lose both speed and direction. This way, the Sømna king saved Lekamøya, who slipped across the border to Nord-Trøndelag, while the hat fell down near Torgar. The spring night is short in Nordland, and amidst the wildness and spring excitement, everyone forgot about this, and suddenly the sun rose, turning them all into stone.

And so it was
The sisters’ cloaks, discarded during their escape, hang over Dønnes Island. The seven sisters stand tall and elegant between Sandnes and Alstahaug. The hat with the hole lies outside Brønnøysund, the arrow rests on a rock far out at sea, and Lekamøya just managed to hurl herself down onto Leka. Hestmannen lies a bit farther north, and Suliskongen’s crown can be glimpsed between the Børvasstindene peaks. The only one remaining in the same spot is Vågakallen; he still sits high up in Lofoten, gazing out over his realm.

Go through, over, and around the mountain!

The journey to the hole in Torghatten is an exciting little adventure into the mountain, with a fabulous view as a reward. The trail up and through is well-maintained with good stone steps on both sides of the hole, making the hike suitable for both young children and active great/grandparents.

If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can hike to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view from there. Alternatively, you can follow the hiking trail around Torghatten if you prefer a slightly longer but easier hike with fewer elevation changes.

Cycling to Torghatten

If there’s good weather, it’s pleasant to take a bicycle ride from Brønnøysund to Torghatten. If you don’t have a bicycle, there’s bike rental available from the Brønnøysund Tourist Information Office.

Food and accommodation near Torghatten

If you have built up an appetite after visiting Torghatten, you can grab a meal at either Torgarhaugen or Torghatten Camping & Strand Restaurant. Both offer accommodation, which is ideal if you want to explore the area. There is no reason to hurry. Take the time to enjoy the midnight sun from a mountain top, or go kayaking amongst the coastal islands.

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