Bård Løken
Torghatten i Brønnøysund

Torghatten is a legendary mountain with a hole through it. A well-marked path leads up to the hole, and the walk is suitable for the whole family. As you walk through the 160-metre-long and 35-metre-high tunnel, you have to marvel at the natural forces that shaped it. This hole was carved out by the sea, slowly, thousands of years ago. As you emerge on the other side, you have a magnificent view of the nearby islands.

NOTE: Due to construction work around Torghatten, parking options there will be reduced until 20 April. The path leading up to the hole is open at the south side of the mountain. You can find updated information here.

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

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 walk to the hole of Torghatten is an exciting opportunity to see the mountain from the inside, and you are rewarded with a stunning view over the archipelago. The path up is excellent and manageable for young and old, from pre-school kids to active grandparents.

As per now the path is open at the south side of the mountain. The pakring lot and the stating point you find by driving past the construction, Torgarhaugen and Torghatten camping. Follow the gravel path around the side of the mountain until you reach the new sherpa stairs. Its possible to go into the hole, but not through and down on the other side.

A 45-minute walk along a path takes you up to this natural tunnel, which is 160 m long, up to 12–15 metres across and as much as 35 metres high. It feels like you have entered a cathedral with a rough-hewn interior!

If you are in great shape, you can hike to the top of Torghatten for an even more impressive view. Alternatively, you can take a long but much easier circuit trail around Torghatten.

Cycling to Torghatten

In good weather, it’s pleasant to take bicycle ride from Brønnøysund to Torghatten. Bike rental is available from the Brønnøysund Tourist Information Office.

Food and accommodation near Torghatten

If you have built up an appetite 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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