The Vega Archipelago in the county of Nordland consists of more than 6,000 islands, reefs and skerries.
Vega is an ornithologist's dream. Chief among the bird population are eider ducks, raised for their feathers - the houses built for them to nest in can still be seen, alongside lighthouses, fishing villages and dramatic landscapes.
What to do in the Vega Islands
Bird-watching is what draws many to the islands, but there is a lot more you can do besides. Go hiking or cycling and enjoy the islands’ special atmosphere, whether it be heavy storm clouds or bright, sunny summer evenings. Discover the unique flora, or follow the historical trail in Middagskarheia, which has information boards providing an insight into the Stone Age in Vega.
Visit the local museum in Gladstad and see the eiderdown production for yourself. Other attractions include Vega Church in Gladstad, a wooden church dating from 1864; the war memorial at Ylvingen, where you can explore remains of bunkers and tunnels from WWII.
Hire a boat and explore the coastline, maybe even cast a line - fishing in the sea, rivers and lakes is popular among locals. Alternatively you can join a guided boat ride and fishing in the Vega Islands.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The island of Vega and its surrounding islands were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004, in recognition of the unique interaction between the eider duck and the island population during the nesting season. The archipelago reflects the way fishermen and farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living, as well as the contribution of women to eiderdown harvesting.
In June 2009, the British newspaper The Guardian put the Vega Islands on their list "20 undiscovered island gems".
When to travel
The best weather is usually from June to August. This is also when the islands are most accessible for visitors.
How to get there
The Vega Islands are located off the coast of Helgeland, just south of the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. There is an express ferry from Brønnøysund, and a car ferry from Horn, which is a 15-minute drive outside Brønnøysund.
Where to stay
Stay in a fisherman’s cabin with Vega Opplevelsesferie, or stay at the Thon Hotel Torghatten nearby.
Read about other things to see and do in the Vega Islands.
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