As a region Helgeland has 77,500 inhabitants and four towns: Brønnøysund, with 4,600 inhabitants; Sandnessjøen, with 5,700 inhabitants; Mosjøen, with 9,600 inhabitants; and Mo i Rana, with 18,100 inhabitants.
Mosjøen is the oldest town in Helgeland, while Mo i Rana is the largest.
There are 18 municipalities in the region:
- Alstahaug (includes Sandnessjøen)
- Brønnøy (includes Brønnøysund)
- Rana (includes Mo i Rana)
- Vefsn (includes Mosjøen)
From mid-June to late August there are normal summer temperatures, but the weather is changeable. Part of the charm of a visit to Helgeland is seeing it in all kinds of weather. Bring a warm sweater and a wind- and waterproof jacket/trousers.
The whole of Nordland County enjoys the midnight sun and sunlit nights from the end of April until the middle of August.
The northern lights (aurora borealis), meanwhile, can be seen in the night sky on dark, clear evenings from September to April.
People and history
People in Helgeland are hospitable, unpretentious, light-hearted and natural. Of old, this is a land of fishermen, farmers, egg and eiderdown gatherers, Arctic Sea skippers, merchants, lumberjacks, the Sami (Norway's indigenous population) and boat builders.
Boats are still being built, and the eiderdown gathering tradition is still alive. The Sami culture, centred around reindeer herding, remains vibrant, as do the agriculture and forestry industries. Other major industries are tourism, heavy industry, fisheries, aquaculture, offshore industry and a large retail industry.