The Helgeland coast, with its tens of thousands of islands, islets and reefs, is considered one of Norway’s premier regions for sea kayaking. We invite you to explore narrow fjords, majestic mountains and the countless islands offshore. Find your own sheltered inlet, walk a beach washed by clean seas, spend a night in a traditional cabin by the sea, and restore your strength eating delicious traditional fare – let it all be part of your adventure!
Here are some suggested kayaking excursions. For additional recommendations, please contact one of the Tourist Information Offices in Helgeland or see
The Nesna islands, which comprise Tomma, Hugla and Handnesøya, are a kayaking paradise. There are ferries and boat services between the islands. Experienced sea kayakers may consider making the crossing from Nesna. The waters around Tomma are especially well suited for kayaking adventures. Here you’ll find beautiful beaches, good campsites and plenty of fresh water.
Take the ferry from Nesna to Tomma. About 10 km from the ferry quay is Tomsvika, a cove sheltered by many islets. The area offers a great kayaking experience for beginners, and is also a fine point of departure for longer excursions to Sleneset and Lovund. There is plenty of parking; kayak rental is available, and you can sign up for guided excursions. We recommend a kayak journey between Lille and Store Hjartøya, and from there you can continue up the western shore of Tomma to Finnvika. Be mindful that you are quite exposed to the sea as you round the southwestern point of the island. Whatever destination and route you choose, the beautiful shoreline offers fine places to take a break.
If you brought your own kayak, or have rented one at Nesna, you can start kayaking immediately upon arrival – right from the ferry quay. Set a southerly course along Alsøya and then turn west towards Husby and Tomsvika.
2. OFFERSØY AND TJØTTA
The area is sheltered and easy to access. Situated along the Coastal Highway (FV17), these places are ideal starting points for longer kayak expeditions along the Helgeland coast.
Park by the bridge that connects Offersøy and Tjøtta, where you can easily launch your kayak. The eastern shore is usually sheltered, and you may enjoy excursions over to Rødøya or Bærøya, or explore the Vefsnfjord. If you stay to the left of the bridge, you pass the fjord and can head toward Hestøy og Blomsøy; there you will find many large and small islands, and waters that are great for beginners.
The Vega archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Area situated in the southern reaches of Helgeland, offers many kayaking adventures. You can even head for the same destination one day after the other, by a new route. Should you yearn for a more challenging adventure, the open sea is never far away.
Description Igerøy – Søla – Nes:
Take the ferry from Horn near Brønnøysund to Igerøy on Vega. You can park your car on the quay and launch your kayak there. Follow the shore through the narrow sounds, enjoying the dramatic surroundings. After a few hours you’ll reach Søla, an uninhabited island 12 nautical miles west of Vega, which is part of the Hysvær/Søla Nature Reserve. Be extra careful if you light a fire. Continue your kayaking toward Nes on Vega; although most of this six-hour journey is in sheltered waters, you must be prepared for stretches of open sea, which can be challenging. Accommodation in a charming rorbu (book in advance), or pitch a tent. Allow plenty of time for the return journey to Igerøy, perhaps spending a night on one of the islands en route. Alternatively hire land-based transport from Nes to Igerøy.
Herøy, Lovund, Sleneset, Lurøy, Rødøy, Støtt and more are also excellent for kayaking. And in the interior of Helgeland, you can enjoy great rafting on the Susna, Eiteråga, Fiplingsdalselva and other rivers.
TIPS AND INFO TO KAYAKERS
Helgeland is an incredible area for kayaking, but please keep in mind that the weather can change suddenly and the sea become very dangerous. Never go kayaking without proper training! Essential equipment includes an adjustable lightweight paddle, wetsuit, life-jacket, spray-cover, water pump, and waterproof equipment bags.
• Plan each stage of your journey before you start.
• Book your accommodation well in advance, especially in July.
• You can pitch a tent almost anywhere, but please respect people’s privacy. Keep at least 150 metres distance from houses or cabins.
• During the nesting season, it is strictly prohibited to go ashore on some islands.
• Plan your food purchases. Many stores close early and on Sundays.
• You will find timetables for buses, trains, ferries and express boats at reisnordland.no
• You can bring your kayak on ferries and express boats.
• Make sure your chosen challenge fits your expertise. Always make sure that in case of accident you can escape your kayak and swim ashore.
• Check the weather forecasts, tide tables and local currents, and express boat timetables before your excursion.
• Bring warm clothes, and always have an extra set of clothes. It will often get colder than you think. Bring warm gloves – your fingers are very exposed.
• Bring food, water and a hot beverage. Chocolate is a great energiser!
• Life-jackets are absolutely vital! A dry suit offers extra protection.
• Use reflectors, lights and bright colours to ensure that you’re easily visible from ships.
• Your equipment and first aid kit should include gaffer tape, map and compass, several metres of strong rope, a multi-tool with knife, and bandages and other equipment for treating wounds.
• A tow-line and an extra paddle will help you get home safely in case of an accident.