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Go island hopping

to Bodø along the Helgeland coast

Træna island .
Photo: Hans Petter Sørensen
Træna island .
Photo: Hans Petter Sørensen

Trigger warning: Scrolling down may spark a high level of wanderlust!

In Helgeland, the local speedboats are known as ”the metro”. Hop on to experience the original main road between Bodø and Sandnessjøen.

Visit adventure islands like Træna (pictured), and get to know the people who live out here, some six to seven miles from the mainland.

You won’t need a car. Just time. Plenty of time …

Træna island .
Photo: Hans Petter Sørensen
Træna island .
Photo: Hans Petter Sørensen

... and a boat ticket. Get the Travel Pass Nordland for unlimited access to speedboats, ferries, and buses in Nordland for a week, at a reasonable price.

Here are some highly recommended islands to explore – just remember that you can also step ashore in some of the idyllic villages on the mainland.

Ferry in Helgeland .
Photo: Visit Helgeland
Ferry in Helgeland .
Photo: Visit Helgeland
  1. 1. Fleinvær

    Would you like to disconnect and gather your thoughts? Or do you like cool architecture?

    In either case, it’s easy to get your body, soul and mind in sync at Fleinvær. There are no cars and no shops here, just high skies and a broad horizon.

    Spend the night in one of The Arctic Hideaway’s tiny hotels, also called sleeping houses.

    And yes, they are hurricane-proof!

    Fordypningsrommet Fleinvær – The Arctic Hideaway .
    Photo: Christine Baglo
    Fordypningsrommet Fleinvær – The Arctic Hideaway .
    Photo: Christine Baglo
  2. 2. Arnøyene

    Wake up to the sound of crashing waves and squawking seagulls. At Arnøyene, there is literally a sea of possibilities. Will your halibut end up on the famous “hall of fame” at Arnøy Brygge?

    In Sør-Arnøy and Nord-Arnøy, there’s a whole island kingdom to explore. Boats, bikes and diving equipment are available to rent.

    Arnøy Brygge .
    Photo: John Karlsen
    Arnøy Brygge .
    Photo: John Karlsen
  3. 3. Støtt

    Støtt Brygge offers accommodation in historic surroundings. There is also a restaurant and a shop where you can enjoy the finest coastal delicacies and the freshest seafood available.

    Pure nostalgia, right into the bedroom. Just don't sleep too much on your Norwegian summer holiday – make the most of those bright nights!

    Støtt in Helgeland .
    Photo: Støtt brygge / faroutfocus
    Støtt in Helgeland .
    Photo: Støtt brygge / faroutfocus
  4. 4. Bolga

    A mountain with a hole. The midnight sun. And lots and lots of fish in the sea!

    Many people who come to Bolga Brygge end up staying a little longer than they planned.

    And when you look out over the sea while dangling your legs in the water, you might just decide to hang around a little longer yourself.

    Fishing outside of Bolga .
    Photo: Bjørn Joachimsen
    Fishing outside of Bolga .
    Photo: Bjørn Joachimsen
  5. 5. Rødøya

    Thanks to stairs built by Sherpas from Nepal, the epic view from Rødøyløva at the island Rødøy is now easier to reach.

    But you don’t have to just admire the scenery from a distance – rent a kayak and go explore the islands and white beach coves in the midnight sun.

    But first of all, treat yourself to a tasty meal at Klokkergården.

    Hiking in Helgeland .
    Photo: Terje Rakke / www.visithelgeland.com
    Hiking in Helgeland .
    Photo: Terje Rakke / www.visithelgeland.com
  6. 6. Myken

    Myken has only 12 permanent residents, but with several eateries and its own whisky distillery, it is definitely a great place to get stranded.

    … and by the way, at Myken you are almost as far out at sea as they can get from the Norwegian mainland!

    Myken in Helgeland .
    Photo: Visit Helgeland
    Myken in Helgeland .
    Photo: Visit Helgeland
  7. 7. Træna

    Mythical. Magical. And uber-cool! It’s not a coincidence that hipsters, artists, chefs and coffee roasters flock to the island of Træna.

    With lots of art, white beaches, and one of Norway's hippest music festivals, you just have to pay a visit. While you’re here, try to find out why the locals always say “Aloha”!

    Træna island .
    Photo: Katrine Sørgård / 1001rom.no
    Træna island .
    Photo: Katrine Sørgård / 1001rom.no
  8. 8. Lovund

    Isn’t this little fella just adorable? If you agree you should definitely jump off at the island of Lovund.

    It’s the home of hundreds of thousands of puffins, and most of them arrive on the same day every year: 14 April. This day is even known as “lundkommardagen”, which literally means “the day the puffins arrive”.

    How about waking up in a hotel with roof-to-floor sea views from the bed?

    Puffin on Lovund .
    Photo: Roy Mangersnes / wildphoto.no / www.nordnorge.com
    Puffin on Lovund .
    Photo: Roy Mangersnes / wildphoto.no / www.nordnorge.com
  9. 9. Dønna

    A paradise island with its own production of paradise chocolate! And do you see the beautiful white beach down there? The tiny houses? Let’s go there!

    Wind down with an overnight stay at Dønnes Farm. You can also catch a quiet moment in Nordland’s most beautiful church or challenge your balance on a SUP board.

    Or perhaps you prefer to venture high up the mountains, to the very top of Dønnamannen.

    Dønnamannen in Helgeland .
    Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / Helgeland Reiseliv
    Dønnamannen in Helgeland .
    Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / Helgeland Reiseliv
  10. 10. Herøy

    From Dønna, you can cycle across the bridge to the paddling paradise of Herøy, which is the perfect setting to explore more marvellous landscapes.

    Do you want to go paddling but haven’t got the necessary certifications? Don’t worry – an experienced guide can show you the way to the best spots.

    Kayaking outside of Herøy in Helgeland .
    Photo: Visit Helgeland
    Kayaking outside of Herøy in Helgeland .
    Photo: Visit Helgeland

Getting here and around

Make it easy for yourself: Simply take the train or fly to Bodø and go to the harbour. Be prepared for Norway’s finest sightseeing trip by the coast – available all year round.

Hop on and off where you like on the way to Sandnessjøen.

Just remember that you can use the same ticket on buses, ferries and speedboats throughout the region of Nordland.

So you might as well buy a pass for another week and venture further north – this time to Steigen, Hamarøy and Lofoten.

Or head south ...

Lofoten .
Photo: Terje Rakke / www.visithelgeland.com
Lofoten .
Photo: Terje Rakke / www.visithelgeland.com

… to the UNESCO-listed Vega islands. These islands are listed as a World Heritage thanks to the tradition of building nesting houses for the eider duck population. The birds’ eiderdown feathers are made into the softest duvets you can imagine.

After a trip to the top of Vegatrappa, a via ferrata adventure or a cycling tour around the island, you will enjoy sweet dreams for sure! Round off the evening in the seafood heaven at Vega Havhotell’s restaurant.

Vega in Helgeland .
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / Visit Helgeland / Helgeland Reiseliv/Vega
Vega in Helgeland .
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / Visit Helgeland / Helgeland Reiseliv/Vega

See you on a speedboat, heading towards the midnight sun?

Read more about what you can get up to in Helgeland.

Midnight sun in Helgeland .
Photo: Visit Helgeland
Midnight sun in Helgeland .
Photo: Visit Helgeland
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