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VESTERÅLEN

Whales and wow moments

Scroll down for inspiration,
or plan your trip now.

It’s hard to beat the experience of seeing the tail of a huge sperm whale wave goodbye under the midnight sun …

Whale safari in Vesterålen .
Photo: Visit Vesterålen
Whale safari in Vesterålen .
Photo: Visit Vesterålen

… or watching humpback whales and killer whales play around in the winter waves.

Vesterålen is Norway’s only year-round destination for whale experiences, thanks to the location close to the continental shelf. Join a guided whale safari!

And soon, all whale enthusiasts will have yet another reason to visit Andenes …

Orcas in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril / www.nordnorge.com/Andoy
Orcas in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril / www.nordnorge.com/Andoy

… when the new Whale Centre opens its doors to the public. Check out that building!

Illustration of the cultural museum The Whale .
Photo: The Whale / Dorte Mandrup AS / Illustration: MIR, Bergen
Illustration of the cultural museum The Whale .
Photo: The Whale / Dorte Mandrup AS / Illustration: MIR, Bergen

Vesterålen’s nature experiences are not just at sea. You’ll find plenty of wow moments on the 1,330 islands too – and you may even have to pinch your arm a few times.

For example when the northern lights dance across the night sky between September and April.

Northern lights over Nyksund in Vesterålen .
Photo: Tor Ynvge Andreassen
Northern lights over Nyksund in Vesterålen .
Photo: Tor Ynvge Andreassen

Or when you look out at the archipelago, the sea, and the fishing villages on a hike. Try the trip to Dronningruta or Møysalen.

In the summer you can stay out under the midnight sun …

Hiking the Dronningruta trail in Vesterålen .
Photo: Kjetil Paulsen
Hiking the Dronningruta trail in Vesterålen .
Photo: Kjetil Paulsen

… and in the winter you can go snowshoeing on fresh powder snow. The nickname “Hikers’ paradise” works all year, as you can see 😊

Snowshoeing in Vesterålen .
Photo: Visit Vesterålen
Snowshoeing in Vesterålen .
Photo: Visit Vesterålen

Other guaranteed wow moments are when you see the glimmering Trollfjord mirror the mountain peaks …

Cruise on the Trollfjord in Vesterålen .
Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen / www.nordnorge.com
Cruise on the Trollfjord in Vesterålen .
Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen / www.nordnorge.com

… when you make it to a peak like Reka with the help of bolts, ropes, and a local guide …

Hiking to Mount Reka in Vesterålen .
Photo: Visit Vesterålen
Hiking to Mount Reka in Vesterålen .
Photo: Visit Vesterålen

… and when you discover some of Norway’s longest and most beautiful beaches, like those near the fishing villages Hovden (pictured) and Bleik.

The beach by the fishing village Hovden .
Photo: Christine Baglo
The beach by the fishing village Hovden .
Photo: Christine Baglo

The wildlife at sea is far from the only spectacle in this part of Northern Norway.

Let a guide take you where elks swim and fox cubs play, or to the bird mountain where some 80,000 puffins have to watch out for hunting sea eagles.

Puffins in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril / www.visitvesteralen.com
Puffins in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril / Visitvesteralen.com

You’ll also find that the archipelago north in Nordland has a lot more than wilderness on a high altitude to offer. Discover vibrant coastal communities …

Stokmarknes in Vesterålen .
Photo: Robin Fiksdal
Stokmarknes in Vesterålen .
Photo: Robin Fiksdal

… and cool attractions.

The brand new Hurtigruten Museum welcomes you aboard a piece of coastal history.

At Spaceship Aurora you can have fun with lots of interactive exhibitions, learn about the northern lights, and play astronaut.

The Norwegian Coastal Express museum .
Photo: Bjørn Eide
The Norwegian Coastal Express museum .
Photo: Bjørn Eide

And remember to bring a piece of the charming fishing village Nyksund with you home!

As the fishermen left the village, the colourful houses were filled with artists, galleries, museums, and some of Vesterålen’s best restaurants.

The fishing village Nyksund .
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com
The fishing village Nyksund .
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com

You’ll still see plenty of fishing boats and trawlers going out to the rich fishing grounds though, some with tourists on board. Feel free to join!

It’s a great place to go fishing – the sea is teeming with fish and other seafood. Perhaps you’ll get a skrei (migrating Arctic cod) on the hook? Skrei has been the region’s most important export product ever since the Viking Period.

Fishing in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril
Fishing in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril

Also, be sure to taste the astonishing variety of cod dishes. Apart from the local delicacy stockfish, you’ll find menus with fresh, fried, boiled, and oven-baked cod – you name it, Vesterålen serves it.

Whatever you choose, you’ll see why this white fish meat from Norway is so popular in most corners of the world.

Food at the restaurant Neumanns Røykeri & Supperclub .
Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / Visitnorway.com
Food at the restaurant Neumanns Røykeri & Supperclub .
Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / Visitnorway.com

Try the local Sami delicacies too, including reindeer meat so tender it melts in your mouth.

Pay a visit to Inga Sami Siida to experience Sami traditions and reindeer up close.

Sami experiences in Vesterålen .
Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo / nordnorge.com
Sami experiences in Vesterålen .
Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo / nordnorge.com

Vesterålen offers wow moments whether you travel with your partner, your friends, or your family. Come and see it for yourself!

Plan your trip

Whale safari in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril / Visitvesteralen.com
Whale safari in Vesterålen .
Photo: Marten Bril / Visitvesteralen.com
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