Hiking and sailing along the Helgelandcoast
The archipelago along the coast of Helgeland is among Norway's most beautiful stretches of coast. Around 12,000 islets and skerries await you – and lots of lovely mountain treks! What is more natural than experiencing all this from on board a sailing boat? During the eight-day trip, we visit some of the most famous destinations in the region, as well as beautiful, thriving fishing villages.
Although Lofoten is more known, many people consider the coast of Helgeland to be the most beautiful stretch of coast in Norway. On this trip, you really get to experience why! For a week, we stay on board a sailing boat and get to experience the coastal culture along this stretch of the coast of Nordland first hand. The trip starts with a trek to the unique natural phenomenon Torghatten, a mountain that you can walk straight through! We then sail to Vega, which is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List, and trek to some of the most beautiful and famous destinations on the coast of Helgeland. We eat good, local food en route – and if we're lucky, we'll even eat fish we've caught ourselves. The Svartisen glacier is one of Norway's biggest glaciers, and the glacier that is closest to sea level in Europe. We will walk on the glacier and spend a night at a traditional Norwegian Trekking Association cabin.
This is an eight-day trip, on which you will spend many, great hours on board the boat, which provides a good introduction to the world of sailing as well as a great experience. We stay on board the boat, and have our own skipper who also prepares the meals.
The trip starts in Brønnøysund, from where Widerøe operates regular flights to Oslo (direct), Trondheim and Bodø. The trip ends in Bodø, from where SAS and Norwegian operate regular flights to Oslo.
Day 1: Arrival in Helgeland and Torghatten
Arrival in Brønnøysund on the coast of Helgeland and trek out to Torghatten (258 metres). Torghatten, the mountain that has a hole right through it, is one of Norway's most photographed mountains. Our trek takes us right through the mountain and we will hear true as well as more dubious stories about the origin of this unique natural phenomenon. The trek takes about two to three hours.
At the foot of Torghatten, we are picked up by the boat that will be our home for the next few days. We eat dinner on board and are given an introduction to basic sailing theory, before the boat casts anchor and starts its voyage and finds anchorage on the far side of Torghatten or heads for Vega.
We spend the night on board.
Day 2: Sail north
We sail through the beautiful archipelago of the coast of Helgeland. The area is made up of 12,000 small islands, and is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List because of its unique costal landscape and eiderdown industry. We sail to the historic fishing village of Lånan, which is one of the best preserved examples of this tradition. We will be given a guided tour before we sail back to the mainland in the evening and find anchorage at the foot of the Seven Sisters, the most famous mountain peaks along the coast of Helgeland.
Day 3: Trek to the Seven Sisters
After eating a good breakfast on board the boat, we're ready for a trek to one or more of the summits that make up the Seven Sisters range. The length of the trek will be adapted to the wishes and physical fitness of the group, and the weather forecast. We board the boat again in the afternoon and sail north to find anchorage, where we prepare dinner and enjoy the view of our morning's destination. Trek of five to eight hours depending on where we go.
Day 4: Sail to Lovund and trekking
We sail north through the beautiful archipelago of the Helgeland coast. We pass Dønna and sail on to the majestic island of Lovund. There is an active fishing community on the island, and its highest mountain at 625 metres makes for a great trek with views of the Svartisen glacier and far out to sea. We celebrate our trek with a good fish dinner at Lovund RorbuHotell. We spend the night on board.
Day 5: Trek to Rødøyløva
We cast anchor and head for Rødøyløva (420 metres) on the island of Rødøy. We will again be rewarded with magnificent views of large swathes of the Helgeland coast. We anchor at Klokkargården marina, which has previously been voted Norway's best marina. We eat dinner at Klokkargården – which serves good traditional food, based on old recipes and made from local produce.
Day 6: Glacier walk on Svartisen and spend the night in a mountaincabin
We leave Rødøy early and head in towards the Svartisen glacier. This is one of Norway's biggest glaciers, and the glacier that is closest to sea level in Europe. We cycle from the fjord to the glacier, and are accompanied by skilled, local instructors on to the spectacular and magical blue ice. After the glacier walk, we make our way up to the self-service Norwegian Trekking Association cabin Tåkeheimen. The cabin is situated just over 1,000 metres above the fjord in immediate proximity to some of the glacier arms that make up Svartisen. Here we make a good dinner, and if the group is interested and the weather is fine, we can walk in the Midnight Sun up to Helgelandsbukken (1,454metres). We spend the night in a traditional mountain cabin.
Day 7: Back to the fjord and a farwell dinner
If we didn't make it to Helgelandsbukken the previous evening, we can start the day by making our way up to this beautiful viewpoint, where we can see large swathes of the Svartisen glacier, out to sea to Træna and much of the area we have sailed through over the past few days. We then make our way down to the boat, and sail north in the afternoon to the small island community of Støtt, where we celebrate the fantastic week with a final dinner at Støtt Brygge.
Day 8: Sail from Støtt to Bodø
We eat breakfast on board before the trip concludes by taking the express boat from Støtt to Bodø (1.5 hours). We arrive in the centre of Bodø in mid-morning.