In the summer, when the sun barely sinks below the horizon, you can enjoy the sights of Helgeland around the clock, setting your own pace as you explore on two wheels. The light is magical, and you may stop exactly where you wish to savour the beautiful scenery. The warm glow of the midnight sky and the deep silence truly has to be experienced! Here a some of the cycling adventures that you can enjoy.
THE ISLAND OF TOMMA, NEAR NESNA
Tomma, the largest of the Nesna islands, offers varied scenery and is perfect for exploring by bicycle. Take the ferry from Nesna village on the mainland. On arrival at the ferry quay you can turn right and head north for Forsland, about 4.4 km. On the way, you pass the trailhead for Tomskjevelen, a 922-metre peak that offers a stunning panorama of the many islands of Helgeland. If you instead turn left at the ferry quay, the road takes you south, rounds the tip of the island, and then follows Tomma’s outer shore. This longer journey passes Husby, the island’s main settlement, and Finnvikdalen recreation area, a popular destination for the whole family. The distance from the ferry quay to Husby is 4.7 km, and to Finnvikdalen about 16 km.
LURØY – AN ARCHIPELAGO NEAR THE ARCTIC CIRCLE
The municipality of Lurøy, situated just south of the Arctic Circle, is an archipelago of 1372 islands and islets. The main islands, which are relatively flat and ideal for exploring by bicycle, offer many tempting routes and destinations. Attractions include the old manor of Lurøygården and its Renaissance gardens, and the coastal museum. From Onøy, a 7 km ride takes you to Lurøy’s old quay where you will find dining as well as accommodation. Your return ride goes via the same route, but there are many opportunities for rewarding detours. You reach the islands of Lurøy by express boat from Sandnessjøen, Nesna or Bodø, or by ferry from Stokkvågen. Total cycle distance: a 14–15 km round trip.
TORGHATTEN NEAR BRØNNØYSUND
Torghatten, the famous mountain that has a hole all the way through it, is situated a scenic 15-kilometre bike ride from Brønnøysund. From the town centre, head across the handsome town bridge, which commands a fine view, and then follow the signs for Torghatten. Stop to visit the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre before continuing on the pedestrian and bicycle track to the foot of Torghatten. The 30-minute hike up to Torghatten’s hole requires good boots. If you want to extend your hike, you can descend the back side of the mountain.
ALONG THE SEVEN SISTERS RANGE IN ALSTAHAUG
Experience the famous mountain range up close from the bike seat. From Sandnessjøen town centre, take the main road to the roundabout by Scandic Hotel, and then turn south onto the coastal road Fv17 towards Tjøtta. At Søvik, about 4 km past the airport and 14 km from Sandnessjøen, turn left towards Markvoll, riding back to Sandnessjøen along the foot of the Seven Sisters range. If you are eager to climb a peak, choose one of the marked paths that you pass. A map of the Seven Sisters (De syv søstre) is available from the Tourist Information Office in Sandnessjøen. Total cycle distance: 27 km round trip.
VEGA – A WORLD HERITAGE TREASURE
Due to its exceptional natural environment and its unique cultural heritage, the Vegaøyan archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To reach the islands, take the express boat from Brønnøysund to Rørøy on Vega. From there, take the 8 km ride to Nes where you will find the world’s only Eider Duck Museum (E-huset). Then visit the informative Vega World Heritage Centre at Gardsøy, before joining a boat trip to the actual World Heritage area. With 100 km of very lightly trafficked roads, Vega is a cycling paradise! Savour the magnificent shoreline, find a relaxing beach, and explore some great hiking areas. When you are ready to leave, take the ferry from Igerøy to Horn. This lets you enjoy a 14 km ride along the coastal road Fv17 to Brønnøysund. Do consider stopping at Hildurs Urterarium, a nice herb garden with a summer cafè and shop.
TRÆNA – NORWAY’S OLDEST FISHING COMMUNITY
Far out at sea lies Træna, the oldest fishing community in Norway. Træna is renowned for its annual musical festival. We recommend taking the 6 km circuit of the island, which enjoys ocean views and a view of the mountains on the neighbouring island, Sanna. Pay a visit to the charming Petter Dass Chapel on Husøy, built in honour of northern Norway’s beloved 17th-century poet. Also visit Træna museum. Nearby, you can even relax in a sauna with a view of the ocean.
Consider taking the local boat to the island of Sanna to see the Stone Age shelter at Kirkhelleren. A phenomenal panorama of the Helgeland coast is to be had from the top of Gompen. You can reach Træna by express boat from Sandnessjøen, Nesna or Stokkvågen, or by taking the ferry from Stokkvågen.
DØNNA AND HERØY
This excursion offers scenic country roads, sandy white beaches, great bird-watching, interesting churches and beautiful coastal scenery. Start your day by taking an early ferry from Sandnessjøen town centre to Dønna. On arrival at the Bjørn ferry quay, ride the 26 km to see Dønnes Farm and Dønnes church, and consider a hike to the top of Dønnesfjellet for the magnificent view.
To continue, cross the Åkviksund Bridge via Bjørn to Seløy, a distance of 48 km. At Seløy be sure to visit the coastal culture centre, and consider a sea-rafting adventure. Herøy’s flat scenic terrain makes it ideal for cycling. Attractions include Herøy church, often referred to as the Helgeland Cathedral, and the Herøy rural museum. Afterwards, head for Flostad on Seløy, about 14 km away, for the return ferry to Sandnessjøen. The ferry actually takes you to Søvik in Alstahaug, and from there the bike ride to the town centre is only a few kilometres.
DINING AND LODGING
For an overview of cafés and restaurants throughout Helgeland, please visit www.visithelgeland.com. If we can be of any assistance with your cycling holiday, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.