Helgeland Area Mountains Guide

Torghatten, Helgeland

Introduction

For the northbound, Helgeland marks the start of Northern - Norway, and what a start! The contrast from the relaxed forests and farmlands of Trøndelag is great, especially for those coming along the coast. The mountains of outer Helgeland has always been landmarks for sailors, not strange since many of them have very characteristic shapes. These same shapes lie behind many folkloric stories about how the mountains came there. Although such stories should not be taken too seriously, they give an understanding of ancient Norwegian's respect for nature.

Terrain

The coast of Helgeland is scattered with many mountains of different forms, from South to North. Of the most famous are De Syv Søstre, seven peaks rising from a mountain plateu just by the sea not far from Sandnessjøen. May be even more famous is Torghatten, a 300 meter high mountain on an island just off Brønnøysund. In the middle of Torghatten is a giant hole, 35 meters high and 15 meters wide - straight through the mountain! According to the folklore, the hole was made by a giant arrow shot by Hestmannen (the Horse Man) - another great mountain on Helgeland's coast.

In Helgeland's inland you will find long forested valleys as well as more mountains. The wildest and highest of these can be found in the inner area, between the valleys of Hattfjelldal and Rana. The peaks of Okstindane, rising from the glacier Okstindbreen are with over 1900 meters the highest mountains in Northern Norway, reaching about 100 meters above the highest peaks in Troms.
De syv søstre (The Seven Sisters) near Sandnessjøen.
De syv søstre (The Seven Sisters) near Sandnessjøen.

Legal status

Most of the coast and the inner valleys of Helgeland is inhabited and is therefore unsuited for any kind of protection.

The uninhabited valley of Lomsdalen, between the Vefsn valley and the coast is proposed as a national park, after the river in the valley was protected from hydro power-exploitation in 1993. A national park here will be unique in Norway as it protects a hole valley from mountain to fjord, without any technical installations.

Helgeland - Routes

Getting there

Helgeland is easiest to access from one of the towns. Widerøe has regular flights from Bodø and Trondheim to Brønnøsund, Sandnessjøen, Mosjøen and Mo i Rana. These places are also accessible with coastal steamer (Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen), train (Mosjøen and Mo i Rana) and bus. (Brønnøysund has bus connections with Grong and Mosjøen, Sandnessjøen with Mo i Rana and Mosjøen.) Access to the different starting points for mountain trips is difficult with public transport.

Those who have their own transport have unlimited possibilities in the area. If you want to explore Helgeland instead of just passing by, it's advisable to drive the outer road instead of the inner, heavily traffic E6. The outer road has many sights to offer, from the famous Torghatten at Brønnøysund to the deep Fjords and high mountains around Sandnessjøen.

Routes

Hiking

You have different options when hiking in Helgeland. Many will be satisfied by daytrips to some of the many mountains in the coastal region. These mountains are almost always accessible on a daytrip from the nearest road, or at least from the nearest landing point. A special mountain that you probably want to see is Torghatten - the mountain with the hole. The walk up to the hole is an easy 20 - 30 min walk on a good path. The giant hole is well worth the short walk.

For longer hiking trips, it depends on your needs. The Okstindane area has a number of lodges. Here you can do longer hikes, but you'll need to bring your glacier-gear if you want to cross the glacier. Otherwise you are limited to the area south or north of the glacier. For those who can bring their own gear, Lomsdalen and the surrounding areas should be a nice area for exploring Norwegian nature. It's just as beautiful even if it's not a national-park yet.

Skiing

Most of the inner areas of Helgeland should be well suited for skiing in winter. In the inner areas, the snow conditions are stable, and the terrain is relatively relaxed. It is not common to use special glacier equipment on Oksbreen in late winter. The outer areas of Helgeland are not so suited for skiing. The mountains can be steep, and the snow-conditions can be varying. But if you check out the conditions, you may well do nice ski-trips here as well.

Cycling

Cycling the coast road of Helgeland all the way from Bodø to Trøndelag is great. You will see the great diversity of the Norwegian coast in 4 - 5 days. Have Fun!

Helgeland Regional Tourist Offices

Brønnøysund Tourist Information Center

Destination Helgeland as
P.O. Box 314
N - 8901 Brønnøysund
Visiting Address:
Sømnaveien 92,
N - 8900 Brønnøysund
Tel./fax: +47 75 01 80 00//+47 75 01 80 01
E-mail: post@destinationhelgeland.com
http://www.visithelgeland.com/

Sandnessjøen Tourist Information Center

Torolv Kveldulvssonsgate 35,
N-8800 Sandnessjøen
Tel./fax: +47 75 04 45 00/+47 75 04 64 94
Epost: post@helgelandskysten.com
http://www.helgelandskysten.com/

Mosjøen Tourist Information Center

Skjervengan by the E6,
N - 8657 Mosjøen.
Tel./fax: +47 75 01 80 00//+47 75 01 80 01
E-mail: post@visithelgeland.com
http://www.visithelgeland.com/
Mo i Rana Tourist Information Center:
O.T. Olsensgt. 3,
N-8602 Mo i Rana
Tel/fax: +47 75 13 92 00/+47 75 13 92 09
Epost: post@arctic-circle.no
http://www.arctic-circle.no/

Helgeland Local Tourist Offices:

Vega

Vega Tourist Information Center:
8980 Vega
Tel. +47 75 03 53 88
www.visitvega.no

The Vega Islands World Heritage Foundation

Tel. 75035388
post@verdensarvvega.no
www.verdensarvvega.no

Herøy

Herøy Tourist Information Center at Runde:

Runde Miljøsenter,
6096 Runde
Tel. +47 75 05 81 10
Open during the summer season
Email: heroy.turistinfo@monet.no

Herøy Tourist Information Centre at Fosnavåg

ådhuset, 6099 Fosnavåg
Telephone: 70 08 13 00
Email: touristinfo@rundecentre.no
http://www.rundecentre.no/english/index.htm

Dønna

Dønna Tourist Information Center at Dønna:

Dønna ASVO as
8820 Dønna
Tlf: 75 05 21 20
Fax: 75 05 21 29
Email: turist@donna-asvo.no
http://www.donna-asvo.no/
Open during the summer season

Dønna Tourist Information Center at Sandnessjøen (also covers Alstahaug – Dønna – Herøy – Leirfjord)

Visiting Address:
Torolv Kveldulvsonsgt. 25 A, 8801 Sandnessjøen
Post address:
Box 414, N-8801 Sandnessjøen
Phone: +47 75 04 45 00
Fax: +47 75 04 64 94
Email: post@helgelandskysten.com
http://www.helgelandskysten.com/frameset2.htm

Hattfjelldal Tourist Information Center:

Hattfjelldal Turistinformasjon,
O. T. Olsensvei 2,
8690 Hattfjelldal
Tel. +47 75 18 40 05
http://www.turistinform.no/
Dønnamannen
Dønnamannen



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