The coastal village of Nesna
On the coast, some 60 km west of Mo i Rana, lies the picturesque village of Nesna. Nesna is a communications hub for northern Helgeland, and from here you can reach islands like Lovund, Træna, Rødøy, Lurøy, Sleneset and, not least, the lovely Nesna islands themselves. Join Hav og Fritid for a sea kayak and paddle around this island paradise just south of the Arctic Circle, or download the cycling brochure for this unique area. Read more at www.havogfritid.no.
The gateway to the archipelago beyond Nesna is made up of the three islands Hugla, Handnesøya and Tomma. The islands offer many kilometres of varied cycling, in addition to spectacular landscapes, fascinating activities and plenty of history. The waters around the islands are dotted with islets and skerries that offer the kayaker sheltered paddling conditions. These three large islands are in themselves so varied that the visitor can choose between a great many different activities ranging from hiking, potholing, mountain fishing, sea fishing and diving to an exploration of Viking history and much more besides. Read more at www.nesnaferie.no.
Experience farming life by the sea
On Hugla you will find many farms, fish farms and a fantastic landscape. On the seaward side you can gaze out over the archipelago, and bathe at a wonderful beach. Throughout the area you will find a number of fine islets and beaches which make a perfect place to stop and relax for sea kayakers.
Hugla also offers plenty of opportunities for mountain pursuits, a number of fine beaches, long well-prepared cycle tracks and, not least, the beautiful and lush Litlehaug Staude and Urtegård. Visitors can wander in the garden stocked with hundreds of different herbs and flowering perennials, stock up at the cosy farm shop/cafe, or spend the night in one of the farm’s comfortable rooms. A network of paths runs from the farm up to the central mountain peak, which provides excellent views of Nesna and the archipelago. Handnesøya, too, affords many fine opportunities to experience nature, either along its long and fairly flat roads or up in the central mountain. There you will find plenty of good places to fish and excellent views. Why not visit Handnesgården, a farm specialising in organic produce and livestock.
Furthest out lies the majestic Tomma. The road stretches almost completely round the island, and takes you to an enchanted landscape. On your right as you come ashore from the ferry you will see the archipelago’s highest peak, Tomskjevelen, at 922 m above sea level. Reaching the top from Forsland is a very pleasant hike. After three hours of walking you will, on a fine day, be able to see all the way up to the Lofotveggen mountain range and south to the coast of Trøndelag. Quite simply a fantastic experience. Read more in our article Hiking in the Arctic.
If you head off in the other direction you will come to Husby, Tomma’s main village. Here you will find a shop, school, play area and wolf-fish farm. If you contact the fish farm, you can visit and see these fantastic creatures close up. A few kilometres further on you will round the southern tip of the island, and the Helgeland coast opens out before you. As you pass some ancient Viking burial mounds you will have views of islands like Lovund, Træna, Hestmannen, Lurøy, Sleneset and Dønna. At your back an almost vertical wall of rock stretches hundreds of metres straight up, providing excellent conditions for the many sea eagles that use the mountain’s thermal currents to gain height. Read more at www.tomma.no.
In front of you are the spectacular Eiabælgan rock formations, which stand like exotic hats down towards the sea. A ten-minute cycle ride down this beautiful stretch lies the lush Finvikdalen valley, offering extremely good camping facilities for those with tents. Or, if you prefer, you can rent one of the three luxury cabins at the site. A small river runs through the valley. There are wide open plains and a beautiful sandy beach, all encircled by majestic mountains. The area also includes an exciting cave, an ancient settlement under a rock overhang, pits used to hunt eagles and exciting hiking trails into the island’s mountain heartland that show how the ice and sea have retreated over thousands of years.
Download the brochure: Cycle Map Handsnesøya - Hugløya - Tomma. For more information about getting there, accommodation and other activities in the area, contact Polarsirkelen Reiseliv, Tel: +47 751 39200 or visit www.arctic-circle.no .