The town on the world's most beautiful coast
Bodø is a vibrant, colourful and distinctive coastal town, facing out towards Vestfjord and packed full of fascinating shops, pleasant cafés and distinctive restaurants. The Norwegian Aviation Museum will take you on a journey through the sometimes dramatic history of Norwegian aviation. You can also have a look at the protected Swedish town with houses built during the reconstruction period after the Second World War. Or just sit on the breakwater and just enjoy the view.
Kjerringøy, a few dozen kilometres north of the centre, is the queen among North Norwegian trading posts, well-known thanks to Hamsun's novels. This unusually well-preserved complex has a main building with 19th century interiors and a cattle barn, piers and a boathouse situated in beautiful coastal scenery. When on Kjerringøy, take your time and take in the art exhibition in the Zahl cattle barn and try some delicious home-made farm cheese.
The world's most powerful maelstrom, around 20 km (12.5 miles) from the centre, plays out its foaming drama of whirlpools racing along at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph) twice a day, every day. The poor, hungry pollack that are pulled along with it are easy pickings for the fishing hook. Enjoy a white-tailed eagle safari with RiB, they will take you right up close.
Out in Vestfjord, just outside the town, are a number of distinctive island communities, with concentrated fishing villages, a mass of small islands and skerries, sea birds and views across to Lofoten. On some weekdays, you can join the boat for an excursion, on other days you can go ashore for a few hours.
Soaking up the Nordland landscape
In the beautiful coastal landscape around Bodø, there are a range of marked paths and excursions, from short, enjoyable trips to three peaks in one day. The cycle route to Kjerringøy has been voted the third most beautiful in the country, but you can also cycle all the way to Steigen. The proud coastal ship MS Gamle Salten is sailing on a cycle cruise from Bodø this year. The heritage trail through the cultural landscape southeast of Bodø will take you to the brown cheese village of Misvær, where a visit to the herb garden at Tofte is highly recommended.
Light and dark, hot and cold, harsh and pleasant
The landscape of Nordland also hides tougher challenges: from caving in underground cathedrals in Beiarn and canoeing trips on Vestfjord, diving in Saltstraumen to glacier walking on Svartisen, Norway's second largest glacier. Fishing and golf in the same sentence? Try www.golfish.no. www.golfish.no is a programme that includes both golf and sea fishing. A visit to Nordlandsbadet indoor water park is fun for the youngsters, with slides, a wave pool and a stream channel. For the adults, there is a wellness centre, with a therapy pool and a sauna.
We have the music
This August, Bodø will come together for a music festival. Nordland Musikkfestuke, the Nordland Music Festival, has a programme encompassing everything from the band Kråkesølv, who sing in the Bodø dialect, to symphony music. The stages used during the Music Festival week include the viewpoint at Keiservarden, the organ in the Cathedral and the coastal boat MS Gamle Salten. This event will be followed by the very antithesis, Parkenfestivalen, which brings together the latest bands and popular artists from Northern Norway and elsewhere in Byparken.
Bodø as a base
From Bodø, you can quickly reach some of the most beautiful destinations in the north, such as Lofoten, a whale safari from Andenes and south to Helgeland. Many of these destinations can be reached with Widerøe, travelling out and back in a day, enabling you to use Bodø as a base to see much of Northern Norway. Ask the tourist information office for suggestions on the best trips.
Are you as open-minded and impulsive as the inhabitants of Nordland when you book a holiday? The conference guests who love Bodø so much at other times of the year are nowhere to be seen from late June to mid-August, meaning that empty airline seats and hotel beds are sold off cheaply. Visit Bodø has also drawn up a list of experiences in the town that cost less than NOK 50. The view of the midnight sun from Rønvikfjellet mountain is COMPLETELY FREE!
More about Bodø
www.visitbodo.com is the website for Bodø tourist information.