Photo: Tonje Brattås
Tonje Brattås Articles / 19 Nov 2020

Tonje's Travelogue 16: The amazing Helgelandskysten

With approximately 10kg of Lofoten cod packed into our portable fridge, we started the trip home to Oslo. The drive from Lofoten to Oslo is about 20 hours non-stop and there are so many awesome places to check out along the way. We choose the Helgeland coastline, and did not regret it!

The Helgeland coastline is the longest stretch among the 18 national tourist roads in Norway. With six ferry trips to factor in we soon realized that we had misjudged the scale of this part of our adventure. We calculated that the coastline road would add another 10 hours onto our trip which we, unfortunately, did not have time for so we decided to sample just a small section instead. Lucky for us, it will still be there next year and we saw more than enough to convince us that it is worth coming back! 

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Photo: Tommy Andreassen /

On the way from Jektvik - Kilboghamn you cross the Arctic Circle at 66° North. You can find Saltstraumen, the world's largest tidal current, and Svartisen, Norway's second-largest glacier, along the way. The landscape along the character of the coastline-road changes as the rows of rugged peaks in the North break off into islands and skerries out in the sea as we head South.

The island of Vega is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but you can also choose from thousands of other islands that provide an equally special experience. There are plenty of options to explore this 400 kilometers stretch of nature. If you time your trip right in the middle of summer, you will still be far enough North here to see the midnight sun with our giant thermal friend just dipping his toes in the water on the horizon.

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Photo: Tonje Brattås

As we headed South we took off from the E6 at Mo i Rana and drove through Mæla, heading to Nesna to catch the ferry over to Leira. What we stumbled upon here was one of our favorite hidden gems. We were catching glimpses of some stunning views down the fjord out to the open sea and with the road nearing close to the cliff edge we took a chance and pulled over into a pretty humble-looking car park. Wow! We did not regret this one bit.

As we trotted excitedly through the bushes and over a small stream we were blown away by the beauty of what opened up in front of us. A cliff-edge vantage point with rolling hills above, and jagged rocks below looking out past the islands and into the deep blue Atlantic on the horizon.

Photo: Tonje Brattås

I of course convinced Douglas to model for another impromptu shoot and it was so much fun to catch the angles which showed the grandeur of the spot we had found. It’s important to remember your surroundings and respect your environment in these situations. It is easy to get carried away and blinded by the excitement of catching that perfect shot that you ignore some of the dangers. Luckily I had my sensible (not boring) boyfriend to keep me safe.

Photo: Tonje Brattås

On the way back to the car, I caught a flash of orange in the grass and screamed so loud that Douglas jumped around thinking I had stood on a snake. It was my favorite find in the wild, chanterelle! In Norway, there are around 100 good edible mushrooms, and one of the very best is chanterelle. We also found some large and nice red scrubs and a couple of porcini mushrooms. The mushroom season in Norway usually starts in August, but because the summer this year was much warmer than usual, the mushrooms also came earlier than normal.

We filled Douglas’s baseball cap and skipped back to the car. We caught the ferry and drove via Drevja back on to the E6. Our mini Helgeland Coast trip took us about 2 hours and as we said earlier, we saw more than enough to tempt us back next year!

Check out this article about hiking in Helgeland or see all tours in Norway here.

Photo: Tonje Brattås