Reviewed on 24 Aug 2021
Reviewed on 27 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 5 Sep 2021
Gear up for a holiday of natural phenomena and outdoor pursuits amid the dramatic beauty of Nordland. From visiting remote archipelagoes and relaxing on Arctic beaches, to trekking to mountaintops and marvelling at fjords, opportunities for adventure abound. This county of jaw-dropping beauty stretches along Norway’s northern coastline and the northeastern border of Sweden. Straddling the Arctic Circle, Nordland presents the chance to witness the midnight sun and aurora borealis.
Start your tour in Bodø, the county capital where eagles fly above the quayside and quirky artisan shops line the streets. Don’t miss the pounding currents of the Saltstraumen strait. Bodø is the northern starting point of the Kystriksveien Coastal Route, a scenic road that runs south for around 400 miles (650 kilometres) to Steinkjer. In Narvik, museums celebrate an industrial heritage and military history while the nearby Narvikfjellet Ski Resort is perfect for alpine sports.
Thousands of miles of coastline wrap around archipelagoes made up of hundreds of islands, many great to explore by bike and sea kayak. Visit Vesterålen archipelago for whale watching, mountain treks and picnics beneath the midnight sun. The popular Andøya National Scenic Route travels between Andenes and Bjørnskiin. Hike to the Ramnan and Måtind peaks in the summer months and experience a sun-drenched night sky at Bleik Beach.
The mighty Trollfjord creates an impressive border between Vesterålen and the Lofoten archipelago. Go island hopping around Austvågsøya, Vestvågøy and Flakstadøya. Ancient Viking relics, the Leknes fishing village and Justadtinden mountain are all within easy reach of Stamsund, on Vestvågøy. Rent a bike and pedal to Henningsvær, on Austvågøya.
Make your way to the southern Helgeland coastline, where pristine beaches, hiking and excellent birding await on the Vega archipelago. Inland, Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park is famous for its fjords, glaciers and Sami culture. Fauske is the gateway to Skjerstad Fjord.
Nordland is a year-round destination. Visit from May to July for the midnight sun and from September to March for the northern lights. Drink in the spellbinding scenery on the Nordland Railway, a 10-hour train ride between Trondheim and Bodø.