Vesterålen is an archipelago of green islands, surrounded by whales, seals and seabirds and inhabited by coastal people with both a rich history and an eye for everything contemporary. In Vesterålen, the next surprise is across the next elegant bridge.

The realm of whales

Deep ocean waters begin just off the coast of Vesterålen and the sperm whale has its feeding grounds here. The abundance of food attracts sea birds such as the razorbill, guillemot, fulmar, gannet and puffing, along with seals. Whale safaris, bird safaris, fishing trips, kayaking - Vesterålen is the place for ocean activities. 

Emerald-green islands

The islands of Vesterålen have a weather-torn, jagged exterior, green and fertile farming villages in their middle section and a backdrop of majestic mountain peaks along their interior. Bluish-black, rocky mountains in Raftsundet, cloudberry moors on the island of Andøya and an archipelago beyond – all linked together with elegant bridges.

People of the Coast

The old Coastal Express, “Finnmarken”, old fishing villages such as Nyksund and Stø, the lighthouse at Andenes and the Fishing Industry Museum at Melbu tell of the history of the coast, whereas the modern fishing village of Myre, rocket launching pad on Andøya and the blue colour of Sortland belong to our era.

5 popular sights

  • The Whale Centre at Andenes; all about the sperm whale 
  • The Coastal Express Museum (Hurtigrutemuseet) at Stokmarknes, where the coastal express has its origins 
  • Trollfjorden, a 2-kilometre-long, fantastic fjord 
  • Nyksund, an abandoned fishing village on the edge of civilisation that has received a new life 
  • Fishing Industry Museum at Melbu

3 popular summer activities

  • Whale safari at Andenes or Stø
  • Seabird safari at Stø or Bleik 
  • Nature walking up Dronningruta to Møysalen, Vesterålen’s highest mountain

3 popular winter activities

  • See the Northern Lights with the ragged Vesterålen mountains as a backdrop 
  • Ski off-piste down the mountains during late winter 
  • Body-rafting in Raftsundet in a dry-suit

5 Vesterålen surprises

  • Sortland is the blue city – part of an art project 
  • Bleikstranda is Norway’s longest beach 
  • The wooden churches at Langenes and in Øksnes are from the 1500s 
  • The cloudberry moors on the island of Andøya are the place to be in August 
  • The old Jennestad trading post has been refurbished as a cultural centre.

The local tourist board has a content-rich website: