What is the most beautiful natural attraction in Norway? The readers of the outdoor magazine UTE have voted Møysalen in Vesterålen the most attractive mountain tour.

The result of the survey was presented in the “Good Morning Norway” show on the Norwegian TV channel TV2. Norway is a big, long and delightful country, but what is the most beautiful natural attraction in Norway?

The readers of the outdoor magazine UTE have had their say. The mountain trip up Møysalen in Vesterålen received the most votes. 1,262 metres above sea level, in the heart of the Møysalen National Park. 

Møysalen

Møysalen Mountain (1,262 m above sea level) in the heart of Vesterålen has been a popular destination for both local mountain hikers and visitors for the past century. Møysalen is located on Hinnøy, Norway’s largest island, and marks a shared boundary point for the Municipalities of Hadsel, Sortland and Lødingen. The mountain is also the highest point in Lofoten and Vesterålen. Its distinctive profile is visible from large parts of Vesterålen and Lødingen, and it was an important landmark for sailors in ages past.

Function hall for troll girls

The Norwegian name for the mountain comes from the fact that it looks like the roof of a gigantic function hall. It is said to be the hall of the two troll girls – “the Møys” – who stand in stone right outside. Møysalen National Park is unspoiled by human intervention. It is vulnerable nature in all its glory. As visitors, we must take extra special care of the flora and fauna. The weather can change swiftly and drastically, so it is important to make sure you have the right equipment. While it is true that you can climb to the top in shorts and a T-shirt, you can also risk being caught in a snowstorm – even in the middle of summer. The local guides have great respect for the weather, and will cancel tours if they feel it is unsafe to proceed.

 

A heavenly experience

Møysalen is the highest mountain in Vesterålen, and a guided tour to the top is an experience to last a lifetime. From the peak – 1,262 m above sea level – you can, on clear days, see all the way to Senja, Kebnekaise in Sweden, Landego outside Bodø and the outermost Lofoten islands.

The climb does not demand any special mountaineering skills, but as the route is off the beaten track, local mountain guides have always been required to lead groups to the peak.

From fjord to mountain

The tour starts from the Møysal Centre on Hennes. To reach the centre from Sortland, exit the E10 motorway east of the Sigerfjord Tunnel. If you are coming from the Lofoten side, take a ferry from Hanøy. From Hennes, mountain hikers are transported by boat to the idyllic Lonkanfjord, where the walking tour starts. You follow good paths into the valley, and then make a steep ascent up to Memuruskardet, from where you have a good view all the way up to the top. As you approach the peak, you have to cross the Øverbreen glacier, which is located just below the “finish line”.

The ascent

The guides use safety ropes to ensure that everyone crosses the Øverbreen glacier safely. All that then remains is for you to write your name in the “peak book”, where Queen Sonja entered her name in 2003. The view from the top is truly breath-taking; in Lofoten and Vesterålen, this is as close as you can come to heaven. During the summer season, guides from Møysaltur lead groups to the peak every Wednesday and Saturday – and can organise extra trips as required.

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