Your appointment with Himmelblå
Taking the time for detours and being prepared to be sidetracked in life is what makes it all worthwhile; let yourself grasp those moments of happiness and fleeting pleasure that might otherwise pass you by. Take the time to see the beautiful coast of Helgeland; get out into nature and experience the local culture. Nothing could be more beneficial for both body and soul.
Ylvingen - a heavenly island realm
On the island of Ylvingen, where this popular television series was filmed, you can go ashore and soak up the Himmelblå atmosphere. This island, which lies to the east of Vega and has fewer than 60 inhabitants, boasts its own shop and café at the harbour. At the former school, some of the classrooms have been turned into guest rooms. On Ylvingen you can fish from the rocks, cycle on good roads or simply wander to the top of the island.
In the center of Ylvingen, in Tyskhåjen, there are military remnants such as bunkers and cannon positions. Prisoners from Russia, Serbia and Poland worked here during the Second World War. The fortress has six cannon positions. There are also what remains of the rifle trenches and tunnels, an infirmary and some barracks.
There is an amazing view from the top of the hill, over the inner and outer boat channels. During the war, the Germans killed one of their own men here for having been involved with a local woman from the island. He was tied to the front of the main cannon and his body was shot over the island. Kim, a character in the Himmelblå television series, elaborates on the story. The islanders say that this unfortunate German haunts the bunker to this day.
Don't miss out on these Himmelblå experiences!
Should you wish for more sights than Ylvingen has to offer, we recommend taking a Himmelblå trip into the coastal landscape and culture of Helgeland.
The Vega archipelago and World Heritage site
The islands beyond Vega, which have been designated a World Heritage site, are well worth a trip. Here, there are guides ready to talk about the history of the islanders' relationship with the Eider duck, and about how they provided the nesting huts and protected the ducks from predators, all the while having their efforts rewarded with the best down in the entire world.
Vega Marine Hotel
This hotel boasts beautiful views and is located at the water's edge. Jon Aga prepares dishes inspired by both Vega and Mediterranean traditions. Much of the raw produce comes from local suppliers on Vega and Helgeland. This is a heavenly place to spend the night and enjoy the food at this award-winning restaurant.
The World Heritage Center and Duck Museum
At an old trade centre in Nes on Vega Island, you will find the Eider Duck Museum, which documents the extraordinary tradition of keeping Eider ducks as domestic animals. You can buy souvenirs and local handicrafts here too. It is called the Vega 'Ærfuglmuseet E-huset'.
Gåkkå Mathus Restaurant
Situated in the midst of the bluest and briniest summer landscape imaginable, this was once an active fishing station. Hysvær is at the heart of the Eider duck's realm. The café on the pier and the warehouse are built of driftwood! You can spend the night here, enjoy the local food and, not least, hear an interesting tale.
A luscious and beautiful herb garden and tourist attraction in Brønnøysund. You can taste the food, the homemade wine and the stone oven bakery's produce. There is otherwise a cactus exhibition on offer, as well as a gallery, a farm shop and various Viking artefacts to see in the authentic 'Sagastua' house.
This is a modern seaside hotel in what was once an old fisherman's storehouse. It has the nooks and crannies and rustic character of this type of building. You will feel the pulse of the coast here, and can relax in a wide windowsill with a good book and a fantastic view, right in the heart of Brønnøysund.
The Rocky Gate in the Torghatten Mountain
It takes half an hour to walk up the Torghatten Mountain to the Rocky Gate, situated just outside Brønnøysund. The Rocky Gate commands a fantastic view over the archipelago. The Hurtigruten runs right past. So let yourself be transported by the legend of the mountains in Nordland. Once upon a time…
Island hopping on a bicycle
Do something new this year. On the Helgeland coast it is easy to go island hopping with a bicycle. You can take frequent pit stops, breaks on the chalk-white beaches, fill your lungs with the briny sea air and soak up the view of the surrounding mountains. Set off from Brønnøysund with your bicycle.
Vennesund Pier Restaurant
The kitchen of this restaurant's only uses top-quality local produce. Vennesund is a meeting point and trading post with roots going back to 1922. The Olavskilden Spring is just a short walk away. In the saga of St. Olav, he is said to have visited the spring. Since then, it has been said to have healing powers.
Sjøgata Street in Mosjøen
This is a street full of history. The old wooden buildings were almost torn down to make way for a car park, but were then saved at the last moment. Sjøgata can now boast a St. Olav's Rose for its commitment to the conservation of local maritime culture.
After a Himmelblå tour of the Helgeland archipelago, you can also take a trip to the Helgeland Mountains. Here you can enjoy various activities in the fresh mountain air.
The inhabitants of the Hattfjelldal Mountains
You can meet the inhabitants of the mountains that lie towards the Swedish border, and learn about the traditional and contemporary southern Sami culture. There are also many places producing local foods that are well worth the visit.
The roar of the Laksforsen waterfall is an impressive experience for the eyes and ears. It is 17 meters high and 700m3 of water passes through per second. You can also enjoy the view of this magnificent waterfall from the nearby café.
How to get to Brønnøysund
By car: Take the E6 to Grane (about 340 km/224 miles) and then the RV 803 westwards via Tosenfjorden to Brønnøysund (about 100km/62 miles). Alternatively, drive northwards on the R17 coastal road from Steinkjer, or southwards on the same road from Bodø. Read about our recommended routes in By Car in Nordland.
By air: Widerøe have flights to Brønnøysund and Mosjøen from Bodø or Trondheim. Tickets can be booked on Widerøe's website: www.wideroe.no
By train: The Northern Railway Line goes from Trondheim to Bodø. Get off at Trofors and take the bus or a rental car from there. Tickets can be booked on the Norwegian State Railway's website: www.nsb.no
Take the Hurtigruten to Brønnøysund northwards from Bergen or Trondheim, or southwards from Bodø. Book your tickets on www.hurtigruten.no
Take the Hurtigbåt Ferry Express from Bodø to Sandnessjøen with the Helgeland Express. You can find the ferry departure times on www.hurtigruten.no. You can also take the Ferry Express from Sandnessjøen to Brønnøysund. The departure times are available on www.tts.no.
How to get out to Ylvingen
Take the ferry from Horn or Tjøtta, or the Ferry Express from Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen. You will find the departure times on www.tts.no.
Information, websites and contact numbers
You can find information regarding the various activities, sightseeing attractions, transport and accommodation options in the area at Destination Helgeland in Brønnøysund. You can contact them by phone on tel.75018000 or via their website www.visithelgeland.com