Vega municipality is an archipelago comprising 6,000 islands, holms, and skerries, but the only islands with a permanent population are Vega, Ylvingen and Omnøy. The Majority of people live on the main island Vega. Vega includes the largest concentration of islands and maritime islands, high mountains, wetlands, and rich bird, plant, and mammal populations. Vega has approximately 1.300 inhabitants and covers a area of 163,4 km2 in Nordland County.
The principal fishing and agriculture, have been the primary way of life for more than 10,000 years. These unique islands was voted in 2004 to be on UNESCO´s World Heritage List. Vega can be reached by the local express boat from Brønnøysund or Sandnessjøen or by ferry from Horn or Tjøtta.
The nesting and migratory habitats for wetland and sea birds are nationally and internationally important. The Vega islands are winter territories for many diving ducks, divers, and loons.
Botanists are impressed by the unique flora on the Vega islands, but they are not the only ones to enjoy the beautifuls scenery. Distinctive plants from this area have provided the basis for many scientific disertations. Our most recent inhabitant is the elk which swam over the fjord back in the mid-80s. This animal is the focus of international research projects.
The characteristic mountains in Vega are reknown. The terrain here is perfect for both hillwalking and mountaineering. There is a wide range of outdoor activities to suit all ages and abilities. Vega could also be called an island kingdom. Over 6000 islands, islets and skerries surround the main island. Farthest out to sea are the fishing villages of Bremstein and Skjærvær with their old, weather-beaten houses, boat houses, wharves and jetties.
Skjærvær is an abandoned fishing- and eiderdown village north west of Vega. The buildings in Skjærvær are well-preserved, and the Central Office of Historic Monuments has invested large sums to ensure the total preservation of the entire village. Money to preserve the old houses and buildings on the island have been granted by the Norwegian Government. Skjærvær and Bremstein is an unpopulated fishing village where bird feathers were collected for down. They are both on islands off the coast of Vega.
Another abandoned fishing village is the island of Bremstein, west of the main island of Vega. The shut down fishing property and the sea houses can still be seen. A fantastic peer was built to make a good port for the fishermen. Restoration works have been going on for some years now to rescue the buildings and the environment of Bremstein.
Vega Church in Gladstad is a wooden church. The present building which dates from 1864, is made from wood and painted white. The first church was destroyed by a storm in 1859 when the construction works were nearly finished. The building was torn down and scattered into pieces. Joined effort from the locals resulted in a new church that was consecrated by the Bishop 14th July 1864. The altar piece was given to the church in 1885. It portrays the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is painted by Even Uhlving, a local painter born on the island of Ylvingen. The old altar piece was then removed and stored away. Some years ago it was taken care of, restored and appears today on the wall to the right of the aisle.
VEGA VILLAGE MUSEUM
Vega village museum in Gladstad is a museum of local history in the old vicarage in Vega. Information provided on exhibits. For guided tours outside openings hours please contact the community. The harbour in Vegstein has an old fashioned store and a collection of old tools and boat engines.
Ylvingen’s total population is just 57, but you will find a shop and café in the harbour and accommodation is available at the old school. Vega and Ylvingen can be reached by ferry.
War memorial in Ylvingen. Remains of bunkers and cannon sites from Second World War. Bring a torch so you can fully enjoy the trip into the tunnels / bunkers.
On Vega the early Stone Age settlements were located near the marine resources on the ocean beaches. Thousands of years of eustacy and isostacy have strung archaeological sites like ropes of pearls on beaches ranging in elevation from 70 m above sea level down to modern sea level.
Vega around the northern part
Gladstad is the center of Vega. Here´s the usual services in childhood, care, health and administration, including the church and shops, post office and bank. A few miles south-east from Gladstad lies the village of Åsen, the gateway to Moen, the area between the mountains. Here we find Okvatnet, municipal water reservoir, and a great hiking on marked trails to Gullsvågfjellet, Vegdalsskaret and Trollvasstind.
SVEA, HONGSET, FORØY, VEGSTEIN
Junction in the center of Gladstad provide opportunities to explore all directions at Vega. If you follow the road from Igerøy, you end up on Vegstein or Forøy if you turn right at the junction. On the way you pass Kolstad. Before Vegstein you can turn left and see the villages and Svea and Hongset with the accommodation Hongsetstua and Forøy. Before Vegstein crossed the starting place for the marked trail to Vegsteinfjellet, a short and easy walk, but with great views from the top. The old store at Vegstein is now a museum and home to Vega Kystlag. This is also the harbour to the physician boat.
NES, KIRKØY, HOLAND
If you follow the road further north, you will after a while the most populous part of the island. Nes, Kirkøy and Holand characterized by it is close to to the ocean, fishingboats and agricultural properties. Nes have a cafe and accommodation in fisherman cabins and Eiders museum. Kirkøy, have shops, fishing and port of the boat to Herøy and Sandnessjøen. Here you can hear the cry of gulls, enjoying the salty smell of the sea and the sight of beautiful sunsets and watch a living fishing environment. IL Vegas marked trail goes to Lamøy and Guristraumen.
VALLA, VIKSÅS, VALLSJØ, SUNDSVOLL, GULLSVÅG
These villages are called "Yderbøgde". Here´s our benchmark for large farms, rich fishing waters and the island´s only hotel, Vega Havhotel on Viksås. For those who enjoy nature, have IL Vega marked trails to the top of Gullsvågfjellet mountain, around Holmvatnet and from Sundsvoll to Vegdalen or Eidem. The road ends in a rural road on Sundsvoll. There are great hiking along the pebble beach at the foot of Gullsvågfjellet mountain with panorama view to Søla.
Vega around the southern part
Vega consists of many types of habitats, from high mountains to lowlands, forests, calcareous meadows and wetlands with rich animal, bird and plant life and numerous beaches, ranging from boulder-strewn beaches of the finest sand beach. Vega round trip starts in Igerøy and takes you in words and pictures of the main villages.
IGERØ, BØ, GRIMSØ
Everyone who comes to Vega by car driving off the ferry in Igerøy. Here you find campground, marina (including guest marina) and accommodation. In Igerøy we also find companies Vega Delikatesser producing fish food and call center NordCall. At Bø starts marked trail to Igerøyfjellet.
On the way from Igerøy to Rørøy we pass Vegas contribution to the Artscape Nordland: Just over the bridge, we find a three-part sculpture called "A New Conversation" by Finnish artist Kain Tapper. On the right side of the road just after the bridge, down the strait, is the sculpture "Vortex" created by Jon Audun Hauge. Stone sculpture in dark granite. Fast boat from Brønnøysund docks at Rørøy. This idyllic retreat also has parking and marina with guest marina.
The village Kjul is one of our best agricultural villages and the "destination" of Vegas easternmost municipal road. Here is the beautiful countryside and the opportunity to take a dip. Vega Sports Club has marked trail to Kjulsveten.
FLOA, VIKA, EIDEM
The road to "Sørbøgdæ", the southernmost part of the island, starting at the intersection of Andvågan. This part of the Vega feature a lot, by our standards, large agricultural estates. In Floa the marked trail starts to Floaksla, a nice walk with great views in all directions. Next village is Vika with signs to Stone Path in Åkvika. This road ends in Hestvika with great hiking and swimming. In the bend below the hill starts a nice marked trail to Hestvikskaret, with great views in many directions. County road ends at Eidem. This village feature shallow flow, flat sandy soil and high, jagged mountains. A garden path leads on to Eidem recreation area with marked trails to Juvik, Ervika and on to Vegdalen and Sundsvold. On Juvik we also find one of Vegas´s finest sandy beach. To get there one must either go or come by boat.
The coast of Helgeland is perfect for cycling. Your enjoyment of the natural surroundings will be more intimate and authentic from the seat of you bicycle. You decide yourself what speed to go at and how far to go, and you can stop whenever you like and enjoy the scenery- and your freedom. At the tourist information you can hire bikes and get information where to cycle.
In Vega 210 species of birds have been recorded at the archipelago. The bird life which populates the islands around Vega is extraordinarily rich and varied, with a large number of species nesting on Vega. Several nature reserves have been set up to protect our feathered friends.
Hunting is extremely varid here, with special areas for hunting geese, grouse, ducks and hare. Other animals include roe-deer, hares and otters. You can also take a moose-observation safari by following marked trails.
M/S Gamle Helgeland was built in 1954 and was delivered from A/S Stord to Helgelandske Dampskipselskap A/S in Sandnessjøen the 8th of July 1954. The ship sailed in many of the company´s routes from 1954 to 1977 when she was sold. From 1977 until 2003 the ship was in service by the Norwegian Coast Guard as inspection vessel. Today this ship has veteran status as a part of the ship cultural heritage in Norway. The ship will be re constructed to have the same design as she had in 1977. M/S Gamle Helgeland is able to carry 90 passengers in a day voyages around the islands on the coast of Helgeland. Furthermore she is able to carry 12 passengers in 2 bed cabins with shower and wc in the corridor. The ship is a very good alternative for companies-groups or for private persons who wants to experience something else in their holiday. Here you will find 1954 atmosphere! The passenger saloon can be arranged for up too 60 persons for dinner.
Guided trips, canoe and kayak rental. Shoreline paddling, trips ashore and overnight stays in a lavo (Sami tepee).
Some parts of the Norwegian coast are world famous for their underwater environment. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, which provides the coast of Nordland with relatively mild climate, scuba diving is possible all year round. The coast of Helgeland is perfect for scuba diving and is said to be an Eldorado for divers. You can for example explore old shipswreck or dive for shells. Hunting or fishing under water is aloud and can be done with a knife, spear or harpoon. Anglerfish and wolf fish make particularly tasty prey.
Fishing in the sea, rivers and lakes is a popular sport for many of those who live here. The coast of Helgeland is suitable for fishing, and in all four muncipalitys, Herøy, Alstahaug, Leirfjord and Dønna, it is easy to find good fishing spots. You can fish with a rod from the shore, or go out to sea in a boat. Regard to what you do, you will probably catch one fish at least. The sea fishing in Helgeland is exceptionally good! Sport fishing in the sea for saltwater fish is free of charge.
Foreign citizens may engage in sports fishing with hand held tackle, but may not set out fixed equipment such as lobster/crab pots or nets, fishing lines or fishing nets. Foreign citizens are not permitted to sell their catch. Be aware that there are a number of special rules in regards to fishing. Remember to purchase a fishing licence. Usual fishes are: Cod, Saithe (Coalfish), Haddock, Tusk, Wolffish, Mackerel, Herring, Redfish, Atlantic halibut, Atlantic salmon and Trout.
Golfclubs in Nordland.