One of the lovely places we visited along the Helgeland coast was the beautiful Vega, Norway! Here’s all you need to know if you want to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
First of all, you’ll want to know there’s Vega Archipelago and the island of Vega, which is the largest of over 6,000 islands in the archipelago. Apparently, it’s been inhabited since the Stone Age and is a big source of fishing and eider down (more on that below).
Northern Norway Tips
- The Geography: As the name suggest, Northern Norway takes up the northern third of the country. It begins at the border between the counties of Nordland and Trøndelag. If you look at a map, it extends over Sweden and Finland, sharing a little border with Russia. Most of it also lies in the Arctic Circle.
- Getting in: There are a number of airports depending on where you go. Most will have a layover in Oslo, and I know all my flights to Tromsø have had one in Helsinki.
- Getting Around: While Norway has cruise options, a train line, and some cities have bus transportation; this is definitely a country you’re going to want to rent a car in especially up north which sees a lot less tourism.
- Major Areas to Visit: the Helgeland Coast for the islands; the picturesque Lofoten Islands; Tromsø for the Northern Lights and access to the fjord, and mountains super far north.
- Must-Brings: Cramp-ons and Heattech undershirts in the winter. Norwegians can walk on ice in tennis shoes, but chances are you were not raised in Scandinavia. In the summer, bring a solid sleep mask to combat Midnight Sun and actually supportive hiking shoes for the hikes. Learn from me!
For more on Northern Norway, check out my friend’s guidebook
When we visited Vega, we got pretty lucky in that the weather cleared up quite a bit and we had a few hours of both light and a bit of reprieve from rain or snow. The island was absolutely special, which makes sense considering it’s got the UNESCO stamp of approval!
Unlike Lovund, which is small enough to walk around, Vega is just a bit bigger, and you do still need a car to explore. Here’s what we got up to in the 24 hours we were there!
What to Do in Vega
If you’re curious to learn more about Vega and its history, then I definitely recommend stopping by the Verdensarvesenter, or Vega’s World Heritage Center, to check out their exhibitions on life in Vega and the island’s relationship with eider ducks. It’s actually a pretty new building, only having opened in 2019.
Don’t miss the views around the center as well! If you’re visiting in the off season, just call ahead to make sure they’re open.
Learn more about Eiderdown
Normally, down gets a bad rep given how it’s often inhumanely plucked from ducks and geese. However, I was delighted to learn eiderdown on Vega is an entirely different situation. Eider ducks and Vega locals have their own relationship, hundreds of years old. Each year, the ducks com to Vega to mate and give birth while the locals protect them from predators. In turn, when the ducks take their families back out to sea, they leave behind tons of feathers for locals to take and turn into products, like a nice eiderdown comforter!
I already mentioned the exhibit at Verdensarvesenter, but you can also check out E-House, which is a museum all about the ducks.
Climb up Vegatrappa
Wouldn’t be a trip in Norway without a hike! We had some sort of hike in almost every place we went, and Vega was no exception.
Otherwise known as Vega Stairs, this is definitely a must even in the winter! The whole hike is made up of a series of 1,300 stairs, and the views are absolutely gorgeous. We didn’t even make it up halfway, and we saw some seriously incredible landscapes. I’d even stop by the store and pack yourself a little lunch since there are different spots to sit and relax along the way.
Check out Vega Church while Going to the Grocery Store
Speaking of the grocery store. We didn’t actually go out to eat in Vega as we ate at the World Heritage Centre and then got pizza from SPAR so we could stay in and enjoy our cabin. LOL
I recommend popping over to the SPAR in Gladstad because right across the street is the very pretty Vega Church! So, you know, a little sightseeing mixed with a more practical task.
Things to do in the Summer in Vega
As quiet and nice as Vega is in the winter, I would like to get to visit in the summer when the island is in-season. There are a lot of trails, water sports, and beach spots that we obviously didn’t really get to. By the time we saw one of the white sand beaches, it was pitch black and raining, so… not much to see, literally! Visit Helgeland has a nice overview of all the ways you can spend an active holiday here, and I’d like to try some of them.
Where to Stay in Vega (& Nearby)
On the Island
We stayed at the super charming Vega Opplevelsesferie. It was this lovely cabin right on the water where we could enjoy views of the water and mountains. It felt very hygge and was such a nice spot to stay the night. Our cabin had two rooms, one with two beds and one with bunk beds. It also had a kitchen, living room, and a bathroom with a washer inside, so if you’re staying for longer, you can use this spot to do your laundry.
If you’re planning a longer trip, I recommend staying in nearby Brønnøysund before you get the ferry to Vega. There’s a really nice, easy hike called Torghatten and plenty of places to stay, especially in the summer. You could easily do two nights in Brønnøysund and then two or more night sin Vega to really enjoy both places!
Here are some places to stay:
- Torgarhaugen – Right across from Torghatten, it has super nice rooms and a cafe right above.
- Norsk Havbrukssenter – Rorbuer – Cozy cabins near the Salmon farming center.
- Corner Hotell – Best if you want to be as close as possible to the ferries for Vega. We stayed here, and while the rooms were pretty basic, the breakfast was nice and the owner super friendly.
Vega Travel Tips
How to Get to Vega
By ferry, of course! We took the a car ferry from Horn, which is a little outside of Brønnøysund. You can get to Brønnøysund by car, plane, or by boat, including the famous Hurtigruten.
How to Get Around Vega
And there you have it! All about your trip to Vega, one of the fun places we visited in Norway along with Lovund, Trondheim, Mosjøen, and Lofoten!
Have you guys been? What else do you recommend doing there?
For more Norwegian travel, read these next:
- What to Expect Hiking to Blåvatnet in Northern Norway
- Lovund, Norway: A Charming Island Escape
- Wonderful Things to Do in Tromsø in Winter
- Checking into the Britannia Hotel in Trondheim
- Fantastic Things to Do in Bergen
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Disclaimer: We were guests in Vega through Visit Helgeland. I was not compensated for this article or required to write it. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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