Road trip Helgelandskysten in Norway 🇳🇴

The road trip Helgelandskysten is with a length of 269 miles (433 kilometers) the longest route in Norway. It runs along the coast and across the Arctic Circle! Read all about the route, highlights along the way and which sights there are near the road trip route.
Road trip Helgelandskysten Norway

About the road trip Helgelandskysten

The road trip Helgelandskysten is a well-known coastal route in Norway. The route runs from Holm to Bodø and runs largely along the Norwegian coastline, offering beautiful views of both the countryside and the sea. It is one of two road routes to the north of Norway.

With a total length of 269 miles (433 kilometers), the Helgelandskysten is the longest National Scenic Route in Norway and takes you along various unique natural phenomena. For example, the Arctic Circle is passed during the route. It is not possible to drive the entire route yourself, because 6 ferry crossings have to be made.

One of the most beautiful routes in Norway

The route is one of the most beautiful road trips in Norway. The Norwegian government has designated 18 routes in the country as official highlights of the country. The 18 so-called National Scenic Routes guarantee an astonishing view and show the most beautiful places in Norway in a relatively short time.

While many National Scenic Routes are close together, the road trip Helgelandskysten is the only one in the area. It takes you to the far north, where the route can be followed by the scenic route over the Lofoten.

Route with unique natural phenomena

The road trip Helgelandskysten is the route that takes road users past most of Norway’s unique natural phenomena. With a total length of 269 miles (433 kilometers) it is also the longest route in the country.

Along the way, the route passes many highlights of the country. During the trip you can visit the famous mountain Torghatten, the island of Vega, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the geographical Arctic Circle, the national parks Lomsdal-Visten and Saltfjellet-Svartisen, the large glacier Svartisen, the Saltstraumen and thousands of islands.

It is advisable to plan the route well in advance. Not all natural phenomena are directly along the route and therefore take extra time to visit, but they are certainly worth the extra time. Good planning is also recommended because the route is 269 miles (433 kilometers) long and there are 6 crossings with ferries, which sometimes run less often in the winter months.

6 ferry crossings

Norway’s natural landscape has presented Norwegians with many challenges when it comes to building infrastructure. Due to the many mountains, the country has many tunnels and mountain roads and because of the large amount of water there are also many bridges and ferries.

The road trip Helgelandskysten is not only the longest tourist route in Norway, but also the route with the most ferry trips. If the entire route between Holm and Bodø is covered, 6 ferry trips are required. These are the ferries between Holm – Vennesund, Horn – Anddalsvågen, Forvik – Tjøtta, Levang – Nesna – Kilboghamn – Jektvik and Ågskardet – Forøy. During the crossing between Kilboghamn and Jektvik you pass the Arctic Circle, also called Arctic Circle or in Norwegian Polarsirkelen. The duration of the crossings varies from 15 minutes to an hour.

Discount on ferries with the AutoPASS

Norway has many toll roads and ferry crossings. During a tour through the country, this creates an extra cost item. While driving the well-known route, a ferry crossing is made six times, which also entails six costs. With the AutoPASS for Ferry you can save on the crossings. By paying in advance for the ferry, you save 50 percent on the cost.

Possible detour via the E6

To drive towards the north of Norway there are two routes that can be used, namely the road trip Helgelandskysten and the E6 highway. There are various connections between the two routes, so that you can alternate.

The E6 motorway is inland and offers no view of the Norwegian coastline, but of course it does offer a view of the beautiful Norwegian nature. The highway is not interrupted by ferry crossings. The E6 highway also passes the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle Center is located exactly on the Arctic Circle along the E6. The approximately 1,300 square meter building houses exhibitions, a souvenir shop and a restaurant.

Cycling and walking

With a length of 269 miles (433 kilometers), the Helgelandskysten also offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and cycling. There are plenty of options directly on and along the route, but also, for example, at the Torghatten or the adjacent national parks Lomsdal-Visten and Saltfjellet-Svartisen.

The route is also part of the National Cycle Route 1, the cycle route that runs along the entire Norwegian coast. Cycling the route is a challenge and is described as a long and hard bike ride. The route consists of a number of long tunnels, of which the Svartis tunnel with a length of almost 4 miles (8 kilometers) is the longest. The tunnel is located near Glomfjord and is prohibited for cyclists. Cyclists can take a detour or use the ferry.

Route open all year round

Many National Scenic Routes are only passable in the summer period, because in the winter months the roads disappear under a thick layer of snow. The road trip Helgelandskysten is one of the few routes that remains accessible all year round. This is partly because the route is also an important connection for residents of the various places.

Midnight sun and polar nights

At Kilboghamn, the route passes the Arctic Circle, the geographic line also called Polarsirkelen in Norwegian. In the summer you can enjoy the midnight sun here and in the area to the north. The sun does not set for 24 hours, so you also have good visibility everywhere at night. Opposite this is the polar night in winter, then there are days when it is dark 24 hours a day. When you drive the Helgelandskysten to enjoy the beauty that Norway has to offer, it is therefore recommended to drive the route in the summer period.

Coastal route Kystriksveien

The road trip Helgelandskysten is a 269 miles (433 kilometers) long route that is one of the 18 most beautiful in Norway. The route also forms part of the longer coastal route Kystriksveien. This coastal route is 403 miles (650 kilometers) long and runs from Steinkjer to Bodø. The section between Holm and Bodø is the same as the route of the Helgelandskysten.
road trip Helgelandskysten and mountain Torghatten

Route and highlights of the road trip Helgelandskysten

With a total length of 269 miles (433 kilometers), the road trip Helgelandskysten is the longest tourist route of the 18 National Scenic Routes in Norway. Directly along the road are various places of interest, in addition it is worth leaving the route for a while to admire various natural phenomena.

The sights below are described from Holm to Bodø, of course the route can also be driven in another direction.

The special mountain Torghatten

Mount Torghatten is one of the most striking mountains in Norway. The mountain has a large hole right through the Torghatten. The hole is about 160 meters long, 15 meters wide and 35 meters high. The special thing is that the hole is about 110 meters above sea level, according to geologists the hole was created after the ice age.

Mount Torghatten is located on the island of Torget, off the coast of Traelnes. If you drive on the Helgelandskysten, the special mountain can be seen. To visit the hole in the mountain you can follow the signs to Torghatten via Brønnøysund and park near the campsite. From here an easy walk of about 20 minutes can be taken to the hole. There are also walking routes around and over the mountain, which take about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Enjoy the view of the Seven Sisters Mountain Range

On the island of Alsten, which is also called Alsta, you drive along the Seven Sisters mountain range. The mountains are the highlight of the island, which is not surprising with the 7 mountain peaks over 1000 meters above sea level. It is possible to take a hike in the mountains, you can even hike to all 7 mountain peaks in 1 day. However, it is a walk that is only recommended for experienced hikers. The long route runs across the island of Alsten, which automatically gives you a view of the beautiful mountains.

Walk to the water at Hellåga

Resting place Hellåga is about halfway along the road trip Helgelandskysten and yet it is the route’s first official landmark. The resting place has been realized at the Sjonafjord and is not only a place to stop for a while, but also optimal to enjoy the view over the fjord. At the resting place there are stairs to the water, so that you can look at the beautiful surroundings on the edge of the fjord.

Resting place Hellåga has sanitary facilities, but these are only open from the beginning of May until about the beginning of October. The opening and closing depend on the weather, they can also take place a little earlier or later.

See the history at Grønsvik fortress

The coastal fortress Grønsvik was built in 1942 by the German army. During World War II it was part of a series of fortifications not only along the entire Norwegian coast but all the way to the border between Spain and France. These fortifications were also called the Atlantic Wall.

From the fjord there is a wide view over the group of islands, which is done from a strategic point of view. Today it offers tourists a great view. A museum has been built at Grønsvik Fortress, where more information can be found. The museum is open from mid-June to approximately mid-August. Tourists can use the toilet in the museum, which is only open during the museum’s opening hours.

Pass the Arctic Circle

During the road trip Helgelandskysten you will pass the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is a geographic line. The line runs at 66°33’N and passes through Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, among others.

Along the highway E6 it is marked where the Arctic Circle runs and is also an Arctic Circle center, but this is not possible at the Helgelandskysten. A ferry crossing is made between Kilboghamn and Jektvik and the Arctic Circle is crossed on this cruise.

The special waiting room in Jektvik

From Kilboghamn you have to take the ferry to continue the road trip Helgelandskysten. The ferry sails to Jektvik, where the next attraction along the route is immediately. A special waiting room has been built on the ferry quay. At the waiting room in Jektvik you have a good view of the Vaerangenfjord.

The building has a translucent fiberglass facade, making the building beautifully lit at night like a Chinese lantern. The building also has sanitary facilities, which are open all year round.

Viewpoint Braset

Along the route is the Braset viewpoint, where it is definitely worth stopping and taking a seat on a bench. Viewpoint Braset not only gives you a beautiful view over the water and the mountains, but also glacier Engabreen (also called Engenbreen), which lies on the other side. With its lowest point only 100 meters above sea level, it is the lowest glacier in all of Europe.

The Engabreen is a side branch of the Svartisen Glacier. This glacier is actually made up of two glaciers that together cover an area of ​​approximately 55 square miles (143 square kilometers).

Resting place and monument Ureddplassen

Resting place and monument Ureddplassen is located directly along the road trip Helgelandskysten and is known, among other things, for the small but architectural toilet block. The resting place consists of a plateau of 9 meters long, from which the toilet building rises. The toilet block is open all year round.

Directly from the viewing platform you have a breathtaking view over the ocean, the fjord and the Lofoten archipelago. Here you catch the first glimpse, because you look straight at the Lofotveggen mountains. From the resting place there are stairs to the beach, where you can enjoy the view more quietly. In the summer you can also enjoy the midnight sun and in the winter months the Northern Lights.

A monument has also been placed at Ureddplassen, in memory of the crew of the submarine Uredd. During World War II, the submarine hit a mine, killing the crew. The accident happened in 1943, and the submarine Uredd was found only in 1985.

Go to the beach Storvika

Storvika Beach is also one of the sights along the popular route. The beach sand is a few miles/kilometers long and is perfectly located between the mountains and the sea. The beach can be reached via a stone bridge.

At the rest area are service facilities for campers. There are also toilets that are open all year round.

Walk to artwork Gildeskål

Artwork Gildeskål is described as ’the forgotten city’. It was built near Oterstranda and can only be reached by a walk. From the parking lot along the road there is a gravel path leading to the structure.

The well-known tidal stream Saltstraumen

The Helgeland region is known for its tidal currents. Along the road trip Helgelandskysten lies the well-known tidal stream Saltstraumen, one of the many tidal streams in the region. A little further is the Godøystraumen. Across the Saltstraumen lies the Saltstraumbrua, or the Saltstraumen Bridge, over which the road trip Helgelandskysten crosses. From the road you have a beautiful view of the surroundings and you can see the tidal stream. To really enjoy the view of the Saltstraumen, it is better to make a stopover, so you have the time to look at the whirlpools in the water.

Admire the Godøystraumen tidal stream

The tidal stream Godøystraumen is also located directly along the road trip Helgelandskysten. A simple resting place has been created near the tidal stream, where you have a view of the natural spectacle from benches and picnic tables. Because large amounts of water flow in and out of the narrow coves, whirlpools are created in the water. These whirlpools can be seen up close from the Godøystraumen resting place.
Road trip Helgelandskysten and Saltstraumen

Highlights near the road trip Helgelandskysten

When you are in Norway, you naturally want to get the most out of the trip. The country has many places of interest, large and small. By planning a trip well, you can see as many highlights of this special country as possible. There are several highlights near the road trip Helgelandskysten, of which we have listed a few for you.

UNESCO World Heritage Vega Islands

The Vega Islands is an archipelago consisting of approximately 6500 islands, all located off the coast of Brønnøysund. The islands have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List of Cultural and Natural Heritage since 2004.

The islands of the Vega archipelago are known among bird watchers as a piece of heaven on earth, as more than 230 different bird species live in the area.

Arctic Circle Center along the E6

The road trip Helgelandskysten crosses the geographic line of the Arctic Circle during a ferry crossing. As a result, it is not possible to make a stop on the line, but this is possible at the E6 highway. Marked on the highway and in the area where the Arctic Circle runs and the line also runs right through the Arctic Circle Center, a special visitor center that includes an exhibition.

From the coastal route, you can drive to Mo I Rana on road 810, then head north and pass the Polarsirkelen.

A visit to the city of Bodø

The 269 miles (433 kilometers) long road trip Helgelandskysten runs between Holm and Bodø, one of the largest cities in Northern Norway. The city has more than 50,000 inhabitants and offers plenty of culture and nature. Over the years, the city has grown and various cultural activities are organized every year. The ferry to the Lofoten Islands can be taken from Bodø.

Go to the Lofoten and Tourist Route

The Lofoten archipelago is one of the most famous locations in Norway. From the popular road trip Helgelandskysten there is already a view of the first mountains of the archipelago and from Bodø you can easily take the ferry to Moskenes.

From this southern point of the Lofoten Islands you can drive the road trip Lofoten towards Raftsundet. Along the way you pass many highlights of the special archipelago. Want to see more of Norway? Drive further and also drive the road trips Andøya and Senja.