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a paradise for hikers and whale watchers

Visit Vesterålen, a stunning archipelago in Northern Norway

Vesterålen is an archipelago situated north of the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway. As well as being famous for its fauna and flora, fishing villages and rugged coastal landscapes, Vesterålen is a year-round destination for whale watching experiences in the town of Andenes.

The archipelago of Vesterålen

Vesterålen consists of several islands including Andøya, Hadseløya and Langøya, and its small towns and villages offer a close-knit community feeling.

The archipelago is known for its diverse cultural heritage and environment and offers a range of museums and sites to visit. Major regional employers include fisheries and other marine industries, as well as tourism, healthcare and education.

Located still in the Arctic Circle, is an exciting place to visit both during winter time (where you will be able to see the aurora borealis) but also during summer time for whale watching, to visit Andenes Space Center, summer hikings and see the midnight sun phenomenon.

The archipelago of Vesterålen

Vesterålen consists of several islands including Andøya, Hadseløya and Langøya, and its small towns and villages offer a close-knit community feeling.

The archipelago is known for its diverse cultural heritage and environment and offers a range of museums and sites to visit. Major regional employers include fisheries and other marine industries, as well as tourism, healthcare and education.

Located still in the Arctic Circle, is an exciting place to visit both during winter time (where you will be able to see the aurora borealis) but also during summer time for whale watching, to visit Andenes Space Center, summer hikings and see the midnight sun phenomenon.

What to do in Vesterålen?

There is plenty to do in the Vesterålen region. This is a popular destination for outdoor lovers. Choose between activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, cycling and whale watching.

How to get to Vesterålen?​​

SUMMERTIME:

Not keen on renting a car? Getting to Vesterålen has never been easier during summertime: hop on the Arctic Route bus, with daily departures from Svolvær (Lofoten), Tromsø, and Senja. The bus makes several stops along the whole area of Vesterålen. See the full route, timetables, prices and all stops here.

The Arctic Route offers a daily scenic bus route between Lofoten and Tromsø (from 15 June to 14 August) with several stops along the way including Stokmarknes, Sortland, Bleik Beach, Andenes Centre, Hamn i Senja and Ersfjord.

You can buy a single ticket between two places or a travel pass (4, 7 or 10 days) and enjoy unlimited travel during the duration of your pass on this route and on our summer scenic bus route that connects Narvik and Lofoten.

Are you traveling by car? The National Tourist Route brings you to Vesterålen including ferry crossings (ferry Fiskebæl-Mlebu and ferry Gryllefjord-Andenes).

WINTERTIME:

Drive along the E6 from Tromsø or the south, and head over to E10 in Bjerkvik, making your way to Vesterålen.

Limited offer for sailing along Hurtigruten ship

Dive into the history and present of the remarkable story of Hurtigruten, the iconic ships, by joining the unique tour Round trip by bus and Hurtigruten ship into Trollfjord from Lofoten. Some say that this boat tour is stated as ‘The most beautiful coastal route in the world’.

This tour has frequent departures from Svolvær during summertime.

Passing along the village of Stokmarknes with your own transport? We recommend stopping and visiting the Hurtigruten Museum.

Andenes – Go on a whale-watching tour!

Located on the northern tip of Andøya (one of the largest islands in the Vesterålen region), Andenes known for its natural beauty and wildlife.

Andenes is one of the best places in Norway to go whale watching. Species you may spot here include sperm whales, humpback whales and orcas. Join us on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) tour during summertime to meet these mighty mammals.

Visit Andøya space center​

While in Vesterålen, visit the unique Andøya Space Center, Norway’s only operational space center. You can learn more about northern lights research, the history of Andøya Space or take a virtual trip to Mars.

How to get to Vesterålen?​

SUMMERTIME:

Not keen on renting a car? Getting to Vesterålen has never been easier during summertime: hop on the Arctic Route bus, with daily departures from Svolvær (Lofoten), Tromsø, and Senja. The bus makes several stops along the whole area of Vesterålen. See the full route, timetables, prices and all stops here.

The Arctic Route offers a daily scenic bus route between Lofoten and Tromsø (from 15 June to 14 August) with several stops along the way including Stokmarknes, Sortland, Bleik Beach, Andenes Centre, Hamn i Senja and Ersfjord.

You can buy a single ticket between two places or a travel pass (4, 7 or 10 days) and enjoy unlimited travel during the duration of your pass on this route and on our summer scenic bus route that connects Narvik and Lofoten.

Are you traveling by car? The National Tourist Route brings you to Vesterålen including ferry crossings (ferry Fiskebæl-Mlebu and ferry Gryllefjord-Andenes).

WINTERTIME:

Drive along the E6 from Tromsø or the south, and head over to E10 in Bjerkvik, making your way to Vesterålen.

Limited offer for sailing along Hurtigruten ship

Dive into the history and present of the remarkable story of Hurtigruten, the iconic ships, by joining the unique tour Round trip by bus and Hurtigruten ship into Trollfjord from Lofoten. Some say that this boat tour is stated as ‘The most beautiful coastal route in the world’.

This tour has frequent departures from Svolvær during summertime.

Passing along the village of Stokmarknes with your own transport? We recommend stopping and visiting the Hurtigruten Museum.

Andenes – Go on a whale-watching tour!

Located on the northern tip of Andøya (one of the largest islands in the Vesterålen region), Andenes known for its natural beauty and wildlife. You can also visit the Andøya Space Center, an interactive museum where you can learn more about the space activities in Northern Norway.

Andenes is one of the best places in Norway to go whale watching. Species you may spot here include sperm whales, humpback whales and orcas. Join us on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) tour during summertime to meet these mighty mammals.

Visit Andøya space center​

While in Vesterålen, visit the unique Andøya Space Center, Norway’s only operational space center. You can learn more about northern lights research, the history of Andøya Space or take a virtual trip to Mars.

Andenes is one of the best places in Norway to go whale watching. Species you may spot here include sperm whales, humpback whales and orcas. Join us on a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) tour during summertime to meet these mighty mammals.

How to get to Vesterålen?

The Arctic Route offers a daily scenic bus route between Lofoten and Tromsø (from 15 June to 14 August) with several stops along the way including Stokmarknes, Sortland, Bleik Beach, Andenes Centre, Hamn i Senja and Ersfjord. You can buy a single ticket between two places or a travel pass (4, 7 or 10 days) and enjoy unlimited travel during the duration of your pass on this route and on our summer scenic bus route that connects Narvik and Lofoten.

Where to stay in Vesterålen?

Vesterålen offers a wide range of accommodation, from hotels to rorbuer (fishermen’s cabins) and “Instagram friendly” overnight locations:

Unique locations

Rorbuer (fishermen’s cabins)

Hotels

Choose between many outdoor activities and discover one of the most beautiful places in Northern Norway. Spanning culture, history, wildlife, outdoors and local culture, the offer in Vesterålen is varied and easily accessible via The Arctic Route or by car.

Choose between many outdoor activities and discover one of the most beautiful places in Northern Norway. Spanning culture, history, wildlife, outdoors and local culture, the offer in Vesterålen is varied and easily accessible via The Arctic Route or by car.