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Destination: the Vega Islands; a breathtaking Norwegian archipellago protected by UNESCO

A few weeks ago, I found myself on the island of Vega. It was more by chance than design. My holiday commenced earlier than expected, and given my recent responsibility for raising a Finnish Lapdog, we quickly decided to holiday within Norwegian borders. While many visitors to Norway often ponder how to craft their itineraries, I prefer not to bind myself to rigid plans. This is simply due to the weather. The decision was made when the weather forecast for the Helgeland coast was splendid, so we set our course towards Trondheim, from where we journeyed further north. The Helgeland coast is an enchanting part of Norway. Its coastline is so unique and spectacular that it has no equal anywhere in the world. Towering cliffs rising almost perpendicularly from the azure sea are a breathtaking sight.

As you might have gathered from the title, the journey also led me to the island of Vega, where I spent three days. The indescribable natural beauty, the unique atmosphere, and the mindset of the islanders compelled me to write a rather lengthy article about this evocative island. After reading, you'll know:

  • Where to stay

  • Where to eat delicious food

  • Which places and attractions you must visit before returning to the mainland.

Your Stay

For your stay, I have an immediate golden tip: visit Norway in June. In July, most Norwegians are on holiday, making the most fantastic accommodation often fully booked and considerably pricier. Now, to the point. I spent my first night at Basecamp Vega. This location is quite the stuff of dreams. Not only is it Instagram-worthy beautiful, but it also situates you in the heart of the landscape so characteristic of the Helgeland coast—towering mountain peaks and an azure sea. Basecamp Vega rents out tiny cabins with no more than a bed and a terrace. The remarkable feature of these cabins is the large hatch you can open, providing a stunning view of the coastal landscape from your bed.

The Vega Basecamp on Vega
Ravnfloget Base Camp Vega

Additionally, the breakfast is simple but fine, and they serve a simple dinner should you desire it, along with ice-cold beer on tap. What immediately struck me was the cleanliness of both the cabins and the sanitary facilities. It is no coincidence that the smiling young twenty-somethings managing the facilities are responsible for this. The staff demographics left a curious impression on me: a man in his 60's who introduces himself to guests with notable pride as ‘the boss,’ and an army of smiley, exclusively young women who work the facilities. Anyways...

Base camp Vega is aptly named for good reason. Within walking distance are the Vega Steps—an impressive sequence of wooden stairs leading you to one of the highest peaks on the island, offering a magnificent view. The same location features the Via Ferrata—a climbing paradise for daredevils. Under supervision of an experienced guide and secured with ropes and hooks, you can enjoy a beautiful climb. Base camp Vega also rents out kayaks for exploring the crystal-clear waters of the archipelago.

Should you seek a bit more comfort, I highly recommend the Vega Havhotell. The hotel is idyllically located and exudes a very personal and hospitable atmosphere. It seems odd to mention, but not every hotel can claim this. The highlight of a stay at the Havhotell is undoubtedly the five-course dinner. All guests are expected at the table simultaneously, where the chef, with a healthy dosis of humour and some Northern Norwegian swearing, announces and explains the menu and wine selection. Highly entertaining. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the dishes. While the dishes might be considered somewhat simple, the ingredients, preparation, taste, and presentation were of absolute class. The hotel also offers a wide range of fairly obscure bottles of akkevit. Finding a favourite, I’ll leave to you.


As mentioned, the Havhotel is an absolute must for an excellent dinner. As you might guess, the selection of dining establishments is somewhat limited on Vega, simply due to the island’s population of just 1,200 inhabitants. One of these residents is Bente. Together with her husband, she runs Stavsmarken Gård. As the name suggests, this is indeed a farm where various products are made, including wonderfully delicious sausages. I dare say these are among the best I have ever tasted. Stavsmarken has a delightful little shop where you can buy all these goodies, either for your own enjoyment or as souvenirs. But it doesn’t stop at sausages. Everywhere you look, the walls of their little boutique are painted with local delicacies making it hard to resist indulging and filling up the trunk of your car.

They also run a very charming café with excellent coffee and a moist, luscious carrot cake with a divine topping. Such lovely people too. That alone is reason enough to visit. I also heartily recommend popping into the local Spar supermarket. Here you’ll find an excellent selection of locally produced foods, including a locally brewed beer (Vega Havøl) that is well worth sipping on!


As you may know, the Vega Islands are on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and that is no small feat. The coastal landscape, along with its unique flora and fauna, is unparalleled and must be protected. My first recommendation is therefore to visit the Vega World Heritage Centre. The building itself is an architectural gem, with a group of goats acting as gardeners, grazing the museum’s slopes. I actually recommend visiting this centre first. It allows you to appreciate the island with new eyes.

There are countless outdoor activities. Exploring the islands by kayak is naturally recommended. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do this myself due to the aforementioned puppy, whose behaviour is not yet quite seaworthy. The Vega Steps are, of course, a must. Additionally, there are several beautiful hiking trails on the island that immerse you in its rich flora and fauna.

Also, visit Martin Skjefstad at Risbakkvegen 103. Martin is a highly skilled ceramic artist who produces stunning tableware from his idyllic workshop. It’s no surprise that his work is used in several renowned restaurants in the area, including the Vega Havhotell and restaurant Svang in Brønnøysund


What made Vega so special for me is its completely unique atmosphere. Naturally, the breathtaking landscape contributes significantly, but the islanders also have a distinct mindset. Everyone knows each other, but it seems that everyone also helps each other, which adds to its charm. I sincerely hope this article has provided the final encouragement for you to spend a few days on Vega.


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