Hadsel, Norway

Hadsel municipality lays over 4 island. Hadseløya, Hinnøya, Langøya and Austvågøy, all with a wild an majestic nature. Hadsel muncipality has approximately 8.000 inhabitants and covers a area of 566,4 km2. The highest mountain is Lamlitinden. The Hadsel island have two “centres” Melbu and Stokmarknes. On Hinnøya, Norway´s biggest island you can find Møysalen, with its 1.262 metres this is the highest mountain in Lofoten and Vesterålen. Austvågøy is the first island in Lofoten and lays on the other side of Raftsundet. In Raftsundet you will find Trollfjorden.

Other villages in Hadsel include Fiskebøl, Gjerstad, Grønning, Grytting, Hanøyvika, Hennes, Kaljord, Melbu, Sanden and Sandnes.

Regardless of the time of year you visit – with the mystical Midnight sun, a spectacular thunderstorm or the magical Northern Lights. The polar night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This occurs only inside the polar circles.


The birthplace of Hurtigruta and the center of Hadsel township with a population of approximately 3.700 inhabitants. The first Hurtigruteship “Vesterålen” leaves from Trondheim to Hammerfest in July 1893, Stokmarknes was the homeport. The Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten) has daily departures in Stokkmarknes.

Nordlaks Produkter AS operates one of Norway’s largest and most updated factories for harvesting salmon. It is located together with the Nordlaks headquarter in Stokmarknes.


The World´s Most Beautiful Voyage is a voyage like no other. Nothing can compare with it. Nothing about this journey will resemble anything you have ever experienced before. A ticket for the Coastal Steamer is a ticket to the theatre, an 11-day drama in which new acts constantly unfold all around you.


A coastal culture adventure centre that serves many functions, including the Coastal Express Museum. Vesterålen Cultural Centre has a modern stage for opera, theatre and concert perform-ances, as well as seating for 536 people. In Galleriet there is a sales exhibition of art by well-known Norwegian artists. The Coastal Express Museum: Through life-like exhibits, paintings, photographs and old film clips, the history of this venerable old veteran of the coast that sailed Royal Route 1 – the coastal course – is retold. Along with the land-mounted coastal express ship “Finnmarken” from 1956, the museum provides a thor-ough insight into Norwegian coastal history and the importance of the coastal express for the population along our weather-beaten shores.


The local museum for Hadsel, as well as the regional museum for Vesterålen. The main buildings are the Melbu Manor House and Farm, with buildings from the 1800s. The buildings are restored to reflect the period around the turn of the 20th century. The main building is an aristocratic residence from about 1850, with a garden and park; it is also used for concerts and art exhibitions. The museum’s cultural historical exhibit in the Community Hall reflects the great changes in the island society around 1900 – illustrated with collected objects, exhibits, slide and video programmes. The Rødgård Gallery from the 1700s also belongs to the Museum and is mainly used for art exhibitions.


The site is the former Neptun herring oil and herring meal factory, where exhibits trace the industry’s many-faceted history – from the catch via biology all the way to the consumer. The museum also recounts the history of the important herring oil bonanza at the beginning of the 1900s. In one of the two larger herring oil tanks, concerts are held during the Summer Melbu festival, while the old herring meal storehouse has been adapted for exhibits and activities for children.


The heritage park at Hadsel Church comprises 22 marked sites from this Iron Age chiefdom – tofts, a sacrificial altar and grave mounds. Special for this collection is a star-shaped monument for sacrifices. The park is equipped with signs and paths. The octagonal church from 1824 has an altarpiece from 1570. Various other objects in the Hadsel Church inventory bear witness to the fact that this was once an ecclesiastical centre of power already in the Middle Ages. The church is open to the public during the summer season.


Galleri Apotheket in the centre of town has exhibitions by local artists.


The world’s only storm shelter cave and actually a tourist attraction that is best experienced in bad weather! It can also be visited, of course, in the calm of a midnight sun-lit evening. Built of nature’s own building blocks, supervised by ocean birds, sea eagles, otters, seals and porpoises – the place is unpar-alleled for unique atmosphere!


A large, flat-surfaced monolith beside the roadway at Fleines, at the mouth of Eidsfjord. Konrad Johnsen was the name of the artist who decorated the stone with maritime motifs, fishing boats and rescue vessels in storms, in honour of the Sea Rescue Association’s important work for the safety of fishermen.


Melbu is on the south side of Hadsel island, in the heart of Lofoten and Vesterålen. Melbu has approximately a population of 2.500 inhabitants and the majority of the people work at Melbu shipyard or at the fish processing plant. Melbu also has a secondary school with pupils from all over the region.


The ferry to Melbu leaves from Fiskebøl. The road distance is almost 170 km from Fiskebø near Vesterålen in the north to Å in the south, where the E10 ends. From Lofotodden, atthe south end of Moskenesøy Island, the air distance is more than 60 km to Skomvær, the southernmost point in Lofoten.


Sail through the spectacular, narrow Raftsundet strait and pass the magnificent Trollfjord. You can admire the rugged mountainous landscape jutting up on the horizon. You travel between coral reefs, sunken rocks, skerries and shallow sand bars into the Raftsund Strait, which opens before us – a contrast of green grassy hillsides and jagged mountain peaks. Steep escarpments in the distance and a sparkling, murky green ocean.

The west side of Raftsundet is a mountain range called the Raftsundet Alps, and strech up to 1200 meters above sea level. The Trollfjord slices right into these mountains. On the east side there are lower mountains and moorland particularly appropriate for hiking trips, ans suitable for children as well as grown-ups. Along the Raftsundet, the fishing is good, both from land and from boats.


The Raftsundet Bridge with a main span of 298m and a total length of 711 meters, was the longest concrete cantilevered span in the world when the cantilevers were joined at June 24th 1998. The bridge was opened for traffic at November the 6th the same year. The structure is exposed to a severe wind climate with a design gust wind speed of almost 60 m/s. The surrounding alpine topography with high mountains raising up to 1000m above sea level, creates fluctuating wind forces of large magnitude on the bridge.

The dynamic wind climate severely affects the slender columns and the bridge beam. The main span is constructed in high strength lightweight aggregate (LWA) concrete LC60 and the side spans and piers in normal density (ND) concrete C65. The bridge is high level, providing a ship channel of 45 x 180 metres.

Raftsundet Bridge is a part of the ferry free mainland connection for the Lofoten islands.


The entrance is 300 feet wide. The north wall is over 1,000 feet high, capped by ever-ascending mountain peaks that level off to form an ice field. The south wall is lower but meager only by comparison. The length of the glacial rent is a mile long and it opens up into a small round bay, maybe a half mile in circumference.

Inside the fjord, the boat will be able to idle so close to the mountain walls that you may literally reach out and touch them. The Coastal Steamer don´t go into Trollfjord until most of the snow melts, becouse of Avalanches!

If this trip is made at night between the end of May and middle of July, you will be able to see the midnight sun. During the summer season, both the northbound and southbound Coastal Steamer ships pay a visit to the Trollfjord.


The Jekt vessel “Brødrene” is based in Melbu. During the entire summer, there are sailing excursions throughout the entire area.


Taen: A popular bathing beach and a diversified outdoor area, with toilets and running water, and also wheelchair user friendly.


Deep sea fishing enthusiasts can take a fishing trip out on the ocean. You can fish for salmon, sea trout and Arctic trout.

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