The island kingdom of Vega in the county of Nordland encompasses more than 6000 islands, holms, and skerries.
In addition to the main island of Vega, Ylvingen, Kilvær and Omnøy are the only islands inhabited all year round. Vega and Ylvingen can be reached by car ferry from Horn and Tjøtta or express boat from Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen.
Vega is a kingdom of contrasts. The Vega Archipelago (pdf) was inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage in 2004 as the first Norwegian cultural landscape area. The UNESCO World Heritage List comprises areas or objects that have an irreplaceable cultural or natural value in a global context. Read more.
The history of Vega goes back 10.000 years.
One of Norway's oldest settlements has been found on the island. Farming and fishing have always been the main sources of income. Today we even have a well developed public- and commercial service. Art, cultural activities and children are some of our most important developing areas.
There are many possibilities of examining our kingdom of islands. There is plenty of flat terrain, which is ideal for cycling. Vega is also great for mountain hiking and kayaking. Some of the trails are marked and you will find them on this map (pdf).
Idyllic spots are numerous. Vega has shallow sandy beaches at Eidem in the south, fishery harbours at Nes, Holand and Kirkøy in the north, rolling stones and panoramic views in the west and green deciduous forests, bays and coves in the east. Vega also have two protected wetland areas - Kjellerhaugvatnet and Holandsosen - swarming with birds. There are also many possibilities for fishing in freshwater or in the sea.
Read about Guided boat ride and fishing in the Vega islands.
Off the main island of Vega another world of inhabited islands existed. Settlement on some of the islands lasted until 20 or 30 years ago. Government policy at that time was to centralise settlement in Norway, and almost all the islands were deserted.
Vega is an ornithologist' dream. Chief among the bird population are eider ducks, raised for their feathers - the houses built for them to nest in can still be seen, alongside lighthouses, fishing villages and dramatic landscapes. The tradition of keeping eider ducks as domestic animals on the islands is documented at the "E-house", a museum and visitor centre situated in an old wharfside building in the fishery harbour at Nes.
The former fishing villages of Skjærvær and Bremstein are restored and accommodation can be booked on the islands of Hysvær and Skogsholmen.
The Vega archipelago has one of the largest eider duck colonies in Norway. The small islands, islets and skerries are scattered along a shallow shelf surrounding the main island Vega. Here you can find rich varieties of birds, and human beings have to submit to the rhythm of nature. Most of this area is protected by law and intruding on the birds is prohibited during brooding season.