A few months ago, I promised you more on my impromptu Arctic road trip this summer. Well, I’d better get on with it, hadn’t I? Today, I wanted to tell you about the Vega Archipelago – or Vegaøyan, as it’s locally known. Now, Vegaøyan is a bit off the beaten track. But I promise you, even the road to get there is worth every minute.
Starting from Mosjøen on the northern train route, my little hire car and I headed south on the E6. 25 km or so after Salmon Falls, a smaller road (Rv 76) goes west towards the little seaside town Brønnøysund.
Almost immediately, I had to pull over just to look. Again and again. In fact, the trip took almost twice as long as it should have – not due to traffic (there wasn’t much), but because of all the stops to take it all in. Photos rarely do nature justice, but here are my attempts at capturing nature along just one little country road, all entirely unfiltered.
The Vega Archipelago
But on to the headline act, the UNESCO-listed Vega Archipelago. Now, Norway overflows with stunning nature. So what makes these islands so special?
Eider, that’s what. Eider is a sea bird, a duck, actually, that lives here in the northern world – not just in Norway, but also in North America and Siberia. You may have heard of eider down, you may even have an eider down duvet (or comforter, for you Americans). If so, I hope it comes from Vega.
I firmly believe our yearning for something comfortable to sleep in – or wear – doesn’t justify cruelty to animals.The act of plucking down and feathers off birds can be quite gruesome. But here at Vega, eider down is harvested in a very sustainable manner, leaving the birds completely unharmed.
Out on the islands, locals build houses for the birds – these little triangular houses, leaving the eider to nest her newborn in peace. Part of the nesting process is shedding her down, to create a soft, comfortable bed for the little ones.
When the ducklings are good and ready to leave the nest, the down is left behind. And this down becomes the inside of your duvet.
The Vega Archipelago comprises more than 6 500 little islands, and is located just south of the Arctic Circle. People have lived here since the Stone Age, mostly living off nature. It’s a rough environment, especially in winter – and it has been a frugal way of life, fishing and eiderdown harvesting. Of course, today, tourism plays an important role as well. The area is excellent for cycling and boating holidays.
Vegaøyan – the Vega Archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.
I must admit I had to consult a map to find the Vega Archipelago, and I was surprised to find it was not that far North. So now there is another stunning natural gem between Bergen and Trondheim to add to the list.
Heaps of gorgeous spots between Trondheim and Bodø, Mette.
the entire country of Norway is so picturesque. Is it as cold as they say though? 🙂
It can get cold in winter (but not as cold as e.g. Alaska) because of the Gulf Stream. Summer temperatures are just perfect 🙂
How amazingly beautiful! The colours are so vivid, so beautiful.
I’ve heard the word eiderdown but I didn’t know it came from the name of a bird. I always learn something new with your blog!
Thanks for stopping by, Ana 🙂
Wonderful, no magnificent scenery. I return again, and again to the photo of the water and the sun – Wow!
A lovely summer evening just south of the Arctic Circle that was.
Vega looks very pretty – some photos remind us of the scenery in British Columbia… But Vega must look quite different in winter! (Don’t expect there’s much cycling then :-).
Well, Norwegians tend to have studded bike tyres for winter. And yes, similar to Canada in many ways.
absolutely stunning. makes me proud to live in this country, despite never having enough money to properly explore it (one of these days…one of these days…) 🙂
Best place to be in summer this is 🙂
Very beautiful photos 🙂
Thank you, Muza-chan.
Okay, that is just beautiful! I’ve only recently had my first Norway experience and have been wishing I could go back. This post has made me want to all the more.
And I just love the houses for the ducks. What a great idea.
So glad you like it up here, Amanda 🙂
Simply stunning! I am very excited to be visiting Norway for the first time in April but only going as far as Trondheim. Obviously I will be planning a future tirp!
Let me know if you’re stopping in Oslo, Natasha.
I love the cruelty-free method of collecting down! That drive looks beautiful – I would definitely have been pulling over for the view, too.
I loved that, too.
What a stunningly beautiful region! It’s easy to understand why you were drawn to make so many stops just to take it all in! These images remind me of Canada – both east and west coasts! Gorgeous!
Canada and Norway are similar in many ways.
What a Groovy and beautiful location . Here I am sending my favorite place in India
Sightseeing in Goa http://www.goibibo.com/travel-guide/goa/places-to-visit-in-goa/
The Vega Archipelago looks lovely! I clicked on the post from the slideshow on your homepage because I couldn’t believe how much the featured photo looked like the east coast of Canada – I would have sworn that it was Peggy’s Cove!
Norway and Canada are similar in many ways.
I was in Vega roughly a year ago on a work trip and even though I thought it was beautiful, we had just come from Lofoten that I totally and utterly fell in love with… So, Vega was a good second, but we should’ve probably visited Vega first and Lofoten after, and that way Vega would’ve seemed even more stunning 🙂
Both gorgeous archipelagos, aren’t they…
Hooray, we can see Sophie’s World again – and what a post to come back to. Love how the feathers are collected in a more humane way here. And as usual, just fab Norwegian scenery. Really must get to your country one day. 🙂
This is insanely beautiful!
Isn’t it, though…
True of so much of Norway 🙂
The photos are stunning!
Thanks! It’s one of earth’s stunning spots.