MS Vesterålen passes the Arctic circle and Hestmannen


An iconic rock formation that inspired great myths.

Hestmannen was the disobedient knight who pursued the beautiful maiden Lekamøya, only to be stopped by the Brønnøy King's hat and the rising sun.

Found on Storseløy between Lurøy and Rødøy Municipalities in Nordland County, the distinctive rock formation of Hestmannen rises some 571 metres above sea level - dwarfing the rock of Finnkirka found further north. From certain angles, the formation resembles the shadow of a knight mounted on his horse.

This landmark plays the classic role of the unruly child in a Nordland tale of trolls that became the mountains of the Nordland coast. As the tale is told, the knight Hestmannen was chasing Lekamøya at dawn and shot an arrow that pierced the Brønnøy King's hat. Sunrise arrived at that very instant, petrifying them all. Hestmannen became the rock formation that we now see, while the King's hat turned into Torghatten, the granite mountain with a distinctive gap though the middle of its mountainside.

Hestmannen can be seen on the Hurtigruten coastal route between the ports of Nesna and Ørnes. On northbound journeys, it is visible to the west, just as you cross the Arctic Circle.

Visitors to the area can climb Hestmannen. There are marked routes to lead hikers up the mountain, but you will need a rope to reach the very peak.