Gateway to the Helgeland Coast
The Seven Sisters mountain range might be Sandessjøen's primary claim to fame. You'll have great views to this beautiful parade of peaks from deck as we approach the town. The UNESCO Vega Islands are also close by. Sandnessjøen could not wish for a more perfect location. To the west, the Dønnamannen Mountain, 2,800 feet above sea level, towers above the islands. To the east, the modern design of the elegant Helgeland Bridge impresses visitors. Today, the municipality has 7,500 inhabitants and a variety of industries and occupations such as fishing, agriculture, industry, trade, and administration. Bustling ferry traffic has made the place a hive of activity.
In the centre of Sandnessjøen, Perleporten runs a local yarn shop. You will also find many other shops in town, as well as excellent cafés and restaurants. Located 20km south of Sandnessjøen, inside the Petter Dass Museum, Margrethe's Café serves locally produced food from the Helgeland region.
The Petter Dass Museum consists of several buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Among its displays are exhibitions focusing on the parson poet Petter Dass. Alstahaug Church was built in the 12th and 13th centuries using locally quarried soapstone. The church is Romanesque in style, and is one of seven medieval churches that have been preserved in Northern Norway. The church and the Petter Dass Museum are both housed in the courtyard at Alstahaugtunet.
This municipality has a rich history. Torolv Kvedulvsson, a Viking chieftain of the Saga era, lived at Sandnessjøen. He collected taxes from the Sami people for Harald Fairhair (the first king of Norway), but became too powerful for the king’s liking and had to pay with his life. Øyvind Skaldespiller, Hårek of Tjøtta (from Snorri’s saga), Sigrid of Sandnes, and Petter Dass were all closely linked to the municipality. Sandnessjøen became a hub for Helgeland as early as 1899, when the transport company Helgelandske Dampskipsselskap was first based here. Sandnessjøen was granted town status in 1999.