Nordland's Sculpture Landscape

At various points along the long and winding roads through Nordland, you may see signs to 'Skulpturlandskap', a striking project that also goes by the name of Experience Artscape Nordland. Describing itself as 'an art gallery without walls with a floor space of 40,000 sq km', the project is an international art project with 36 public sculptures (35 in Nordland, one across the regional border in Troms, the area surrounding Tromsø) produced by artists from 19 different countries. Often in places where nature has sculpted its own beautiful shapes, these sculptures are always worth pulling over to look at. To seek out these artworks rather than stumble upon them, check out www.skulpturlandskap.no or pick up the brochure and map from some regional tourist offices.

Nordland's Most Scenic Drives

  • Sandnessjøen to Storvik
  • Andenes to Risøyhamn (via Bleik)
  • Svolvær to Å

Nordland's National Parks

Nordland has some fabulous national parks, but you'll need to drive off the main road and know where you're going if you want to really explore. Anyone wishing to visit the parks should really head for the excellent Nordland Nasjonalparksenter, in Storjord roughly equidistant between Bodø and Mo i Rana along the E6. For information on hiking in these parks, contact Den Norske Turistforening, which has offices around the country.

The two most rewarding parks are Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park and Rago National Park.

There are some good lesser-known options too.

Møysalen National Park A stunning prelude to the jagged peaks of Lofoten on the island of Hinnøya in Vesterålen, this is Norway's second-smallest park (51.2 sq km) with the peak of Møysalen (1262m) at its heart. Visit www.moeysalen.no for advice on visiting the park.

Sjunkhatten National Park Created in 2010 and covering 418 sq km northeast of Bodø, Sjunkhatten's calling card is family-friendly day hikes. Eurasian lynx inhabits the park but is elusive, the park is good for wetland bird species and birds of prey.

Lákho National Park Covering 188 sq km near Glomfjord and close to the western boundary of Saltfjellet-SVartisen National Park, Lákho is known for its unusual karst rock formations and is good for hiking, fishing and birdwatching (key species include the endangered scaup, gyr falcon and black-throated diver). Watch also for elk and wolverine.

Lomsdal-Visten National Park Spread over 682 sq km close to Brønnøysund and Grane, Lomsdal-Visten is a popular spot for salmon and other fishing. Forested mountains also dominate the park's interior – visit www.turkarthelgeland.no for hiking suggestions.

Børgefjell National Park In Nordland's southwest and within reach of Trondheim, Børgefjell is good for birdwatching and alpine vegetation and is one of the southernmost redoubts of the Arctic fox. For hiking, visit www.turkarthelgeland.no.