The saga island Leka

Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside the Earth’s crust? If so, you can visit Leka – Norway’s national geological monument. The history of Leka’s geology began more than 500 million years ago and includes continents colliding and an island that was tipped over on its side. The oceanic crust was forced up onto the land and became the grey, red and yellow rock landscape that dominates the island. You can literally explore the interior of the Earth here. Consequently, Leka is an Eldorado for geology enthusiasts.

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Foto: Marius Rua

Leka is in the far north of Trøndelag on the border with Nordland County. The island stands out in the landscape. The red serpentine mountains and the unique geology make the island one of the most beautiful and special in Norway.

Foto: Marius Rua

For geologists – and everyone else!

If you are not so interested in rocks, Leka contains many other options. 

The small island offers enough experiences to cover an entire summer holiday, even if it only takes a couple of hours to bike around the island. But why rush when you can spend a whole day or two or three?

The archipelago around Leka attracts kayakers, while the finest sandy beach, Årdalssand, is child-friendly and a nice place to swim.

If you have time, head to Skeisnesset where prepared trails wind their way through the coastal heathland between burial mounds and scenic viewpoints. There are traces here of human activity from the Stone Age to the present-day, including Stone Age settlement sites and huge burial mounds as well as family trails and a rich plant life. Herlaugshaugen is the largest burial mound in Norway where proof has been found of human burials. King Herlaug was one of many petty kings in Norway at the end of the 9th century. Legend has it that King Herlaug refused to voluntarily relinquish power to Harald Fairhair – the king who united Norway into one kingdom. King Herlaug chose to be buried alive inside the mound, and 11 men are said to have voluntarily followed King Herlaug into the grave.

The maiden of Leka

Chat with the locals and hear the story of three-year-old Svanhild, who was taken by an eagle and flown high up into the mountains. You can also read the legend of the monolith Lekamøya (“The Maiden of Leka”), who escaped the arrow from a jealous suitor and was turned to stone when the sun rose. Afterwards, you can hike up to the top of Lekamøya!

The ancient rock art in the Solsem cave bears witness to human settlement in this area dating back several thousand years.

Foto: Terje Kolaas

Foto: Soderholm Steen

For the nature lover

Hiking enthusiasts will find several marked hiking trails leading into the mountains, including the Herlaugsløypa, a round trip around the highest peak where the colours of the mountains change every kilometre. This trail is named after King Herlaug, one of the many stories that makes Leka an exciting island to explore.

Foto: Lekabrygge.no

Stay the night

Despite its size, Leka offers many great experiences. If you want to live like a Hobbit, book one of the unique stone cabins that have been built by hand with stone from the island. The interior of the cabins is basic but it’s a good experience for a night or two.

Although glamping between the pine trees on a summer’s day gives the feeling of luxury, staying in a rorbu (fishermen’s cottage) or cabin on the pebble beach never proves wrong.

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