Things to know about the island Leka

The island of Leka on the Namdal coast is Norway’s national geological monument as well as a paradise for those who enjoy active outdoor adventures and historical experiences.

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Leka in the Namdalsregionen/ Photo: Steinar Johansen /trondelag.com

Leka – a tiny part of America

The island of Leka in the far north of Trøndelag has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years. Much of the island consists of distinctive yellow-red coloured serpentinite and olivine rock, which is otherwise only found in North America.

The eagle robbery

Many people associate Leka with the eagle robbery that took place here on 5 June 1932. According to the story, a three-year-old girl called Svanhild was taken by an eagle and flown up into the nearby mountains. The girl was later found on a mountain ledge 1,700 m away from where she disappeared.

foto: soderholm steen

Herlaugshaugen

Herlaugshaugen is one of Norway’s largest burial mounds and the country’s largest mound containing a Viking ship. The mound was originally up to 12 m high, but several excavations in the 18th and 19th centuries resulted in major damage. The burial mound is 60-70 m in diameter, making it the largest pre-medieval manmade structure north of Dovre.

Solsem Cave

The rare cave paintings in Solsem Cave were discovered in 1912. Archaeological studies confirm that the cave dates from the Stone Age and is an ancient relic out of the ordinary. In Northern Europe, cave paintings only exist on the coastal strip between Northern Trøndelag and the Lofoten islands, otherwise you need to head south to France or east to the Ural Mountains to experience such rock art.

foto: soderholm steen

foto: marius rua

Lekamøya

Lekamøya is a rock formation and an old navigational mark with a legend attached to it. The legend about the “Maiden of Leka” is the longest folktale in Norway stretches all the way from the Lofoten islands in the north to Leka in the south. The Hurtigruten ships, which ply the Norwegian coast, use a full day to cover this stretch. The shape of Lekamøya resembles a woman wrapped in a shawl.

Fishing

Leka is one of the best places for deep-sea fishing along the Trøndelag coast. While the most common catches are cod, saithe (coalfish), flounder, redfish and haddock, the chances are good that you may reel in an enormous halibut off the coast of Leka.

You may rent boats and fishing gear from several places on the island, including Leka Motell & Camping. Leka also has several lakes offering good opportunities for trout fishing.

foto: marius rua

foto: marius rua

Around the island

Leka has several nice swimming beaches, including the two public beaches at Årdalssanden and the lake Sørgutvikvatnet.

The Skeinesset cultural heritage trail consists of marked hiking trails and a separate geological trail. The trail leads via historical cultural monuments and offers views of a view of a protected wetland area.

400 cultural monuments on the island

Few places in Norway can compare with Leka when it comes to diversity and density of relics of culture. More than 400 ancient monuments (relics dating from before 1537) have been registered on the island. Among Leka’s many cultural relics, you can experience the Stone Age finds, caves, cave paintings, hill forts, pagan cult places, church sites and grave mounds.

The fishing villages of Horta and Sklinna

Two old fishing villages, Horta and Sklinna, are located on islands  west of Leka. The island groups are now listed to protect the sea bird populations. Sklinna is home to the world’s largest European shag colony.

Getting to Leka

Local airports: Rørvik, Namsos and Brønnøysund
Hurtigruten: The nearest ports of call are Rørvik and Brønnøysund
Train: The nearest station is Grong
Train/bus: Grong – Brønnøysund

Driving from the E6 highway: Via Grong and Gartland (route 775), via Steinkjer (route 17), or via Svenningdal (route 803)
Express bus: Trondheim – Namsos
Ferry: Leka (Skei) – Gutvik
Express boat: Leka (Skei and Gutvik) – Rørvik – Namsos

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