Dønna is an island community with a rich history, and it is blessed with magnificent scenery. The 1400 residents of Dønna municipality are scattered on the islands of Løkta and Vandve, and of course the main island Dønna. Historical sources tell us that Dønna was a cultural and political centre for Helgeland during the early Iron Age and the Viking era, and right up until the turn of the last century. Numerous cultural monuments on Dønna bear silent testimony.
The mediaeval Dønnes church, widely considered the most beautiful in Northern Norway, is situated at the foot of Dønnesfjellet (127 m). The soapstone church has a distinctive architecture and decorations, as well as Norway’s largest and best-preserved burial chamber, dating back to the 17th century. We recommend a guided tour of the church and the adjoining Dønnes Gård, a former vicarage that also has a fascinating history. Also consider the 2–3 km hike on the cultural trail to the top of Dønnesfjellet, which has a magnificent view of the Helgeland coast and its many renowned mountains.
Another delight at Dønna is one of the smallest chocolate factories in the world. In the summer, when it hosts a summer café, you can hear about Heidi’s dream to be a chocolatier – and taste the delectable results!
On top of a gravemound at Glein stands the Dønna marble phallus, a fertility symbol that is at least 1600 years old. The Viking sagas tell us that of sacrifices being made here to achieve fertility and wealth. Perhaps a visit may bring you both.
If you for a more strenuous adventure, take a hike up to the summit of Dønnamannen (858 m). This hike requires that you are used to challenging the mountain wilderness, and that you don’t suffer from vertigo. At the summit, your reward is a stunning panorama of large swathes of the Helgeland coast.
Eager anglers can choose between deep-sea fishing from a boat or casting a line from the shore. While you are waiting for the big one, you can enjoy the rich birdlife and other wildlife.
The favourite beach amongst the locals is Breivika, situated on the north side of mount Dønnamannen and well worth a visit. You will find great conditions for kayaking as well as SUP, stand-up paddleboarding. A great way to enjoy the scenery and experience wildlife up close is to take a bicycle ride around the island. At Skaga there is a trail where you can see decorative installations made by the locals.
How to get here
The ferry from Sandnessjøen town centre to Bjørn takes half an hour. For the perfect round trip, consider driving or cycling across the Åkviksundbrua bridge to Herøy, and taking the ferry back to the mainland from Flostad over to Søvik in Alstahaug. From Søvik, a 30-minute bike ride or 10-minute drive takes you back to Sandnessjøen.