The Municipality of Alstahaug is located on the Helgeland coast, at the mouth of the Vefsn fjord. Alstahaug covers most of the island of Alsten, with the exception of its northeastern part, as well as a number of smaller islands to the south and southwest.
Sandnessjøen is the administrative centre, as well as the centre of communication for outer Helgeland, given that this town is a port of call for Hurtigruten, has express boat connections to the surrounding region, and even has a short-runway airport, a so-called STOLport.
Sandnessjøen is also home to Helgeland industrial park, with companies building offshore structures, steel bridges, etc. Supply base for offshore oil exploration off the coast of Nordland. Ship demolition and mechanical workshop. Fishing is not as central to life here as it used to be, but agriculture is still prevalent in rural areas. Dairy and meat production is the most common, and most of the land used for agriculture is reserved for pastures and grazing. In addition, farmers grow potatoes, some vegetables, and small quantities of grain (barley).
This region of Helgeland includes several well-known places associated with important individuals and events in Norwegian history. For example, Eyvindr Skáldaspillir and Harek of Tjøtta, famous from the old Norse kings saga written by Snorre, both came from Alstahaug. At the time, Harek was the most powerful chieftain of Northern Norway, and he led a peasant army in the Battle of Stiklestad. Tjøtta is also home to the Russian and international cemetery from WWII, which is were prisoners of war captured elsewhere in Northern Norway and the victims from the prison ship "Rigel", which was sunk by allied forces in 1944, were buried. All in all, approx. 9500 people are buried here.
The famous mountain range, known as the seven sisters, is easily recognizable from both sea and land. The highest peak is 1072 metres above sea level. All peaks in this mountain range are accessible by marked trails; no climbing necessary.
Alstahaug is also home to the Petter Dass Church and Museum, where parson poet Petter Dass lived and worked. Visit the medieval church at Alstahaug as well as the old parsonage near the coastal highway between Tjøtta and Sandnessjøen. This is also the millenium site of the County of Nordland. The Petter Dass Museum was designed by the Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta, and was completed in 2007.
Alstahaug's contribution to the Footprints in the North project is the chieftain's seat at Tjøtta. Harek's home seat was a centre of communication as early as the Iron Age. The trail at Tjøtta is 2.5 km long, and takes visitors past burial sites, circle settlements, standing stones and even a manor house.
Area (km2): 215
Administrative centre: Sandnessjøen
Key industries: Landbruk, industri, handel