Leka – a tiny part of America
The geology island of Leka is the northernmost part of Trøndelag and has been inhabited for at least 10,000 years. Large parts of the island consist of serpentinite and olivine, which gives the characteristic yellow-red colour, and is otherwise only found on the American side of the Atlantic.
Norway’s geological national monument
In 2010 Leka was voted as Norway’s geological national monument. The vote was organized by UT.no in collaboration with national broadcaster NRK and the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). If you want to learn more about stones, minerals and fossils from Leka in particular but Trøndelag and Nordland in general, we recommend a visit to Leka Stone Centre. In 2019 Leka became a part of Trollfjell Geopark – a UNESCO Geopark.
What to see in Leka
400 cultural relics in Leka
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 in Leka. Among the many cultural relics on the island, you can experience the Stone Age finds, caves, cave paintings, hill forts, pagan cult places, church sites and grave mounds.
Herlaugshaugen on Skei is one of Norway’s largest burial mounds and the country’s largest ship grave mound. Originally the mound was 12 m high, but several excavations in the 18th and 19th centuries resulted in major damage to the mound. The mound is 60-70 m in diameter and is the largest pre-medieval manmade structure north of Dovre.
The rare cave paintings in Solsemhula on the island of Leka were discovered by local people in 1912. Archaeological studies confirmed that the cave dated from the Stone Age and was a rare find. In Northern Europe wall paintings in caves can only be found on the coastal strip between Nord Trøndelag and Lofoten, otherwise you need to travel south to France or east to the Ural Mountains to experience this.
Lekamøya is a mountain formation and an old navigational landmark for sea farers to which a legend is attached. The legend about Lekamøya is the longest folk tale in Norway, and stretches all the way from Lofoten in the north to Leka in the south. The Hurtigruten ships, which ply the Norwegian coast every day, use a full day to sail through it! The shape of Lekamøya resembles a woman wrapped in a shawl.
Two old fishing villages, Horta and Sklinna, are located on islands to the west of Leka. The island groups are now listed to protect the sea bird stocks. Sklinna is home to the world’s largest European shag colony.
A true story – the eagle robbery
Many people associate Leka with the eagle robbery that took place on June 5, 1932 on the island of Kvaløya. According to the story, three-year-old Svanhild was taken by an eagle and flown up in the nearby mountains. She was later found at a mountain hut 1700 m from where she disappeared. Today there is a signposted walking trail to the Eagle robebry viewpoint.
What to do in Leka
Leka is a coastal muncipality with unique geology, but Leka also has 50 signposted hiking trails and 18 kayaking routes. Cycling around the island is an excellent daytrip with 28 km of beautiful nature and cultural heritage. Read more on visitleka.no
Leka is one of the very best places for deep-sea fishing along the Trøndelag coast. The most common catches are cod, saithe (coalfish), flounder, redfish and haddock, but there is also a good chance that you may catch an enormous halibut off the coast of Leka. There are many excellent fishing grounds in the sea surrounding Leka. Rowboats, motorised boats and fishing gear can be rented at several places.
There are several lakes offering good opportunities for trout fishing. Although most of the trout are quite small, from time to time anglers land one weighing up to a kilo.
Leka has several nice swimming beaches, including the two public beaches at Årdalssanden and Sørgutvikvatnet (South Gutvik Lake).