A coastal city, Brønnøysund’s origin dates back to its 13th century Viking heritage. In the intervening centuries, it has been settled by immigrants from southern Norway and Sweden, and its local Swedish-like dialect still carries echoes of this past.
Brønnøysund sits on a narrow peninsula from the mainland, is surrounded by waterways dotted with a maze of small scenic islands. In this fairytale setting, picturesque, colorful houses are set amidst thick lush greenery, turquoise blue water and shallow bays. Towering above the town like a giant troll’s hat is the massive granitic monolith of Torghatten Mountain. Here can be found one of the great natural curiosities of the area, a 520’ (160 m) hole piercing completely through the center of the mountain. The Viking sagas surmised that it was the impact of a warrior horseman’s arrow that created the wound. However, it was actually formed during the last Ice Age by erosion from ice and water.