Vesterålen consists of the following municipalities:
and is located on the following islands:
plus several smaller islands.
Since Vesterålen is in northern Norway, far away from the largest cities in the southern parts of the country, you will probably need to travel by air if you want to get to Vesterålen quickly.
The largest airport in Vesterålen is the Stokmarknes Airport, Skagen. This airport has several daily direct flights by Widerøe to both Bodø and Tromsø, from where you can get to Oslo. The Skagen airport is classified as "regional", with only short regional flights, but is one of the largest "regional" airports in Norway (100000 passengers per year). There are plans to expand the airport and open up direct flights to Oslo and Trondheim, but for now, you will need to transfer in Bodø or Tromsø. Airport buses connect the town of Sortland with the airport.
A larger airport, about two hours east with bus or car from Sortland, is Evenes airport (primarily serving Harstad and Narvik). Both Norwegian and SAS have direct flights to Oslo. In addition, there are flights to Bodø, Tromsø and Trondheim. There are a few airport busses between Sortland from Evenes Airport as well.
The coastal steamer Hurtigruten [dead link] has three stops in Vesterålen, at Stokmarknes, Sortland and Risøyhamn. Ships run up and down the Norwegian coastline between Bergen and Kirkenes offering daily departures.
Sortland has bus routes to several towns in Northern Norway, including Bodø in the south (7 hours). From Sortland, a number of bus routes spread out throughout Vesterålen.
Whale watching tours to the nearby continental shelf, where sightings of sperm whales are common, are arranged from Andenes and also Nyksund.