Kim Jenssen

Norwegian Scenic Route Senja

The steep mountains plunging deep into the ocean are a breathtaking sight and the most prominent feature of this stretch. The road is narrow here and there as it twists and turns along fjords with crystal clear, icy-cold waters.

So cold that no matter how inviting the beaches with their pure white coral sand appear, going for a swim is only for the hardiest among us. At Bergsbotn you will find a viewing platform that lifts you above the magnificent surroundings, allowing you to look out over Bergsfjorden to the ocean in the background. The drive continues in a dramatic landscape on a road which is occasionally quite narrow and winding, and you will find tiny fishing villages and houses clinging to the most surprising spots. Senja reflects the robustness and hardship of a time when people had to survive on fishing and agriculture that yielded little, but the island also reveals a less harsh side with its sheltered fjord inlets. And above all, it is so beautiful that you will wonder why you haven’t found your way here before.

It’s not just the scenery that is special on Senja. The story-telling tradition is not something you can spot from your car window, but it is as rich as the landscape. Two of the best-known stories are Senjatrollet – the tale of the troll who was seen on both land and sea, and Mannen i Ausa – the story of how the Ausa mountain acquired a face as well as eyes. Amid the stunning scenery daily life was hard for those who lived here, and this is also reflected in the stories.

Senja is like an enormous playground for outdoor types who like a challenge. For everyone who wants to do hiking, paddling, diving or freeriding down steep hills, Senja is an eldorado. There are ample opportunities to explore nature. There are also less demanding activities that both big and small can find pleasure in. Find one of the many lovely beaches, follow the ebb of the water and run back when the waves crash into shore without being caught by the icy-cold water. Sometimes that’s all it takes to have fun.

Travel information
National Tourist Route Senja runs from Gryllefjord to Botnhamn, with short detours to Mefjordvær and Husøy. The route is 102 km long (Road 86/862) and together with National Route Andøya it provides an outer alternative to Euroroute 6 and the Hurtigruten coastal express. Since Senja is an island, to get there you must cross the bridge from the mainland (Euroroute 6 via Finnsnes) or take the ferry from Tromsø. The Senja and Andøya national tourist routes are also linked by ferry. Detours to Husøya (Road 277) and Mefjordvær (Road 252) will allow you to experience the Norwegian Sea at close hand. In combination with the Hurtigruten coastal express or ferries you can make a round trip of Senja, Andøya and Lofoten. In the summer season the ferry from Gryllefjord - Andenes links the Senja and Andøya national tourist routes. The summer ferry from Botnhamn - Brensholmen can be your route from Senja to Tromsø. In the menu below you will find useful links that we hope will be helpful. For more tourist information, please contact local and regional tourist agents.