Touring Arctic islands
The 1,000 metres high mountains on the island of Kvaløya protect Tromsø against the rage of the Atlantic Ocean. If you make the trip to Kvaløya, you will see a lot without travelling too far, and do not hesitate even if the weather is inhospitable.
One of the most popular round-trips goes along the island’s eastern and southern side towards Sommarøy and returns to Tromsø via Kattfjord.
From Tromsø, drive along the eastern side of Kvaløya to Skavberg, where you will find 4 - 5,000 year-old rock carvings, including the "tennis player", possibly a Stone Age shaman. At the nearby beauty spot of Hella, where the fish willingly bite in the ocean current of Rystraumen, you find an ensemble of traditional wooden houses from Tromsø.
Along the southern coast of Kvaløya, you see lush farmlands, while the fishing village of Sommarøy has the best beaches in the area. Here you can visit the Låvhaugen Local Museum, greet the animals at the Hillesøy Bird and Animal Park and enjoy the view of the archipelago to the north and the steep coast of the island of Senja to the south.
The narrow Kattfjord is a surprise so close to the ocean. A short detour to see the trading posts of Tulleng and Lauklines reveals industrial history. At Ersfjordbotn you can see the 1,000 metres high mountains drop straight into the sea.
Distance: 132 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 3 hours
Breathless around Lyngen
The Lyngen Peninsula, with summits reaching up to 1,833 metres above sea level, blue glaciers, gushing rivers and canyons, features some of Norway’s most dramatic landscapes.
The summits and glaciers are for the seasoned mountaineers only, but other outdoors enthusiasts can bask in the easier terrain around Svensby and Furuflaten. A sightseeing trip by car around Lyngen is also a joy for all.
The E8 and rv. 91 roads to the Breivikeidet ferry quay reveal an impressive mountain range, and the 20-minute ferry crossing to Svensby will leave you breathless. Ask the tourist information office at the Svensby ferry landing how to find the path to Lake Jegervatn.
Lyngseidet is a pretty, well tended village with old houses, shops and cafés. Lyngen Church dating from 1740 is worth a visit.
Heading south, you see the Solhov Folk High School, one of Norway’s largest wooden buildings. Return to Tromsø via the village of Nordkjosbotn. Stop en route at Tromsø Family Park, which features everything from horses to lamas and rabbits.
Distance: 209 kilometres
Estimated driving time: 4 hours