Senja National Tourist Route is a 55-mile-long stretch of road between Gryllefjord and Botnhamn on the island Senja in the county of Troms in Northern Norway. In addition, the official route includes detours to Mefjordvær and Husøya, for an additional 7 miles of road.
The rich fishing in the sea has shaped life on the island. In the fjords there are characteristic examples of the lively coastal culture. Small, scattered fishing hamlets and villages claw onto thin strips of land between the mountains and the sea.
Here you will find the beautiful Husøya with a population of less than 250 and a five-minute walk to anywhere. An exotic gem with traditions from former Spanish shipwrecks - the siesta is alive and well on Senja.
Senja is hospitable all year round, in summer with its constant light, but also in winter with its short days and changeable weather. Just like the weather and the sea, the nature on the island makes for an exciting encounter. Senja and Andøya offer a more coastal alternative to the E6 and Hurtigruten. You can reach the island from the E6 via Finnsnes or by ferry from the north and south.
Viewpoints along the road
There are two panoramic view- and rest areas made in collaboration with Senja National Tourist Route:
Tungeneset: Rest area with services and full accessibility close to the sea. Here, scenic rock cauldrons are refilled by the sea every day at high tide and quickly heated by the sun. The design of the service facilities, the access ramp and the picnic area make the area easily accessible. Parking lot with room for 10 to 12 cars.
Bergsbotn: Rest area and viewing platform with a magnificent view over the Bergsfjord and the sea beyond. A viewing platform constructed in steel and wood has been erected next to the parking lot. Visitors can walk onto it, from where they have a unique position for taking photographs.
National Tourist Route maps
In co-operation with Nordeca, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) have launched a series of new road maps, each covering one of the 18 different National Tourist Routes in Norway.
The maps describe viewpoints along the way, as well as the National Tourist Routes' nature attractions, dining, accommodations and other attractions along the routes. To give the reader a good and visual impression of the routes, several pictures and descriptions have been placed in the maps themselves.
The maps are available in English, German and Norwegian from kartbutikken.no.
What to see
Between the fjords and mountains on the west coast of Senja you will find Hamn i Senja, a holiday and activity resort offering panoramic view of the midnight sun or northern lights (depending on the season) and the Arctic Ocean.
Visit an experience park for all ages based on old legends from the fairytale island of Senja, featuring the world's largest troll, the Senja Troll. The Senja Troll Park at Skaland is one of the most popular attractions in the entire county of Troms.
The Senja Nickel Works at Hamn were the world’s first water-powered electricity plant. A 20-minute walk from the road leads to the ruins of the dam.
The outer part of the Bergsfjord on the north side of Senja is characterised by an open landscape with numerous islands, called Bergsøyan. The Bergsfjord, with its numerous white beaches, consists of 98 islands. The largest islands are Ertnøya, Store Færøya and Kjøpmannsøya.
Gryllefjord, Mefjordvær, Senjahopen, Botnhamn and Husøy are exciting small fishing villages with fully operational processing industry.
Read more about the Troms Area
What to do
All hiking trails in Senja are well marked, and maps of these trails are to be found at all tourism companies and at the tourist information at Silsand and Finnsnes. You can also download the brochure "Hiking in Senja" on Tranøy Municipality’s website.
If you wish to participate in a fisherman's workday, you can join the fishermen in Gryllefjord, Torsken and Grunnfarnes as a working crewmember. A tour at one of the fish processing factories in Senja is also recommended. This must be booked in advance at Senja Event. Many of Senja's tourism companies arrange fishing trips, with or without a guide.
Cycling along Senja National Tourist Route is recommended. The tunnels are short and the roads are ideal for cycling. There are several rest and parking areas along the route. You will experience many great viewpoints, and with ferry and express boat you can cycle from island to island.
Come into close contact with several exotic animals, including llamas, donkeys and mohair goats. At Senja Family Park in Silsand, you can stay in a lavvu (Sami herdsmen’s tent) or a fully equipped cabin. You can freely use the large outdoor areas with various play equipment for children.
Explore Senja and its mountains with skis. Senja Lodge & Mountain Guides at Senjahopen offers mountain guiding and mountain courses. They also offer traditional mountain lodging for independent and guided groups who wish to explore Senja on their own.
Read more about What to do in the Troms Area
Where to stay
The history as a fishing village and trading began in the 1880s, and Hamn i Senja was in the early 1900s one of the largest fishing villages in Northern Norway. Today, Hamn i Senja offers comfortable apartments and rooms in Væreiergården, Telegrafen, Langbua, Lutnesbuene and in seaside houses.
Both Jordhuset (The Sod Hut) at Vesterfjell and Posthuset Expedition Lodge at Skaland are run by Basecamp Senja. Jordhuset can accommodate up to 70 guests. Posthuset Expedition Lodge can accommodate up to 10 guests and was previously a post office and shipping agent on the outer coast of Senja.
Stay in fishermen’s cabins and rooms at Senjahopen on the northern side of Senja. Melfjord Brygge offer such cabins with terrace facing the ocean.
In the center of Finnsnes, a short walk from the express boat and Hurtigruten quay, you will find Finnsnes Hotel, a pleasant full-service hotel with facilities well suited for functions and events.
Read more about Where to stay in the Troms Area
Where to eat
Serving dishes based on traditional recipes and made with local ingredients, Senjastua follow the seasons and harvest when the quality is at its best. The restaurant has an extensive à la carte menu with a wide range of fish dishes.
At Hamn i Senja, on the outer side of the island of Senja, you can dine out on the pier during the summer season. Storbrygga Spiseri serves traditional dishes, many based on fish from the local area.
Decorated as a maritime museum with artefacts tracing hundreds of years back in time, the restaurant at Melfjord Brygge in Mefjordvær offers its own "outskirts menu", where various types of fish are the main ingredients.
Through many years, the restaurant at Finnsnes Hotel has developed into a first-class restaurant with several specialities. Besides à la carte, they offer daily recommendations based on good Norwegian fare.
Read more about Food in the Troms Area
- Road: Fv86 and Fv862 between Gryllefjord and Botnhamn on the island of Senja in the county of Troms
- Length: 63 miles, including the detours to Mefjordvær and Husøya.
Getting to Senja National Tourist Route
Senja National Tourist Route follows the northern side of Senja Island. The road crosses four municipalities; Berg, Torsken, Tranøy and Lenvik. Finnsnes is the largest region center in the area, 32 miles south of Botnhamn, the north east end of Senja National Tourist Route.
Hurtigruten calls at the port of Finnsnes. The ships can accommodate cars, making it easy to combine the cruise with a drive along Senja National Tourist Route.
There are daily flights from Oslo Gardermoen to Bardufoss/Snowman International Airport, 26 miles southeast of Finnsnes. Flying into Tromsø Airport and taking the express boat or a bus to Finnsnes is another alternative.
There are also daily bus services to/from Finnsnes.
- Distance between Tromsø and Finnsnes: 90 miles.
- Distance between Bodø and Finnsnes: 308 miles, includes one ferry crossing.
- Distance between Trondheim and Finnsnes: 661 miles, includes one ferry crossing.
- Distance between Oslo and Finnsnes: 964 miles, includes one ferry crossing.
Read more about Getting to the Troms Area
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