Senja: Norway’s second largest island

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The second largest island in Norway is known as “Norway in miniature”, as Senja has everything the country has to offer: picturesque fishing villages as well as spectacular, rugged nature – mountains, fjords, sea – and auroras are guaranteed during the long winters. The island is therefore particularly popular with campers – and if you’re curious about Senja, you can find out everything you need to know about travelling to the north-east coast of Norway here.

Why should you visit Senja?

Senja is probably not the most famous island in Norway, but it is considered one of the most beautiful. And rightly so, as the country’s second largest island is peppered with rugged and unspoilt nature that unfolds in spectacular fashion. High, jagged mountains lie directly on the open sea, along with fjords and beautiful beaches – Senja is a true paradise for outdoor and camping fans. But not only fantastic views are guaranteed here, but also quiet moments in one of the picturesque fishing villages, skiing fun in winter or northern lights during the polar night.

Senja: Holidays
The Oksen mountain massif is just one of Senja’s spectacular natural backdrops.

Where is Senja?

Senja is located off the north-east coast of Norway in the Norwegian Sea, about 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and belongs to the province of Troms og Finnmark. Senja is surrounded by other islands to the north and south, with the island of Kvaløya to the north and the island of Grytøya and the Lofoten and Versterålen archipelagos to the south. The capital of Senja is Silsand, the nearest major town is Tromsø. The capital Oslo is over 1000 kilometres away.

Weather on Senja

Due to its geography, Senja has a rather cool climate with low temperatures and a lot of rainfall. The best time to visit is from July to September, when temperatures rise above 10° Celsius and the rain holds back a little. July is also the warmest month, with temperatures averaging 14° Celsius. The coldest months are January and February, with average temperatures of -4° Celsius, when ice and snow are guaranteed and the Northern Lights dance across the sky. The heaviest rainfall occurs in October and March.

Senja: Weather
In the best winter conditions, you can watch the Northern Lights in Senja.

Activities and sights on Senja

Nature on Senja: hiking, fishing and more.

Senja’s spectacular and unspoilt nature is the island’s main attraction. Mountains, fjords, sea, ice and snow in winter – here you will find the perfect conditions for an unforgettable outdoor holiday. Hiking is particularly popular, but you can also go climbing, cycling or kayaking. In winter, the pistes and cross-country ski trails are perfect for skiing.

The best places to go hiking are in the north of the island – here are the most beautiful hiking trails. For example, tours on Husfjell, Segal, Astridtind and Kyle are popular. These hikes are not too long and rather easy, but offer fantastic views of the island’s landscape – hikes on Husfjell in particular offer great views of the Oksen mountain massif. A more challenging hike is the tour to Sukkertoppen near the village of Hamn.

Senja: Hiking
Senja’s spectacular nature invites you to go on exciting hikes and more.

We also recommend tours to Tungeneset, where a wooden walkway leads over the cliffs, to the Bergsbotn viewing platform or to the fine-grained sandy beach of Ersfjordstranda.

Norway’s second largest island is also a popular destination for fishing holidays. Senja offers some fantastic locations for fishing, including the Stongodden peninsula in the south of the island, the coastal town of Lauvik in the north-east or the village of Mefjordvær with Mefjord Brygge on the Mefjorden. Large fish can be caught here, including skrei, halibut and saithe.

Culture on Senja: fishing villages and museums

A whole series of cosy and historic fishing villages invite you to take a quieter excursion on Senja. The island of Husøy is Senja’s most active fishing village and is located in the centre of Øyfjord in the north of the island. The moored houses are a special feature here. Metfjordvær is a historic fishing village between the mountains and the sea – with a highlight of a different kind, a pretty public toilet on the pier.

If you are interested in the culture of the region, you can visit one of the museums, especially the museums of the Midt-Troms Museum Association, which imparts a great deal of knowledge about history and culture, including the natural history and development of the island, or the importance of fishing. These include the Kaperdalen Sami museum, which specialises in the culture and way of life of the Sami, and the Sázza, a nature and culture centre.

Senja: Villages
Senja has a number of pretty fishing villages right on the coast.

Until 2019, the island was home to the world’s largest troll statue: the Senjatrollet was 17.96 metres high and a popular tourist attraction that opened in 1993 and burned down completely 16 years later.

Accommodation on Senja

Camping on Senja

Senja: Camping
Camping fans are best off travelling to Senja in their own vehicle.

Camping is a very popular way to spend a holiday on Senja. The island has several campsites, but wild camping, i.e. camping on your own, is also particularly popular – the right of public access in Norway allows you to spend the night in a tent in the great outdoors. You can find more information here: Camping in Norway.

Senja is also ideal for holidaymakers travelling with a motorhome or camper – although free standing is not permitted in Norway, there are a large number of pitches so that you can explore the island comfortably in your own vehicle.

Hotels on Senja

If you don’t want to compromise on comfort and want to stay comfortably in a hotel, you will also find what you are looking for on Senja. The island has a good range of options, so everyone should find the right accommodation for them. Highlights on Senja include the Aurora Borealis Observatory, which is not only located directly on the ski slopes, but also offers large windows in rooms or bungalows where you can watch the northern lights from your bed on winter nights, or the Senja Fjordhotell, which is located both on the water and on the ski slopes.

Travelling to Senja

Travelling by car and ferry

Senja: Travelling
Senja is a popular road trip destination.

If you are travelling from Central Europe in your own car or motorhome, you should be prepared for a long journey. As Senja is located in the north of the country, you have to drive through a lot of Scandinavian mainland – so the island is also ideal for a stopover or as the destination of a road trip.

You can choose whether you want to take the ferry to Norway or travel via Denmark and Sweden. Senja itself can be reached via the Gisund Bridge or, in the summer months, by car ferry between Andenes and Gryllefjord or Brensholmen and Botnhamn.

Travelling by plane

If you want to avoid the long car journey, you can also travel comfortably by plane. The nearest major airport is in Tromsø and is served directly from the UK. Other airports in the region are the airports in Bardufoss, which is about an hour’s drive away, and Harstad. Both are served by flights from Oslo. Once you arrive at the airport, you can either continue your journey by public transport, such as speedboats, or hire a car.

By cruise ship to Senja

Do you want to take a relaxing and comfortable trip at sea where you get to see a lot? Then a cruise is the right thing for you.

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