Photo: Roger Ellingsen / Statens vegvesen

Norwegian Scenic Route Andøya: Hiking Trails and Viewpoints

In the north of the Vesterålen archipelago lies the island of Andøya. The small island is one of sharp contrasts with steep mountains climbing high above flat marshland. Cold arctic breezes jar the senses in the company of white sandy beaches. The 58-kilometer long Norwegian Scenic Route Andøya runs along the exposed western coastline, from the small village of Bjørnskinn in the south the Andenes in the north.

The raw nature in this part of the county, with the vast Norwegian Sea spreading out in front you, always manages to find its way under your skin. Whether it’s the churn in your stomach from a steep mountain drop or the chill of the air as the midnight sun refuses to set, each experience takes on its own identity.

The Andøya scenic route forms a natural part of a Northern Norway summer itinerary, connecting the Lofoten and Senja scenic routes.

Ferries

The ferry between Andenes and Gryllefjord on Senja Island takes 1 hour and 40 minutes and connects Norwegian Scenic Route Andøya with the Senja scenic route. The route operates two to three times per day from May to September. Arrive at the terminal in Andenes 1-2 hours before departure to secure a place on the ferry. If possible, arrive even earlier and leave your vehicle in the line while exploring Andenes. Check departure times on Entur (Andenes fergekai, Andøy to Gryllefjord ferjekai, Torsken).

Important: Purchase tickets within the Troms Mobillett app to get a 25% discount compared to buying on board.

Tips

  • Most amenities are located in Andenes, the administrative centre of the island.
  • There are campgrounds in Stave, Bleik, and Andenes.
  • There are gas stations in Risøyhamn and Andenes.
Download this guide, including all hiking trails and maps, in the Outtt app.

Bjørnskinn to Andenes

Bjørnskinntinden

 

Hiking Trail
Medium
4.5 km · 2 – 3 hr

Bjørnskinntinden

Shortly after the beginning of the scenic route in Bjørnskinn lies the trailhead for Bjørnskinntinden. A mountain rises alongside the road and Bjørnskinntinden is its highest peak, at 635 meters above the sea.

A clear, albeit steep trail leads up the mountainside and along the ridge. The spacious summit features views towards Risøyhamn and Hinnøya Island, as well as the surrounding lakes, mountains, and marshes.

Read more about Bjørnskinntinden

Kvasstinden

Vesterålen

Hiking Trail
Demanding
6.7 km · 3 – 4 hr

Kvasstinden

A detour from the scenic route takes you onto Andøya’s southern peninsula, home to the island’s tallest peaks.

Road 975 towards Åknes provides access to the highest peak of them all, Kvasstinden. Note that the last few kilometers of road to the trailhead from Åknes is in bad shape and slow going.

The trail to the peak has a soft and wet start in the valley before heading up the rocky mountainside. The final section towards the peak follows a ridge and has some exposure but should be achievable by most hikers with some mountain experience.

The reward is wide-ranging views of the Vesterålen archipelago.

Read more about Kvasstinden

Gavltinden

Vesterålen

Hiking Trail
Demanding
7.1 km · 2 – 4 hr

Gavltinden

A little further south is Andøya’s second-highest mountain, Gavltinden. Gavltinden is a bit more accessible than Kvasstinden both in terms of access and the trail. Rising 661 meters, just 44 meters short of Kvasstinden, it is an excellent alternative if you’re after a tall peak in the south.

The trailhead is in Skjoldehamn, on the eastern side of the peninsula along Road 973.

Read more about Gavltinden

Bukkekjerka

Vesterålen

Viewpoint
Easy
 

Bukkekjerka

Back on the scenic route, continuing north along the coast, you’ll reach Bukkekjerka. The impressive rock formation was once a Sami sacrificial site. Today, it’s a place to relax, explore, and appreciate the coastline of Northern Norway.

Read more about Bukkekjerka

Måtinden

Vesterålen

Hiking Trail
Medium
7.2 km · 3 – 4 hr

Måtinden

Considered by many “the must-see view” on Andøya, the hike to Måtinden fulfils all the criteria of a popular trek in these parts. With a nice clear trail, and a summit featuring beach views, sharp rock formations, and Bleiksøya Island in the distance, it demands half a day to explore. Facing out the west, Måtinden is an ideal location to enjoy the midnight sun.

The trailhead is on the roadside between Stave and Bleik. Alternatively, stop in Bleik and hike from there through Bleikmorenen Nature Reserve.

Read more about Måtinden

Trolltinden

Vesterålen

Hiking Trail
Medium
5.2 km · 2 – 2.5 hr

Trolltinden

A little further up the road towards Bleik is the trail to Trolltinden. The weather radar station on the peak guides you up the clear trail.

Sitting in the middle of the mountain ridge that splits the northern part of the island, Trolltinden gives views to both Andøya’s western and eastern coasts.

Read more about Trolltinden

Bleikmorenen Nature Reserve

Vesterålen

Hiking Trail
Easy
4.6 km · 1.5 – 2 hr

Bleikmorenen Nature Reserve

Alongside the beach, immediately southwest of Bleik village, is Bleikmorenen Nature Reserve. The reserve is of considerable geological significance, with scientists speculating the moraines found here are close to 20,000 years old–the oldest in Norway.

The moraines are the various sized mounds, made up of dirt and rocks left behind by a moving glacier.

Read more about Bleikmorenen Nature Reserve

Bleik Beach

Vesterålen

Viewpoint
Easy
 

Bleik Beach

One of Norway’s longest beaches, the white sands of Bleik Beach stand in stark contrast to the surrounding landscape. A visit to Andøya is not complete without a stroll along the beach and, in the summertime, watching the midnight sun dangle over the horizon.

The triangular Bleiksøya Island sits about 1.5 kilometers offshore and houses the largest puffin colony in Vesterålen. It is estimated that 70,000 pairs of the birds call it home.

Read more about Bleik Beach

Andhauet

Vesterålen

Hiking Trail
Easy
2.7 km · 1 – 2 hr

Andhauet

Andhauet is the most northerly peak on Andøya and features a panorama of Andenes and surrounds. It’s a quick and simple hike, but can easily be extended to one or both of the other nearby peaks, Røyken and Ramnan.

At the turnoff to Andenes, turn instead to the right, and it’s a short distance on to the trailhead with Andhauet to your right-hand side.

Read more about Andhauet

Andenes Lighthouse

An iconic landmark in Andenes, the red, 40-meter cast iron lighthouse marks the northern point of Andøya. The 148 steps to the top are a quick way to get acquainted with the town and local landscape.

Guided tours to the top are organised by Whalesafari Andenes, a local company that also runs boat trips onto the ocean to spot whales.

Read more about Andenes Lighthouse

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