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Often described as a miniature Norway, Senja is a compact destination with beautiful and diverse landscapes. Hiking trails are sprinkled all over the island, and commonly lead to the top of the nearest mountain.
On the northern and western sides of Senja sit dramatic mountains that plummet into the Atlantic ocean, alongside beautiful sandy beaches.
To the south, by Ånderdalen National Park, lie pine forests, lakes, and wetlands. A short drive away is Kaperskaret with the sensation of traveling over a high mountain pass. In the east the landscape softens once again with birch woods and small farms.
Hiking on Senja is characterized by steep mountains, sharp peaks, and sea views. Quick gains in altitude ensure that it doesn’t take too long to find an amazing view.
Many of the hiking routes on Senja have steep trails, often with some exposed sections and long drops. In addition to the total distance, check the elevation gain on a trail to get a good understanding of how tough it is. Reconsider hiking if the weather and visibility is poor. Ideally, hike on a clear day. Watch your step and be well prepared.
For easier summits, which are also suitable for children, try the trails to Husfjellet or Riven. Additionally, the coastal trails of Flatneset and Russehula offer a good opportunity to stretch your legs and explore without too much effort.
Spend at least two days on Senja. This allows you to drive the length of Norwegian Scenic Route Senja and enjoy a couple of the best hikes on the island. If you’re traveling between Lofoten and Tromsø, a couple of days on Senja is a must for your Northern Norway itinerary.
To fully explore the island, allocate a week. Over the course of a week on Senja you will likely have one or two days of wet and cold weather, even in summer. This means that even a perfectly crafted plan might need adjustments as you travel.
For detailed two-day and one-week itineraries, download a copy of the Outtt Guide to Senja. The itineraries include a recommended route, the best hikes, where to stay, plus other tips and tricks.
As in most of Northern Norway, the best time to go hiking on Senja is in July, August, and September. In these months, the trails will be clear of snow and the days are long. The average high temperature in this period is between 10 and 15°C, but high temperatures over 20°C do occur in July and August. The evenings are cool and warm layers are important.
If you’re happy to stick to lower ground along the northern coast, good hiking can be had from May. There are no hard and fast rules though and the true beginning and end of the seasons varies depending on snowfalls and general weather conditions. Rain is always a possibility, along with thick fog.
The midnight sun is present between late May and late July, opening up possibilities for night hiking. On summer evenings the western and northern coasts offer stunning “sunsets”. If you plan on camping, consider packing an eye mask to help block out the light at night.