This route starts in Gryllefjord, on the extreme west of Senja. From here, you can either go over Senja via Finnsnes or take the ferry from Andenes. The places are arranged in order along the north coast, and end at Tromsø.
Along the seaward coast of Senja: 53 miles (85 km)/1.5 h
The journey along the seaward coast takes an hour and half if you are pressed for time. However, you can spend days if you turn left and follow all detours to their ends. And so you should! It is not without reason that the stretch is one of Norway's National Tourist Routes.
- Gryllefjord: Compact fishing village, stunningly located between the ocean and the jagged Senja mountains. Café.
- Torsken Church: Small, red-painted church from 1784 in the small village of Torsken, a small detour (2.5 miles/4 km) over the mountain from Gryllefjord. A 16th-century crucifix from Lübeck, Germany, is the most valuable artefact.
- Hamn i Senja: An old trading and industrial centre, which today is a tourist resort in a magnificent location. Walking tours, kayak rentals, restaurant.
- The Senja Troll: Adventure Park for children of all ages with the world's biggest troll. Great fun for the kids, and some good points only the adults will understand. Café.
- Bøvær: Idyllic settlement with the old "Kråkeslottet" former fish wharves, which are now a concert hall and art gallery. The white sandy beach is ideal for a very refreshing swim.
- Bergsbotn: At the top of the bend is the picnic area with an architecturally designed ramp — called "magasuget" ("that sinking feeling").
- Okshornan: Also known as "The Devil's Teeth", this monumental rock formation rises straight from the sea. The viewpoint at Tungenesset has an architecturally designed footbridge down to the round, inviting rocks. Toilet/parking.
- Mefjordvær: Old fishing village with a lot of older buildings and stunning views from the lighthouse. Short detour from Senjahopen (2.5 miles/4 km), home to northern Norway's largest fish processor. Restaurant.
- Husøy: Compact, modern fishing village on its own little island, 0.3 miles (500 m) wide and 0.6 miles (1 km) long, with 243 inhabitants. Here on the edge of the ocean, some of the houses are tethered firmly against violent storms. Great view of the steep mountains all around Øyfjord. 7.5-mile (12 km) detour (15 minutes)
- Botnhamn: Ferry crossing to Brensholmen.
Brensholmen–Tromsø: 35 miles (56 km)/1 hour
The ocean coast, with its islands and reefs, sandy beaches and bare rocks, changes to narrow fjords nestled between high mountains. Then, you will encounter the mountain plain and an impressive array of alpine peaks before reaching Tromsø's outer residential areas and eventually the city across the Sandnessund Bridge.
- Brensholmen: The little church contains two 15th-century triptychs.
- Sommarøy (small detour): Modern fishing village with compact architecture and breathtaking views. Låvhaugen is a small local museum in an old house, while "Kaillkråa" is a haven inside the shop, where the men can drink coffee while their wives shop. Restaurant.
- Ersfjordbotn (small detour): View along the majestic mountain range with 3000 foot (1000 metre) high mountains out to the ocean.
There is a ferry from Gryllefjord in the summer to Andenes. From there you can drive south to Lofoten.
- Gryllefjord–Botnhamn: 53 miles (85 km)/1.5 hours
- Gryllefjord–Botnhamn–Tromsø: 88 miles (141 km)/2.5 hours + ferry trip
- Finnsnes–Gryllefjord: 42 miles (68 km)/1 hour
- Svolvær–Andenes–Gryllefjord: 131 miles (211 km)/3.5 hours including the ferry from Fiskebøl to Melbu + around 2-hour ferry crossing from Andenes to Gryllefjord
- The Andenes – Gryllefjord ferry runs two or three times a day in summer, 2 hours
- The Botnhamn-Brensholmen ferry runs four to five times a day in summer, 40 minutes
Accommodation: Deep-sea fishing ports, boathouses, houses for rent, campsites and a couple of hotels are along the route. Always call ahead: May be full in the summer, and may be closed in winter.
Places to eat: Beverages, snacks and plain, good hot meals served in several places along the route on Senja, while Hamn, Mefjord and Sommarøy offer more advanced cuisine.
- Hiking: Small peaks and majestic mountains, all with great views, are ideal for day trips. It takes 4 days to cross Senja along a well-marked trail. Designated route map and hiking brochure available.
- Deep-sea fishing: Several ports along the route have boats with fishing gear and sonar for rent.
- Kayak: Great kayaking conditions and rental from both Bergsfjorden on Senja and around Sommarøy.
- Off piste: Off-piste skiing is best in late winter, when the days are long and the snow is over 3 feet deep. The entire western coast of Senja and the central mountain ranges of Kvaløya are great.
Cycling: As the traffic is moderate, the entire route is great for cycling. On the seaward side of Senja, you must pass through several tunnels, but there are warning lights that the cyclist can activate at the entrance to the tunnel so that motorists see when there are cyclists there.