There are 18 stretches of road in Norway so beautiful they have been designated as National Scenic Routes. One of them is the outer Senja Island from Gryllefjord to Botnhamn. The route is 102 km long, Make sure to make the detours to Mefjordvær and Husøy. This post will cover the scenic stops you don’t want to miss along the National Scenic Route, but also some insider tips for stops worth a visit on lesser visited inner Senja Island.
Just north of Gryllefjord you’ll find Hamn, a cozy small island where you can stop for lunch and a nice walk. Hamn is surrounded by many small islands and kayak rental is possible from Hamn.
There is a short hike nearby called ´Utsikten´ giving you an excellent overview of Hamn and surrounding islands. A great spot to catch the sunset.
Viewpoint of Bergsbotn
Next stop after leaving Hamn is the beautiful viewpoint that has been built on the road down to Bergsbotn. It is a must to stop here and grab a photo of one of the idyllic fjords of outer Senja.
Skaland and Husfjellet
Continuing north past Bergsbotn you will reach Skaland, which is known to be the starting point for hiking Husfjellet. From Husfjellet you will have spectacular 360 degrees views, it is well worth the hike. Read more about the hike in my previous blog post ´Best hikes on Senja Island´.
For extraordinary photos, hike up to catch the sunset and capture the red glow on the mountain tops as the sun sinks below the horizon.
Tungeneset and the Devils Teeth is likely the most photographed spot on Senja, not without reason. A beautiful location both during daytime and sunset, however those extraordinary photos you´ll catch during sunset.
Try to find a day with limited wind and you can make some great reflections in the many water pots.
Ersfjordstranda is a natural stop to get some fresh air and maybe enjoy your lunch. Many chooses to spend the night here either in a tent or in a camper. Ersfjordstranda also features the famous golden toilet ´Gulldassen´, which was debated quite heavily in local media due to its high cost (almost 4 MNOK).
A quick detour and you are in Mefjordvær, another small cozy fishing village. A short hike starts just past the molo (maybe 2-300 meters up a small hill) and gives you a lovely overview of the fishing village and the impressive mountain range behind it. The view includes one of the most popular mountains on Senja, the majestic Segla, which we will cover in the next section.
In case weather is bad you´ll find a modern designed shelter with a nice ocean view at the starting point of the hike.
Fjordgård and Segla
Another detour from route 862 is towards Fjordgård, know to be the starting point for maybe the most popular hike on Senja – hiking Hesten to get an excellent view of Segla and Mefjorden. I have written more about the hike to Hesten and Segla in my previous blog post ´Best hikes on Senja Island´.
Last stop on the National Scenic Route before you reach Botnhamn is Husøy. It is a small island, still an active fishing community and about 300 individuals have decided to make the island their home.
This rounds up the National Scenic Route on Senja. However, if you want to explore some of the sites on inner Senja Island keep reading the next section.
Read more about the National Scenic Route on their official homepage: https://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes/senja
Skrolsvik is a small village located all the way south-west on inner Senja Island. You will find a small, scenic harbour here where you can stay overnight with your camper. Electricity available for a small fee. The harbour hosts a small museum called Kveitmuseet and cafe named Gammelbutikken where you can get coffee and waffles during summer.
Rødsand is another small fishing village and is a detour from the main road. We did not find a lot of action in Rødsand, but the harbour is gorgeous with the surrounding mountains.
Lekangsund and Kvinnekaia
In Lekangsund you will find Kvinnekaia, known as the most romantic spot on Senja. A perfect historical place to stop for lunch, but make sure to bring your own sandwich as there are no shops on this ´off the beaten path´ location. It was built in the 1950´s when the local women mobilised, gathered money and hired 20 men to set it up. It was officially opened in 1957 with arrival of local ship “Dyrøy” celebrating the new connection to mainland.
Driving through Grunnfarnes as far as the road goes you will reach Kveitholla, where the locals have made a nice seating area and fire place. The area is used for drying fish heads during the winter. There are lots of racks for hanging fish heads and is makes a great spot for photos. Views are beautiful at this location. There is a small hiking trail continuing past Kveitholla for those feeling adventurous.
Going past some scenic landscape on the way to Grunnfarnes.
Hope you enjoyed this tour around Senja Island. Have you visited yet? What was your favourite spot?