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Discovering the island of Senja

Discovering the island of Senja

Anne-Laure Murier - Rodolphe Ragu - 2012-06-14

Senja is Norway’s second biggest island. Located above the Arctic Circle, its various landscapes are so like those of the mainland that it is often described as a ‘Norway in miniature’. Ready for a ramble in the heart of an extraordinary island?

Of trolls and devils
Many paths criss-cross Senja, but only one encircles the entire island. It takes a full four days to walk the uneven and physically challenging terrain from beginning to end. Truly grandiose scenery awaits hardy ramblers as they march on through the beeches and pines. The path is best known for two famous sites, the Senja Troll and the Devil’s Teeth, both among Northern Norway’s main attractions. And no wonder: at 17.96 metres high, the Senja troll is the world’s largest, as duly noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. Its weight, 125 tons, is equally impressive. Since its creation in the early 1990s, the troll has drawn tens of thousands of tourists.  Visitors crowd inside the monument’s museum where the story of this mythical being is told through a series of presentations. But if height is a decisive factor, the Senja troll pales in comparison to the celebrated Devil’s Teeth, magnificent rocky crags rising along the sea. Where does the nickname come from? From their shape, simply, suggestive of enormous canine teeth.
An endless day on the island of Senja
Direct contact with nature is the focus of many of the activities available on Senja. From late May to late July, the light takes on a golden hue at night, but the sun doesn’t really set at these latitudes and it’s never completely dark out. This is the perfect time to adventure out in a canoe; on Senja, outdoor sports are very popular, though open-air saunas and jacuzzis - in an old boat hull, for example – are tempting as well. In any case, nature is spectacular here. From boardwalks leading to the beaches to headlands suspended in the air, Senja is like its extraordinary troll: mysterious and majestic.
Located in an old fishing harbour, the cosy Hamn i Senja hotel is the perfect base for marine activities.
Website listing Norway’s 18 national tourist routes, including that of Senja:
Northern Norway Tourist Board: www.visitnorthernnorway.com

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