Holy smokes am I excited for you to experience Senja, Norway through these landscape photos. Northern Norway has been on my bucket list for a long time now. This trip started out with me wanting to go to the Lofoten Islands, but I waited a bit too long to finalize my plans, and by the time I didn’t, it wasn’t realistic for me to make it to Lofoten this time. But, I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and this trip absolutely did.
I’m not entirely sure how I even stumbled upon Senja. I think I was planning out my drive to Lofoten from Tromso (which ended up not happening) and Senja quickly came into the scene. I kept reading over and over how magical of an island it is, and how it rivaled the Lofoten Islands without the tourist - sounds right up my alley! I decided to spend my time there, before I headed back into Tromso for an elopement style bridal session on the last day of my trip, meaning I had four days to explore. As my home base, I stayed at the CUTEST airbnb in Skaland, which I highly recommend. The owners have just flipped the home and it’s everything hygge, comfy, cozy, nordic that you’d expect a little home in Norway to be.
My main focuses for this trip were hiking and landscape photography, two things that Senja is best for! However, after a completely beautiful first two days, the last few days weren’t as pleasing, at least hiking wise, so I only got in one of the big hikes I was planning on. But, I still had an incredible time wandering around the island, exploring, and stopping every 3 minutes or so to pick my jaw up off the floor.
The first day I swung by Eide Handel - a specialty grocery store with lots of local beer, cheese, meats etc. and stocked up on some goodies, including some of the best smoked salmon of my life. Then I headed towards Sommaroy, an island just near ferry port that I needed to take to Senja. Sommaroy literally translates to summer island, and it is that. It is essentially the Caribbean, in the arctic ocean. Mind blowing. I snapped a few shots there and ate my lunch on the beach before heading to the ferry and making my way over to Senja.
Once I made it to Senja, I literally had tears in my eyes. Every corner I turned was an incredible new landscape, and I was in love. I definitely stopped about every 3 minutes at this point, as it took me 4 hours to get from the ferry port to my airbnb which is only a 30 minute drive. I was running around like a kid in a playground. EPIC! The great thing about being in the arctic circle in late May is that you have the midnight sun, meaning the sun doesn’t set at night, it just rests on the horizon, so you have light forever! As I’m writing this blog post on the flight home, I’m realizing that between Iceland and Norway, I’ve not seen a dark sky in over two weeks!
The next day, I left my airbnb and drove around the island a bit more. They call Senja “mini Norway” because it holds so many of the diverse landscapes that you’ll find throughout Norway on itself. I drove to a few different fishing villages, and admired the mountains jetting out of the water as I circled from fjord to fjord. Later in the day, I did the hike to Mt. Segla from the Heston side, which is one of the hikes Senja is known for, because Segla is CRAZY cool. As I was about three quarters of the way up the trail, it turned into a pretty steep, bouldery area, where you had to scramble on all fours through the boulders to get to the top. At the same time, a storm rolled in and I got caught in the rain. I decided not to go to the tippy top just out of caution that I wouldn’t be able to get back down the rocks if it kept raining. In fact when I was up there, I watched a helicopter rescue three climbers on Mt. Segla - and I wasn’t trying to be next. Eventually I made my way towards other view points and was absolutely stunned by the top. It was likely one of the most gorgeous views I’ve ever seen, and I couldn’t capture it fully in a photo, but I tried.
My third day was full of storms, “dangerously strong” winds, rain, and not very exciting clouds. It was also a holiday so anything that would’ve been opened was closed. I hung around most of the day, drove around a bit more, but really not having much luck hiking or landscape photography wise. Around 9pm, I was wrapping it up, but the storms seemed to be calming down a bit too, and I decided to just drive at to one of the spots I’d headed to a few times the day before, to see if anything exciting was happening there. AND BOY WAS IT. Holy smokes I’m glad I went. I got some of my favorite shots there, with crashing waves in the foreground, jagged mountain peaks in the back and soft golden light shining through - I was in Heaven.
And that was a wrap! The last day was rain rain and more rain, so I decided to go into Tromso that afternoon instead of the next evening. I visited Tromso’s oldest brewery, and the northern most brewery in the world! My last day, I went out on a fishing tour in the morning and shot my adventure session that evening, which you’ll be seeing soon on here. Talk about more epic landscapes! But there were some people in them this time around ;)
I hope these photos give you the slightest taste of the magic that Senja holds. I’m hesitant to even share because I feel like I found a hidden gem. Incredible landscapes, next to none on the tourists charts - just a wild, wild land. I’ll be back.
Pretty epic, right? If you have questions about my trip to Senja, want to chat about having your adventure elopement in one of the most magical places in the world, or just want to chat photography, reach out through the button below!