Hamn in Senja is the perfect destination for you if you want outdoor adventures, northern lights and relaxation in a majestic and beautiful coastal landscape.
Winter is perhaps the best season for a visit to Senja. During winter the outside of the island is clad in white, the northern lights dance in the sky, the cod spawns in the sea and the tourists are few and far between. Although summer is no less impressive.
Hamn is a safe harbour on the open ocean
You can reward yourself with a few lovely days at Hamn safe harbour on the edge of the open ocean. Inside the calm waters of the harbour is the string of small islets connected by breakwaters, with the main building and boat houses on the inside and a mystical, steep rock face on the other. From the rocks you get a full view of Bergsfjorden’s 98 islands and an impressive line of peaks. Local Senjans don’t exaggerate when they describe their island as a miniture Norway.
Practical information on visiting Hamn in Senja
Hamn is located on the outer coastline of Senja island. Senja is located within the Troms-Finnmark county and is one of the most famous islands for its striking scenery. There is no airport on Senja, with the nearest airports being Tromsø to the north or Andenes to the south west.
Therefore to visit Hamn you will need a car, or to take the bus from Finnsnes or Gryllefjord, although this runs only twice a day. If arriving by Hurtigruten in Finnsnes with rental car, you can take route 86 westward straight to Hamn. Some choose to fly to Andenes and take the short ferry crossing to Gryllefjord which lies only a few kilometres south of Hamn. For time schedules and booking for both ferry and bus simply check out the Troms traffic travel planner. If you are travelling during the winter period, a Tromsø bus company now offer bus journeys from Tromsø and other cities and town’s across Troms stopping at Hamn.
Hamn is an isle for all the senses
Senses are piqued out here in winter. Go fishing among the islands and feel the ocean winds pull at you. Paddle in the snow-capped archipelago. Or feel the force of the tide as you float away in Straumen. A hike up the birch-covered hillside offers some tranquility in all shades of white. Islets, hillsides, colourful houses and northern lights above the peaks are captured by photography enthusiasts—advanced photographers with fancy equipment and newbies with smartphones alike. Many find that the cherry on top is lying back in the “hot smack”—a hot tub made from an old fishing boat—and feeling the hot water against your skin while the winter cold nibbles at the tip of your nose.
The aurora borealis is visible across the island
The aurora belt passes over Senja 100 kilometres up. On a clear night, you can watch the northern lights dance above the jagged peaks, reflected in Bergsfjorden. Some of the most beautiful photos of the northern lights have been taken here, precisely because of the unique landscape. The outer coast has the most clear nights, but when the snow storm line up one after the other, sometimes clear skies can be found on the inside of the island. When that happens, Hamn in Senja can arrange for a northern lights tour.
Fishing is a must do activity on Senja
You cannot return from a trip to Senja without having gone fishing. The sea is teeming with life in winter. The cod spawns off the coast of Senja, and fishing boats are in full swing. A couple of hours on a boat in calm waters between the islets of Bergsfjorden is often plenty of time to catch cod, saithe, halibut, wolffish and rose fish. For more adventurous anglers adventure on the open ocean awaits. Don’t miss this opportunity to land the big cod.
Hamn is located on one of the Norwegian scenic routes
One of Norway’s 18 scenic routes winds its way along the outside of Senja, in sharp hairpin bends up the side of the mountain. It hugs the coastline in and out of coves and continues through the many fishing villages. If you make a detour to Husøy, you get to experience a working fishing village, buzzing with activity during the winter fishery. The lovely beach at Bøvær beckons with a hike to Kråkeslottet out on the headland. The red little church in Torsken, dating back to 1785, is steeped in history, whereas the rest stops along the way have descriptive nicknames like Magasuget, or Stomach Flip, and Gulldassen, the Golden Loo. Hamn in Senja is happy to arrange sightseeing and tours along the way by car, or by boat along the coast. You can also bring your own car.
From mining to trade to a holiday resort, Hamn has been through a lot
The harbour has been in use since before memory. From 1872 to 1886 there were nickel mines nearby, employing more than 400 people. A whole community, including a school and a shop, sprang up here, until the mines were no longer profitable. Later, Hamn was a trading post and then became a holiday resort.
Hamn in Senja offers luxury in the wildnerness
Hamn in Senja offers traditional, yet modern accommodation. There is a cozy restaurant and cognac parlour and a lovely outdoor lounge. The apartments are spacious, modern and comfortable, with views of the harbour and the beautiful Sukkertoppen. The aurora rooms have spectacular views of the fjord, mountains and the northern lights. Both the rooms and the other facilities feature Nordic design qualities. By the water is Fyrlykta, an octagonal viewing lounge, where it’s easy to be spellbound by stormy weather or northern lights, or relax in one of the four outdoor hot tubs. One of these is the so-called hot smack, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a finer hot tub anywhere else.