Hiking on the island of Senja in Norway
Between the Lofoten and Tromsø lies Norway’s third-largest island: Senja. It is a fairly unknown part of Norway. Unjustly so! Just a few people know that it is one of the most beautiful hiking destinations in the world. Senja has deep fjords, a whole lot of jagged mountains and beautiful beaches with tropical blue water. You can see all this by driving the approximately 100-kilometre-long ‘National Tourist Route Senja’. This road leads past the most beautiful viewpoints and small fishing villages. But you can only get the real Senja feeling by climbing one of the mountain peaks, such as Segla, Hesten or Sukkertoppen. We were on Senja in late October, so there was already a lot of snow on the mountains. Beacause of all the snow we didn’t have a lot of hikes to choose from, but we still managed to climb two mountains – Hesten (with a view of Segla) and Barden.
The hiking trail to Hesten starts in Fjordgard, where you can park your car. The route to Hesten is just a little shorter and less steep than the Segla hike. You walk up via a path strewn with rocks. The difference in altitude is 520 metres and it takes about three hours in total (3.7 kilometres). The hike starts near the point where the walk to the Segla also begins. You don’t have to walk all the way to the top to get great views. Even if you only get halfway, the route will be very rewarding.
Barden is one of the most accessible peaks on the northern side of Senja. The summit is 659 metres above sea level. From the summit, you have spectacular views of two nearby fjords – Mefjord and Øyfjord – as well as Segla and Breidtinden. If you are (like us) not very experienced hikers, you can still do this hike. Even if you only get halfway (at about 300 metres altitude), the hike is absolutely worthwhile. The first part of the hike can be quite wet and soggy, so waterproof shoes are essential, and hiking poles are highly recommended.
The starting point of the trail is near the turnoff to Fjordgard from route 862. There is a car park just before the tunnel. Parking is free.