Traveling the 1,092 miles (1,758 km) from Norway's southwestern fjord city of Bergen to the country's second-largest island of Senja can be done in a few different ways. For visitors with less time, flying may be the best option, while a multi-day cruise or a road trip for travelers planning a longer stay will allow flexibility to explore more of everything the country has to offer. Senja is a haven for northern lights and whale watching opportunities, with rugged beauty and less well-known than the nearby Lofoten Islands.
Senja is an ideal spot for outdoor and adventure enthusiasts. Northern lights are abundant in the winter months, and the potential for wildlife spotting is likely. You may see moose, eagles, seals, and even reindeer. Hiking is popular during the summer season within Ånderdalen National Park and the iconic peak of Segla. Hit the water in a kayak to make the most of the extended daylight of the midnight sun.
Duration: 4-5 hours
Travelers who choose to fly from Bergen will arrive in Tromsø in about two hours with a non-stop flight. From there, it's possible to rent a car or arrange for a private transfer to the island, a two and a half hour drive from Tromsø.
Drivers will embark on E8 to Nordkjosbotn and then veer onto E6 to Moen where you'll get on Fv855 to Finnsnes. From there, take Fv861 onto the island of Senja. During the summer months, a car ferry runs from Tromsø, adding another option for traveling to Senja via Andenes–Gryllefjord and Brensholmen–Botnhamn routes.
For more details on getting from Tromsø to Senja, check out this article.
In the winter season, snowshoeing and husky sledding are popular activities. Summer is ideal for wildlife safaris, hiking to epic peaks, and deep-sea fishing in Mikkelbostad, on the island of Dyrøya; a village that was established during the Stone Ages.
Duration: 2-3 days
Driving directly from Bergen to Senja would take approximately twenty-six hours, however, it's wise to allow for plenty of extra time to stop and explore, as well as rest along the way. This route covers much of the western fjord region, with ample opportunities for hiking, taking in the gorgeous scenery, and diving into the country's culture.
Travelers will start their journey from Bergen by taking E39 north to the Oppedal-Lavik ferry (35 minutes) before continuing on E39 until Fv60 in Byrkjelo. It's possible to explore the nearby Jostedalsbreen National Park, home to the largest glacier in mainland Europe. Continue on E39 until Stryn, where you'll veer onto Rv15. If you have extra time, a short detour (about two hours) to Geiranger is possible and worth the trip.
From Rv15, drivers will take E6 at the town of Sel, north for approximately three hours until reaching Trondheim, a city known for its history and culture. From there, you'll take E6 for another 14-15 hours, passing by Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella National Park, a stunning region for hiking and outdoor exploits. Making your way north, you'll drive through the gorgeous landscape dotted with small villages. Near Røssvoll you can see the Svartisen glacier too.
Once you reach Bognes, you'll have to take a 40-minute ferry ride to Skarberget, which will then have you approximately three and a half hours from Senja. To reach the island, you'll take E6 until Bardufoss, veering onto Fv86 and then Fv861.
Duration: 3 days
This option might be the more expensive method, however, it allows travelers to experience the unique perspective of viewing Norway's epic fjord landscape from the water. The well-known Hurtigruten Cruise line departs Bergen and makes its way north towards Tromsø, stopping at various interesting village ports along the way. Travelers going to Senja will get off the boat at Tromsø, and can either rent a car or arrange for a private transfer for the remaining two and a half hour journey to Senja.