There are two main ways to travel from the island of Senja to Andenes, a village on the island of Andøy, a popular destination for whale watching in Norway and part of the archipelago of Vesterålen. Self-driving the 251 miles (404 km) is a great way to explore other areas along the way. For those looking to make the trek via the water, ferry service is available from Gryllefjord, a fishing village on the western part of Senja to Andenes.
This 7-day summer road trip itinerary for the west coast highlights ideas for both Senja and Andenes including, kayaking, Senja's National Tourist Route exploring the villages on the island as well as hiking and biking near Andenes. The island of Andøy is unspoiled nature, with the route from Bjornskinn to Andenes offering abundant small beaches and beautiful views. Hiking Matinden will present one of the best viewpoints on the island.
Duration: 7-9 hours
Although driving directly would take approximately six hours, it's wise to allow for extra time to stop and take in the scenery or venture to villages or hikes along the way. There are two routes for drivers to choose from, one being twenty to thirty minutes faster. The first option will have you departing Senja via Fv861 before heading south on Fv86 and veering onto E6 in Bardufoss. Following E6, you'll take E10 in the town of Bjerkvik and cross the Tjeldsundbrua bridge, a sight to behold. Next, you'll take Rv85 and eventually take Fv82 approximately two more hours until you reach Andenes.
The second option will involve taking two ferries over the many islands in the area. Keeping close to the water, will give you a unique perspective of the archipelago. After taking E86 off the island of Senja, you'll veer onto E84 towards Sørrollnes, where you'll board a short one-hour ferry ride to Harstad. Then, take Fv83 where you'll drive to Refsnes and board your second ferry for a half-hour ride over to Flesnes. From there, you're about two hours from Andenes and will take Rv85 to Fv82 for the remainder of the journey. This route will have you passing by nearby Trondenes Church, just outside of Harstad.
Both routes will allow you to take a detour via bridge over to the adjacent island, Langøya, where you can experience serene beaches and hike the remote, untouched landscape like the Hallartinden route. Another notable stop on E85, is the reindeer farm and Sami culture experience near Maurnes, about a half hour after arriving off the ferry in Flesnes.
Duration: 2 hours
A car ferry runs from Gryllefjord to Andenes, making it easy to explore with a rental car once you cross to Andøy, making it possible to visit on a day trip. The ride takes about an hour and forty minutes. It's important to note that some ferry lines only run during the summer season.