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9 Best Senja Hikes, Norway

Senja, Norway is Norway’s second biggest island and it’s full of incredible, dramatic mountains, white-sand beaches, and stunning views.

One of the best things to do in Senja is to go on a Senja hike while you’re visiting so you can truly appreciate the views.

There are so many Senja hikes to pick from that knowing which one to do can be difficult. That’s why I’ve rounded up 9 of the best Senja hikes!

We visited Senja as part of our honeymoon after getting married in Tromsø up a mountain (Smorstabben!) and on Grøtfjord Beach. Senja blew us away with the beautiful views it has on every turn and some of the best were found on these incredible Senja hiking trails.

These 9 Senja hikes range from say to difficult but they all have one thing in common: they have stunning views!

AllTrails is my go-to hiking app for finding, planning, and navigating while I’m out on the trails. With offline maps on AllTrails+ you can be confident you’re still on the right track, even without mobile signal.

What to know before doing these Senja best hikes

Senja hikes are renowned for their steep mountain peaks. Just because a hike is short, doesn’t mean it’s easy – chances are it’s got some steep elevation gain in there too!

Trails on Senja hikes can often be muddy or icy and are very narrow with sharp drop-offs in places.

If visibility or weather is poor reassess and plan another thing to do in Senja that day. It’s not worth the risk if it’s super windy, has poor visibility, or is too icy.

In addition, you should pay close attention to the following.

  • Always practice leave no trace ethics. Not sure what those are? Get a refresher here.
  • Remember to respect the terrain, environment, and other users while you are enjoying the trails.
  • Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials.
  • Stik to the trails. Don’t try and avoid mud, walking on the grass next to the mud only makes that grassy patch muddy too in the long run.
  • Don’t leave home without your 10 essentials. They could save your life!
  • Daylight variability: If you’re hiking in summer, remember that Senja experiences the Midnight Sun, which means continuous daylight. Conversely, in winter, daylight hours are minimal. Plan hikes accordingly.
  • Senja weather: Even in the summer, temperatures can dip, especially at higher altitudes. Always check forecasts and prepare for the cold.
senja norway

Right to roam in Norway: Norway has the right to roam which means you can trek and camp in open country (anything not fenced or marked as private). This means you can hike and tent anywhere you like as long as you camp at least 150m away from the closest inhabited house or cabin and stay for no longer than two days. If you see a sign saying private or no camping then you cannot stay there.

9 best Senja Hikes

Below is my pick of the 10 best Senja hiking trips with some details on what to expect and a link to an AllTrails trail map!

senja hikes Husfjellet

1. Husfjellet

Husfjellet is near the village of Skaland and this moderate-difficult hike offers fantastic views. You can see Ersfjorden, Okshornan, and more mountains as well as the ocean in front of you.

As Senja hikes go, this one is fairly accessible without a lot of exposure and so is a good hike to do with kids on Senja – if they’re used to hiking!

You’ll hike up through some forest, to begin with, and come out of the tree line at about 327 m elevation gain. At this point, you’ll also reach the peak of Sommardalhaugen.

From here, there’s a clear path to Husfjellet over some boggy land before the final ascent.

The trail is quite rocky in this part so take care as you navigate over them.

  • Elevation Gain: 636m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance: 7.6 km
  • Trail map.
segla senja hike

2. Segla Senja Hike

Segla is the most famous peak on Senja and this Senja hike can get very busy in the summer.

It’s a tricky hike not to be underestimated just because you saw it on social media!

The trailhead starts in Fjordgård and is steep the majority of the way. It’s also quite rocky and you may need to use your hands to navigate over some of the steeper rocky sections.

At the top it can feel quite exposed, do not push yourself out of your comfort zone as a fall here would be a big risk.

However, once you have made it to the top you’re rewarded with some of the best views on Senja!

  • Elevation Gain: 500 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance: 3.7 km
  • Trail map.
hesten mountain hike senja

3. Hesten Hike Senja

Arguably even better than Segla, Senja is Hesten. Another super popular hike and right next door to Segla, the Hesten hike on Senja has views of Segla which is what makes it so impressive.

As with the Segla hike, Hesten is steep and rocky and not to be underestimated. Take your time and turn around if you feel unsafe!

  • Elevation Gain: 461 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance: 3.9 km
  • Trail map.
Grytetippen senja norway

4. Grytetippen

Grytetippen is even more challenging than both Husfjellet and the Segla/Hesten Senja hikes. However, if you’re an experienced hiker looking for something special then this is the Senja hike for you! The views are impressive and this hike is usually a lot less busy than Segla and Hesten.

Grytetippen is steep pretty much the entire way and you’ll gain around 820 metres along the way in elevation.

The last section is steep with a bit of a scramble where you’ll have to climb over some rocks. At the top, you get great views of Fjordgård, Ørnfjorden and the village of Husøy.

If you’ve still got the energy you can also continue on to Keipen which is equally as rewarding!

  • Elevation Gain: 1000 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Trail map.
riven senja hiking rail

5. Riven Senja

The Riven trail has some steep sections but is easier than the Senja/Hesten hike and others on this list of the best Senja hiking trails.

After an initial steep section, it flattens out slightly, and then when you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with views of Kjølva, Øyfjord, and Husøy.

  • Elevation Gain: 283 m
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
  • Distance: 4.8 km
  • Trail map.
Sukkertoppen senja troms

6. Sukkertoppen Senja

Sukkertoppen is one of the best hikes in Senja!

You can park near Hamn i Senja and then follow the signposts towards Sukkertoppen. It’s a well-marked path with both green and blue markers on the rocks and trees.

You get a good view part of the way up by turning off towards Utsikten after roughly 1km of hiking. However, if you continue the views get even better!

From this turn-off, you’ll head through a small forested area before coming out at some rocky areas. You’ll also pass a nice lake which makes a great lunch or snack spot!

The terrain remains rocky for the rest of your trip and can be muddy if you’re hiking after a period of rain.

The final part up to the summit is quite steep and zig zags up the mountainside. There’s a chain in place to aid you on your way up and down the steepest part.

  • Elevation Gain: 309 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 4.2 km
  • Trail map.
medfjordvaer norway hiking
Senja norway things to do
the warming hut at Medfjordvaer

7. Mefjordvaer Viewpoint

The Mefjordvaer Viewpoint is a great loop hike that has ocean and mountain views the entire way. I think it’s one of the best hikes on Senja!

You’ll also get to look down on the small village of Mefjordvaer once you reach the summit and enjoy the views from the warming hut on the way or way back down, depending on which way you hike this Senja hiking trail.

It’s generally a well-marked trail but there are some steep sections on the eastern side where the path is very narrow and has some exposure. There are chains to help you navigate these sections.

  • Elevation Gain: 80 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Trail map.
barden senja hike

8. Barden hike Senja

This is a popular hike in Senja as it has great views and isn’t too difficult (but still expect a decent amount of elevation!).

From the summit, you can see Mefjordjorden and Øyfjordfjorden as well as the mountains Segla and Breidtinden.

The Barden Senja hike is often muddy so pack appropriate shoes or boots.

  • Elevation Gain: 692 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 7.1 km
  • Trail map.
hiking Senja norway things to do
Pine forests at Ånderdalen National Park, Senja

9. Fra Storjorda (Naustneset) til Ånderdalen

This 6.1-km point-to-point trail is a popular trail for backpacking in Ånderdalen National Park in Senja.

Along the way, you’ll hike past Lake Åndervatnet and enjoy beautiful, mostly flat, forest terrain.

If it’s been rainy this hike can get very muddy and so you may want to wait for drier weather to experience it (or prepare to get muddy!).

After hiking through the forest, the trail opens up as you pass through moorland and you get lovely views.

  • Elevation Gain: 182 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 12. km return
  • Trail map
segla senja

What to pack for hiking on Sejna

For the best hiking in Senja Norway, you need to be prepared for the elements and the trail. Below is a basic packing guide for these Senja trekking routes.

Appropriate Clothing

  • Layered Outfits: Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin, followed by an insulating layer (like fleece), and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
  • Waterproof Boots: Given the unpredictable weather, waterproof hiking boots are a good idea. Consider ones with insulation for extra warmth.
  • Hat, Gloves, and Scarf: A warm beanie or hat, waterproof gloves, and a neck gaiter or scarf can provide much-needed warmth.

Navigation and Communication Tools

  • Map and Compass: Even if you rely on tech, always have a physical map and compass as a backup.
  • Fully Charged Phone with Power Bank: Ensure you have emergency numbers. Also, consider a satellite phone or GPS device if you’re venturing off the beaten path.
  • Garmin InReach Mini: To reach help even without cell signal

Safety and First Aid

  • First Aid Kit: Should contain bandages, antiseptic wipes, blister treatment, pain relievers, and any personal medications.

Food and Water

  • Insulated Water Bottle: Keeps water from freezing in colder conditions.
  • Energy-rich foods: Think protein bars, nuts, dried fruits, and jerky. They’re lightweight but can offer the energy boost you might need.

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen: Even in winter, the reflection off the snow can be strong.
  • Headlamp with Extra Batteries: Given the long hours of darkness in Northern Norway, especially in winter.
  • Hiking Poles: Helpful for stability, especially on icy or uneven terrains.

Remember, the weather in Northern Norway can be unpredictable, especially in places like Senja in the Arctic Circle.

Senja norway things to do

Best time to visit Senja Norway?

The best time to go hiking on Senja is in July, August, and September. his is when the snow is gone, the daylight is long (midnight sun!) and temperatures aren’t too hot nor too cloudy.

However, this is also the time when Senja is at its busiest with hotels charging more per night and more people on the trails.

Depending on the year, you can also hike many of these in October and November if the snow hasn’t fallen and the weather has been dry.

Similarly, you may find the hikes are snow-free in May which is perfect as that’s when you get midnight sun so you have plenty of time to explore!

Always be prepared for unpredictable weather and plenty of mud; you’re in the Arctic mountains after all!

During winter in Senja, you can still enjoy the trails by snowshoeing or skiing! Just make sure you have avalanche gear and the knowledge on how to use it as the Senja trails can be dangerous in winter.

hamn i senja hotel
Hamn i Senja

Where to stay in Senja

When we were looking for Senja Norway accommodation in November, there weren’t a lot of options. This is most likely because it was the off-season and a lot of hotels in Senja were taking some time off.

If you’re visiting in winter there are still some great options and, if you’re visiting Senja in summer then you can also enjoy some Senja camping!

Camping in Senja Norway

Want to camp in Senja? Good news!

Norway lets you camp almost anywhere (with some rules). And, there are campgrounds in Senja with things like water and toilets. Some even have showers or power.

It’s hard to find these campsites online, but you’ll see them as you travel. Most need cash or a local payment app (Vipps).

Right to roam in Norway: Norway has the right to roam which means you can trek and camp in open country (anything not fenced or marked as private). This means you can hike and tent anywhere you like as long as you camp at least 150m away from the closest inhabited house or cabin and stay for no longer than two days. If you see a sign saying private or no camping then you cannot stay there.

Senja hotels

Senja is so beautiful that pretty much any hotel you book will have incredible views outside the window. Here are some of the best hotels in Senja, Norway for your stay.

Skagi Senja: This is where we stayed during our trip to Senja. The rooms were small but plenty big enough for the night with a private bathroom and budget-friendly. Breakfast is included and it was delicious!

Mefjord Brygge: Mefjord Brygge is surrounded by mountains in the picturesque fishing village of Mefjordvær on Senja Island. It offers boat rental and fjord safaris as well as a sauna and hot tub.

Hamn Senja, Norway: Hamn i Senja, Norway is perhaps the best-known hotel in Senja. It’s in a beautiful location right on the water. You can stay in a one-bedroom or get a 3-bedroom apartment at Hamn in Senja.

Aurora Borealis Observatory Senja: If you want to see the Senja Norway Northern Lights then booking a stay at the Senja aurora borealis observatory is a good place to start. The hotel is in a dark location and the staff all really understand the phenomenon of the northern lights in Senja!

Senja Airbnb

Next Stop: Horizon: This Airbnb is right on the cliff with the most incredible views of the ocean. It looks super cosy and on a clear night, you’ll be able to see the Northern Lights from the window!

Cabin by the Devil’s Teeth: Sleep to the sound of the sea, and wake up to the dramatic beauty that Senja has to offer.

Final thoughts on hiking Senja Norway

This guide to the best hikes Senja has to offer has included some of the classic hikes Senja is known for such as the Segla and Heston hiking trails as well as some less well-known routes for hiking in Senja.

One of my favorite Senja hiking routes was actually the Mefjordvaer Viewpoint since it was a great option for Senja easy hikes and had a cool hut at the end as well as impressive views along the way.

If you’re looking for more Northern Norway hiking guides, be sure to check out this guide to Reinebringen in Lofoten Islands, or the Kvalvika beach hike in Lofoten as well as my pick of all the best hiking trails in Lofoten. I’ve also got a guide to the best hikes in Tromso and this guide to the Ornfloya hike on Sommaroy too.

Last Updated on September 15, 2023 by Hannah

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