Local Lives: Norway’s Senja Island

from £2294
including flights
6 nights Aug-Oct

Overview

Combine the breathtaking scenery of Senja with fascinating insights into nature and culture from the island’s locals. Part of the exciting new portfolio of ‘Local Lives’ holidays unique to Discover the World, this guided, small-group tour (for just eight guests) immerses you in the lives of compelling island characters who are passionate about sharing their love of everything from coastal foraging and sea fishing to Viking history, traditional crafts and Sami culture.

Exploring the wild, mountainous island of Senja off the northern coast of Norway, you will gain a deep and meaningful insight into this little-visited Arctic beauty that’s simply not possible on a ‘normal’ holiday. Your local hosts and guides all have in-depth knowledge of the island, its traditions and history. They are not only keen to introduce you to their way of life, but also to show you Senja’s hidden gems – from autumn-blushed birch forests in Ånderdalen National Park to remote coves and Viking remains.

Highlights

  • Experience Norway’s stunning Senja Island
  • Travel in a small group with a friendly local guide
  • Stay on the beautiful Island of Tranøya with nature, history and traditional food
  • Learn about wild foraging both in the forest and ocean
  • Explore the ancient Ånderdalen National Park
  • Hike with huskies to high peak viewing point
  • Learn about the northern lights – and hopefully see them!
  • Enjoy a traditional sauna and ocean bathe
  • NO single supplement, but single places are limited

What's Included

  • Return flight from London Heathrow to Tromsø
  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathrooms at Senja Fjord Hotel
  • Accommodation in rooms with shared facilities at the Old Vicarage Farm
  • Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 7
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Services of a driver/guide or a local host as per itinerary
  • Airport transfers
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Full description

Tranøya Island

In just 10-15 minutes your transfer boat will reach the beautiful Island of Tranøya where you are greeted with a feeling of calm and relaxed atmosphere. A short walk from the harbour brings you to the gate of the Old Vicarage Farm with a view of the whitewashed church and red farm buildings. The road leads you between a meadow and a field to the main building where you will be welcomed by your hosts Sissel and Wenche.

On this fertile island you find an abundance of flora and fauna, including birds such as geese, cranes and grouse. Sheep are grazing the fields and in the autumn the nature provides plenty of berries and mushrooms for foraging.

There has been a church on the island for more than 800 years and the current one dates back to 1775. There are Viking age graves and boathouse remains which your hosts are keen to show you as well as talk about the history and modern day life on the island.

Ånderdalen National Park

The Ånderdalen National Park is virtually an untouched natural 135 km² area with original pine forest, trees up to 600-year-old, birch woodlands and mountain and fjord landscape. In the western part of the national park you find high peaks and knife-edge ridges with steep mountainsides and in contrast, the central part has mellower formations and generally flatter landscapes and gentle forested hillsides. In the heart of the national park is the Åndervatn Lake where most hiking trails lead to. The trails are a mixture of tracks and wooden boardwalks and they are mainly flat and enjoyable to walk on.

Discover more about our Local Lives Portfolio or read more about the hosts you will meet.

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Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates

Departure Duration Price Status of Tour
Aug-Oct 2020 6 nights £2,294 Available

NO single supplement, but single places are limited.

What's Included

  • Return flight from London Heathrow to Tromsø
  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathrooms at Senja Fjord Hotel
  • Accommodation in rooms with shared facilities at the Old Vicarage Farm
  • Full board from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Services of a driver/guide or a local host as per itinerary
  • Airport transfers
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Departures

10, 17, 24 & 31 August;  7, 14 & 21 September; 5 & 12 October 2020

Group size

This group tour will require a minimum of 4 participants in order to operate, and will have a maximum of 8.

Note: on occasion tours may operate with less than the minimum number of participants specified above (or exceed the maximum number indicated) – please refer to our booking conditions for more details

Private departures

Please contact us for a private departure on any date suitable for you. This itinerary can be tailor made to fit your requirements and group size.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Fly to Tromsø and transfer to Senja Island with a Sami Experience

Located between Tromsø and the Lofoten islands, high above the Arctic Circle, Senja is Norway’s second largest island – a little over 1,500 square kilometres in area. After flying from the UK to Tromsø, you will be met by your guide Hege and transferred to Senja for two nights at the Senja Fjord Hotel. Along the way we make a stop at the Sami Camp and meet Issat Siri, a local Sami who will introduce you to some of his reindeer. You can feed the reindeer their favourite food, lichen, then join Issat in the teepee and relax by the open fire. Issat will introduce you to some of the traditional Sami food, as well as talk about the history and life as a reindeer herding Sami. We then continue to the Senja Fjord Hotel for a welcome meeting and three-course dinner.

Day 2: Beach Hike and ocean harvesting

After breakfast (and a chance to make your own packed lunch for the day), you will be transferred to a nearby beach for a hike and some ocean harvesting with your guide, Hege. Enjoy your picnic lunch on the beach before returning to Senja Fjord Hotel for a sauna and ocean bathing. After dinner, there will be a short presentation and talk on the aurora borealis followed by a northern lights walk where, with the right conditions, you may be lucky enough to witness this incredible natural phenomenon.

Day 3: Tranøya Island and the Old Vicarage Farm

Following breakfast, you be transferred to Revsnes where a boat will be waiting to take you on the 10 to 15-minute crossing to the tiny neighbouring island of Tranøya. A short walk from the harbour brings you to Old Vicarage Farm. Sympathetically renovated in keeping with traditional styles, this lovely old property is surrounded by meadows and fields and has a view of a whitewashed church dating back to 1775. You will be welcomed by hosts Sissel and Wenche who will take you on a guided walk of the island, visiting Viking Age graves and boathouse remains and revealing secrets of Tranøya’s more recent history – as well as insights into modern-day life. The island is also rich in birdlife and you may spot cranes, geese and grouse. Sheep graze the fields, while autumn sees a profusion of berries and mushrooms. Enjoy lunch back at the Old Vicarage, then in the afternoon forage for wild delicacies in the local forest and learn how to prepare a natural feast in a cookery class with your hosts. After dinner, your hosts will take you on a guided northern lights walk along the coast.

Day 4: Tranøya Island and traditional fishing

Today there is an opportunity for you to try your hand at some of the local islander’s skills in fishing and working with wool and felt. The group will be split into two with half the group doing one activity in the morning, then swapping in the afternoon. You will have an opportunity to learn traditional sea fishing skills with a good chance of catching cod, haddock, herring, halibut to mention a few. Your chef will demonstrate the art of gutting and preparing the fish. At the wool and felt workshop, you’ll learn about the old tradition of working with these natural materials. Later, there’s time to relax or walk around the island before dinner – after which there will be another chance to spot the northern lights on a walk along the coast.

Day 5: Hiking in Ånderdalen National Park

After breakfast (and making your own packed lunch for the day), a short boat transfer will take you back to Revsnes on Senja Island. You will then continue to Ånderdalen National Park for a hike and forest bathing with your guide Hege.

Covering 135 square kilometres of mountain and fjord, this swathe of original pine forest (with some trees up to 600 year old), birch woodland, lakes and tundra is perfect walking country. In the western part of the national park you find high peaks and knife-edge ridges with steep mountainsides, while the central part has more gentle forested hillsides. In the heart of the national park is Åndervatn Lake where most hiking routes lead to. Trails are a mixture of tracks and wooden boardwalks that are mainly flat and easy to walk on. Enjoy your outdoor picnic lunch before heading back. There’s time to rest and have a snack and hot drink in a heated boathouse with views over the sea before returning to Senja Fjord Hotel. Time to relax before dinner. Another evening walk along the spectacular coastline could, with luck, be rewarded with a sighting of the northern lights.

Day 6: High Peak Hike with the huskies

Breakfast and make your own packed lunch for the day. Today’s high peak hike with the huskies will be both fun and made easier with the assistance of your strong companion. Once at the peak take time for your picnic lunch and to enjoy the breathtaking and dramatic views of the surrounding mountains and sea. There are several high peaks on Senja, and today's hike will be chosen by your guide, depending on the weather conditions. Back at Senja Fjord Hotel there will be time to relax in the sauna and take a refreshing and invigorating ocean bathe before a farewell dinner.

Day 7: Depart Norway

Breakfast and transfer to Tromsø Airport for your flight back to the UK.

Notes

Extend your stay and visit the beautiful capital city of Oslo or the Arctic city of Tromsø in the north. It is possible to combine this trip with an independent tour to the Norwegian Fjords, Lofoten Islands or take the scenic arctic train journey to Sweden and visit the famous Icehotel. Our Nordic Travel Specialists will be able to help you to create your perfect itinerary.

Senja Fjord Hotel, Senja

Northern Norway

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Beautifully located in a small village on the south coast of the Island of Senja, close to the Anderdalen National Park and other excellent hiking areas.

Discover More

Tranoya, Senja

Northern Norway

Grade: Simple

Type: Guesthouse

This stunning island retreat is a hidden gem of the Island of Senja

Discover More
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