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Armand & Johanna on Fylkesvei 86 in Svanelvdalen

After two days of cocooning in Harstad, we wake up early to catch the 8am ferry to Skrolsvik, our entry point to Senja island. On the other side, after only 5km of cycling, we come face to face with a herd of reindeers. We cycle slowly towards them but they spread suddenly as a man shouts at two curious reindeers in his garden. The road is easy and very beautiful, first along the south-eastern coast of Senja, then across the island in the afternoon along the Svanelvdalen valley. The landscape is quite different in this valley: long and straight roads surrounded by relatively lower hills. We stop frequently to take pictures and videos. We can already see the end of autumn in this part of Norway. We stop after 69km to sleep next to a pebble’s beach along the Svanelva river.

Reindeers on Fylkesvei 8600 nearby Skjærvik
Reindeers on Fylkesvei 8600 nearby Skjærvik

The next day we cycle 22 km to the start of the hike to Husfjellet mountain, in Skaland. On the way, we pass through our first tunnel with special lighting for cyclists: the cyclist pushes on a big red button and a panel on each side of the tunnel illuminates, warning cars there are cyclists ahead. There even seems to be a box with yellow jacket but it is sealed. Just after the tunnel, we reach Bergbotn point of view: a cantilevered structure giving the impression to overhang the void. The scenery has become much more dramatic than yesterday: fjords and steep cliffs.

Bergsbotn utsiktspunkt
Bergsbotn utsiktspunkt

At the start of the hike, we leave our bikes at the back of the church, where we can refill our bottles. We reach the summit after 1h30 of walking. The views are very nice: we are surrounded by fjords, the sea and mountains as far as the eye can see. That is even more amazing when you remember you are on an island. We eat our lunch up there before to start going down. Back at the village, we stop at the supermarket and enjoy a break with the free coffee provided.

We pass by another architectural point of view at Tungeneset, a nice boardwalk leading to the sea with a great view on Okshornan mountain. We then to reach the beach Ersfjordstranda a few kilometres where we plan to camp tonight.

Okshornan seen from Tungeneset
Okshornan seen from Tungeneset

It rains most of the night. In the morning, in addition to the rain, there is a thick fog and we cannot see the mountains surrounding the beach. We have to take our breakfast in the tent and pack there as many things as possible. We see a courageous couple swimming in the sea despite the cold weather. As the rain doesn’t seem to stop, we have to pack the tent under the rain to eventually leave around 10am. The weather is so bad and cold that we already stop 5km later at a Matkroken to buy fuel, and we decide to take a long lunch break there (3hours). We have been well inspired: at the end of our break, we see another bicycle tourer coming. We meet Marco, an Italian cyclist traveling in Europe as well (demo_mdm on Instagram). He also started his trip from Singapore in January, but had to stay in lockdown in Laos for four months.

The fog is persistent and the weather still bad when we get back on the bikes. We definitively abandoned the idea to hike today. Following Marco’s advice, we cycle 24 km to a fisherman shelter. The shelter is big with a wood fire and benches in the middle, and more than enough space to shelter the bikes and the tent. We cook on the fire and spend a great evening sheltered from the rain.

Wood fire at Storvika gapahuk
Wood fire at Storvika gapahuk

The next day, it is still raining but the fog is weaker. Around 10am, it stops raining and we decide to go for the hike. We arrive at 11:15am at Fjordgård to start the hike to Hesten. We hope to have a nice view on the mount Segla if the fog is clearing. The hike is quite easy but rather steep at the end. We are a bit disappointed at the summit as the Segla is not visible. Fortunately, after a few minutes the wind blows the fog away and we even have a light ray of sun on the summit. A spectacular view! Back at the village, we reward ourselves with a warm hot chocolate in a cosy café. On the way back, Armand wants to take a secondary road to avoid a tunnel. The road is blocked (for cars, we supposed) but we can easily pass with the bikes. We discover a few hundred meters later that the road is completely blocked by a scree of rocks due to a landslide. It is quite clear now why the road was closed. We have to carry our bikes on top of the rocks to pass. Fortunately, our bikes were quite light as we had left our bags at the fisherman’s shelter to spend a second night there.

Fjordgård & Segla
Fjordgård & Segla

It is with great pleasure that we come back to the shelter for another evening around the fire.

The alarm is set at 6:15am for the next day and we leave at 7am to catch the ferry to Vikran. We could have stayed half an hour longer on the ferry and reach Tromsø, but as it is our final bike destination, we didn’t want to reach it by boat. We are left with 45km before reaching Tromsø city centre under a radiant sun.

We celebrate our arrival in the city with a lunch at the restaurant with a local beer. In the evening we meet Karin, our warmshower host for the night. While she goes mountain biking, we cook dinner and enjoy a good warm shower. We spend a very good evening with her and she kindly accept to store our bikes while we go on a road trip to reach the North Cape!

Tromsøbrua & Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø
Tromsøbrua & Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø

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