Trip duration: 5-7 days / only in summer
If you rent your campervan in summer at our Tromsø rental station, you should read this tour description. We call it the "Golden Circle". You will see the popular Lofoten but also the less unknown island of Senja. You will visit Whale Safari Eldorado Andenes and the backland of Bardufoss.
After picking up the camper and filling up your fridge with supplies, you should drive towards the island Kvaløya. Before leaving "civilization" and also if you are interested into good food you might stop at the shop Eide Handel (Guide Link). For Norwegian standards this grocery store is offering great local and traditional products. For example smoked salmon, dried cod, special lamb meat or pastries. Eide Handel is also selling their own crafted beer and coffee. Give it a try.
After shoppingmania it is time to hit the road - carry on driving the 862 towards Sommarøy. It will take you through a great valley, an popular place for skiing in winter and a big hang out for reindeers when their is no snow. We also go here to see Northern Lights, since it is far away from the city lights of Tromsø.
If you are already sleepy or it is late in the day, we can recommend the Kattfjord wild camp spot (Guide Link). Direct on the Fjord with a fireplace and a bit off the main road. For us it is a good place when we want to escape Tromsø (city) life.
You continue driving down the 862 until you come to the junction Brenesholmen / Sommarøy. First of all, if you look down towards the water you will see the bay with its gentle hills. At this place people have been already settled 500 BC. A few moments before you come to the junction you will find also a parking where you can stay for the night. Since it is a very popular for caravans we did not list it on our guide.
Your next step should be catching the ferry from Brenesholmen to Bothamn (Guide Link). If you have still some time before the ferry departs make a small excursion to Sommarøy. Most of the houses are summer residences of people from Tromsø. It has coral beaches and small harbors.
On the ferry to Senja
If the link from Brenesholm to Bothamn is your first time using a ferry in Norway, do the following:
- Go to the onboard Cafe, order a Coffee and a Waffle.
- Somewhere in front of you is a big brown block (Wiki Link), that's kind of a cheese.
- Slice two pieces off this thing with the slicer, place them both on your waffle.
- Now take some of the jam that should also stand in front of you and one spoon of the sour cream.
- Both should find also space on your Waffle.
- Now take a seat at a window place. Fold the waffle with all its ingredients.
- Take a bite, have sip of coffee and look outside onto the Fjord.
This might be your most Norwegian moment on your travel :).
Arriving in Senja
When you arrive in Bothamn you have two options, left or right. If you have some time, take the right. Two things we can recommend: First have (another) coffee in the grocery store Joker in Bothamn (Guide Link). It is for sure not a fancy coffee bar waiting for you in the second floor, but you will experience the social life in a tiny town on an island in Northern Norway. Between fishing gear and bad weather clothing you will sit with locals talking about the weather, fishing and knitting.
If you continue the road you come to a dead end called Laukvik. It has a wild camp spot (Guide Link) on a white coral beach with a simple toilet. The place is perfect to follow the midnight sun rising over the Atlantic or catch some fish from the cliffs.
The fishing village fo Husøy
When you come from the ferry (Kvaløya - Senja) and you turn left, the next place you should visit is the fishing village of Husøy (Guide Link). Driving up the mountain pass road towards Husøy will reveal you some amazing views into the Øyfjord. You will also discover the small island which is occupied by the village of Husøy (the House Island). Because of the big avalanche danger people moved 1950 houses from the sides of the Fjord to this island. The island is connected with a pier from the mainland. You can enter the island and you will find a café, shops and also a petrol station. The best is to park the car at the end of the pier.
Before you leave this site you can watch some drone footage from Senja: