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8 days - Drive the spectacular National Tourist Route of Norway

The road from Tromsø via Sommarøy and Senja to Å in Lofoten can easily be rated as one of the most picturesque summer drives in all of Norway. The stretch is connecting numerous larger and smaller islands of the outer North Norwegian coast, and does not pass over any of mainland Norway. You could call it island-hopping by car. The drive includes two ferry crossings and several bridges and underwater tunnels.

The drive is slow, not only due to the narrow roads and the low speed limit, but mainly because of the many photo stops you are likely to make. Every bend in the road portrays another majestic fjord, fishing village, a white sandy beach or a spectacular mountain peak.

This road less travelled between Tromsø and Å can be taken during the northern summer months only, between early May and late August. We will provide you with a hire car, great accommodation and detailed route notes, and you set the pace for each day. The itinerary is perfectly suited for independent travel, and for families with children.

Accommodation is self-catering style, allowing you to save on expensive Norwegian restaurant meals. Pick up your groceries at the local store and prepare beautiful local meals yourself. We will supply you with a suggested shopping list and a handful of local North Norwegian recipes, which are easy to prepare. As a foreigner to Norway it is too easy to fall back on spaghetti bolognaise, so hopefully our notes will help you do better than that.

Highlights include

  • Small fishing village of Sommarøy on the outer coast of Northern Norway with pristine beaches
  • Remotely located Island of Senja with dramatic scenery
  • Deep sea fishing excursion
  • Stay in a fisherman's cabins (Rorbu)
  • Lofoten Archipelago
Day 1
Arrive in Tromsø and drive to Sommarøy
Day 2
Take a morning ferry to the island of Senja with dramatic sea cliffs and clear green water.
Day 3
Deep sea fishing, exploring the local peaks or enjoying a long seafood lunch.
Day 4
Ferry to Andøya, and drive to Lofoten
Day 5
Day in Svolvær with options to join a sea eagle safari and visit the narrow waters of the Trollfjord.
Day 6
Continue further out in the Lofoten Archipelago to picture perfect Reine.
Day 7
Visit Å or Røst
Day 8
Depart Lofoten
Start Place
Tromsø, Norway
End Place
Leknes, Norway
Country Visited
Norway
Duration
8 Days
Suitability
Easy
Code
TSLSD1

Details

Transportation

Car hire 8 days incl. unlimited mileage and CDW.

Included
Not Included
  • Flights
  • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
  • Toll roads and ferries
  • Items of personal nature
  • If you wish to hire an automatic car, these are 'on request' and can be difficult to obtain. Please seek further advice with us .

Please note: We have not included evening dinners (half-board) in our Norwegian countryside self-drive itineraries but in some spots, the hotel you are staying at may be the only option and/or highly recommended. Norwegian countryside hotels often have well known restaurants or intimate family run dining rooms that the hosts take great pride in. Considering the price of meals in Norway we have left this flexible in case you choose to self-cater. Please ask us for our recommendations as determined by your final itinerary. You do need to book ahead for these evening meals.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Tromsø and drive to Sommarøy

Arrive in the Arctic Capital of Tromsø where you will pick up your rental car. Drive from Tromsø approx. 60km across Kvaløya to Sommarøy on the outer coast of Northern Norway.

At Sommarøy check into a self-catering apartment, or upgrade to a large and comfortable cabin perched over the water. The views will keep you gazing out towards the sea, and the extended light evenings will invite you to tranquil walks along the foreshore and pristine white coral beaches.

An evening walk up the mountain on Hillesøy towards the sea is well worth it, and if you travel in late summer you may be lucky to find both wild blueberries and cloudberries.

Note; you may choose to add a few nights in Tromsø itself to savour the sights and attractions of the city. Ask us for options.

Accommodation
Arctic Hotel Sommarøy

Day 2 - Take a morning ferry to the island of Senja with dramatic sea cliffs and clear green water.

Take a morning ferry to the island of Senja - one of those places in Norway that sees very few visitors. This is mostly due to its dramatic and remote location on the Norwegian coast. On arrival on Senja we highly recommend a detour to Husøy, where the houses are wired down on a little island to avoid being blown away.

Driving further northwest Senia will offer views towards the Devil’s teeth mountain range, and the Oxhorn Mountains. The names themselves indicate the ruggedness of the scenery awaiting you. The road you are travelling is part of a project called the National Tourist Routes of Norway. The Norwegian road authority (Statens Vegvesen) has commissioned 50 architects to design various landmarks, rest stops and view points along chosen road stretches all over Norway. On this particular stretch across Senja you will see Tungeneset and Bergsbotn.

Your accommodation on Senja is in self-contained apartments overlooking the water and sheltered from the open seas of the Norwegian Sea.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hamn i Senja

Day 3 - Deep sea fishing, exploring the local peaks or enjoying a long seafood lunch.

We have scheduled an extra day in Hamn, so you can enjoy this remote location out towards the sea. Join a deep sea fishing excursion trying your luck for Atlantic cod, climb one of the surrounding peaks or just enjoy the day relaxing in Hamn.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hamn i Senja

Day 4 - Ferry to Andøya, and drive to Lofoten

Start early with the drive from Hamn via the village of Torsken (the Cod) to Gryllefjord where you will cross the fjord by ferry to Andenes on Andøya. You may be lucky and see whales and seals on the ferry trip.

On arrival at Andenes you will make your way south for the approx. 200km drive to Svolvær in the central part of the Lofoten Archipelago. Once again, the drive is stunning as mountain peaks rise from the ocean and more than thousand meters straight skyward.

On arrival in Svolvær you check into your own Rorbu (fisherman’s cottage) on stilts over the clear blue water. The cottages are once again self-contained with a bed & bathroom, lounge and kitchenette.

Accommodation
Svinøya Rorbuer or similar

Day 5 - Day in Svolvær with options to join a sea eagle safari and visit the narrow waters of the Trollfjord.

Spend the day in Svolvær and enjoy a sea eagle safari by boat and visit the narrow waters of the Trollfjord. You may also join a kayaking excursion or follow one of the many hiking trails in the area.

Accommodation
Svinøya Rorbuer or similar

Day 6 - Continue further out in the Lofoten Archipelago to picture perfect Reine.

Continue further out in the Lofoten Archipelago to picture perfect Reine. On the way we strongly recommend a stop in the small fishing village of Nusfjord – perhaps for lunch. We can also highly recommend a stop in Flakstad. The Viking Museum is also well worth a visit for a great insight into the Viking culture.

Stay overnight in Reine, in your own self-contained Rorbu.

Accommodation
Reine Rorbuer

Day 7 - Visit Å or Røst

Make a morning visit to Å at the outer edge of the Lofoten Archipelago, or spend the day going even further out to the remote islands of Røst. If you are a birdwatcher you should definitely consider the trip out to Røst, where you have good chances of spotting sea eagles, puffins and numerous other sea birds.

We highly recommend a day trip to Værøy, which is Lofoten in a nutshell, with dramatic mountains, white sandy beaches, lush mountainsides and picturesque fishing stations.

Accommodation
Reine Rorbuer

Day 8 - Depart Lofoten

Make the drive to Leknes Airport, or back to Svolvær where you can drop off your car either at the airport or in Svolvær town.

Dates & Prices

Price per person. For last minute bookings: prices are subject to availability.

Dates
Valid From
Valid To
Price
Status
Accommodation
1 Jun 2019
1 Sep 2019
1 Jun 2019
1 Sep 2019
EUR 1,704
On request
Standard

Important Information

Driving in Norway during the peak season (July - early August):

Europeans love driving in Norway and during the summer months, the more popular tourist roads becomes crowded with European vans. This can slow the roads down, as it can be difficult to pass these vans. Norwegian country roads are often quite narrow. Having said this, these roads are incredibly scenic and have lots of picnic & photo spots.

If you are going to be using ferries during your drive, depending on the size of the ferry, this might involve a wait to get on. The ferries are reliable and regular but you may need to arrive early to secure a spot in the line. On some of the ferries, we suggest considering catching a ferry outside of the peak times. Your accommodation hosts can help with suggestions for your following days travel with the most up to date local information.

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