Senja island is Norway’s second largest island located South of Tromsø within the Arctic circle. Lots of photographers are drawn to Lofoten island or Tromsø but they are missing out on Arctic Norway’s best kept secret…
Norway in Miniature
Senja island is called Norway in miniature because it harbors all the different landscapes of Norway, giving the best possible variety of choices when it comes to photography. You can roam the more residential eastern coast in your quest to capture typical fishing houses in a flatter and more rural area while still having a stunning mountain backdrop. You can also spend some more time in the middle of the island in search of more snowy hills filled up with birch trees and humid plateaus. Although it is an island Senja has tons of beautiful lakes to get landscape reflections especially in the Fall with all the golden leaves and the snow-capped mountains in the far background.
When you come to the ‘outer’ side of Senja you are greeted by some of Norway’s most spectacular fjords. Razor sharp mountains plunging into the sea that’s offering the most varied palette of lights and colors throughout the year! When browsing through these imposing formations you will be rather surprised to find white-sanded beaches with turquoise waters in the middle of the mountains and the snow! Senja simply has it all, and much more like washed-granit shores, stunning waterfalls, hundreds of small islands and inlets…
Although it is an island there is a lot of wildlife that is observable and photographable all year-round. Senja is like a huge wild fauna and flora sanctuary. There you can see many mammals like reindeers, moose, hump-backs, orcas, seals, small carnivores. The bird life is also quiet diversified: sea eagles, golden eagles, falcons, marine birds, migratory birds like swans and geese.
Some of the wildest northern lights in the world
If you have the northern lights on your photography bucket list, wait no more! Senja is THE destination to fulfill this dream. Because of its geomagnetic location in the world right in the middle of the auroral oval where the aurora sparks up, it takes nothing for it to light up the entire sky.
Eastern and southern Senja also have microclimates giving them better weather and in turn aurora experiences. After your day tour, how not to take the same pictures in a totally different situation? The fjord backdrop makes the aurora pictures the best in the world! And you won’t get the nasty light pollution you get else where in Tromsø and Lofoten! So get ready for some epic coronas in portrait mode!
Endless fjords, endless possibilities
The outer side of the island is basically constituted of a series of 19 fjords in a row. That’s why Senja resembles a hand with many fingers (fjord ridges) on a map! You might think that after visiting one fjord you have seen them all… Well think again! Each and every one of those fjords is extremely different in configuration, length, light, orientation and yes, vegetation too! Do you want to photograph high mountains and narrow fjords? Go North.
Do you want more open spaces and a nice view on the ocean as well, go West or South. Do you want fjords that looks like they’re right out of a Troll tale, we have that too! A lot of the mountains are also hiked year round to go to the top and take stunning pictures of the plunging view.
A true feeling of wilderness
Senja’s local population is very progressive about outdoors and nature. People respect it and the result is an island that looks like is hasn’t been remodeled by humans. A true natural gem within the artic! The roads are very clean, the speed limit is low and the very few roads make Senja a very nice place to evolve as a photographer. You could hike for hours through the island and not cross a road.
Senja also holds Ånderdalen nasjonal park, a wildlife reserve in the South of the island that is mostly accessible in the summer time. So if you are a photographer in search of the feeling of uncharted places with low light pollution for aurora, abundant wildlife and endless landscape possibilities, Senja is waiting for you!