Senja - Islands Auroras
To know Senja is to love Senja (or at least that’s the case in our office!). The small hotel of Hamn is set right on the harbour of a sheltered bay which eventually leads out to the vast Norwegian Sea. Regardless of when you visit, it is an idyllic and timeless setting with panoramic views of the harbour, which was used by fishermen for hundreds of years.
The location of the hotel, right on the water’s edge and away from almost all artificial light pollution, could not be better for viewing the Aurora Borealis. Sitting right in the heart of the Aurora Zone at a latitude of 69.41 degrees (anything north of 63/64 is normally considered in the zone), sometimes, you need do no more than just walk outside the hotel to see a display if the conditions are right.
During your two daytime activities, your guided walk and wildlife boat safari, an abundance of incredible animals can be spotted. These include the likes of seals, soaring eagles and other birdlife. If you are travelling from January onwards, there is also the chance that you may spot a whale during your boat trip, but this very much depends on where the vital herring travel. Sightings are not as common as they once were, so please do not expect a whale watching tour.In contrast to the remote and peaceful setting of Hamn, the final day of your holiday sees you transported to the relative hustle and bustle of one of the world’s most northerly cities: Tromsø. You will arrive in style on the iconic coastal steamer Hurtigruten before exploring the city at your own pace for the remainder of your stay. Tromsø needs no introduction to Aurora enthusiasts; it is regularly listed as one of the best places in the world as a base to see the Northern Lights.
What we like about Tromsø is that there is so much to see and do during the day. A particular favourite is the cable car. In just four minutes you find yourself at an altitude of 421 metres with views to rival the very best in the world. Where else can you see the urban sweep of Tromsø - “The Paris of the North” – fjords, mountains and dozens and dozens of archipelago islands fading gradually into the ocean from just one vantage point? The word spectacular can very often be used unjustifiably but when it comes to describing the views from the Storsteinen Mountain it is barely adequate.
Another favourite pastime is to visit Mack’s Ølbryggeri which is one of the world’s most northerly breweries (one opened in Ilulissat, Greenland in 2013 which was a mere 50 metres further north but pride of most northerly place goes to the brewery opened in Svalbard in 2015). We always recommend this place for a friendly welcome, fascinating history, the 67 different beers available and some delicious and reasonably priced food. The brewery runs daily tours at 15.30 for those wishing to enjoy the full beer appreciation experience.
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