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  • Our favourite

8 days - Drive the spectacular National Tourist Route of Norway

The road from Tromsø via Senja to Reine 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.

Highlights include

  • Remotely located Island of Senja with dramatic scenery
  • Sea Eagle Safari
  • Stay in a fisherman's cabins (Rorbu) on the Lofoten Archipelago
  • Food tastings at Kvitnes Gård
  • Kayak tour in the Reine fjord

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Day 1
Arrive in Tromsø and take the ferry to the island of Senja with dramatic sea cliffs and clear green water.
Day 2
Fjord sightseeing and wildlife safari  
Day 3
Ferry to Andøya, and drive to Vesterålen 
Day 4
Travel to the Lofoten Archipelago
Day 5
Day in Svolvær with 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
Guided kayak tour around Reinefjorden 
Day 8
Depart Lofoten
Start Place
Tromsø, Norway
End Place
Leknes, Norway
Country Visited
8 Days
Start Date
Travel Style
Independent holiday with moderately active activities and no luggage handling included

Please note that all our itineraries, inclusions, dates and prices displayed on this website may change at any time. If you book an itinerary today and have this confirmed it will be the itinerary that is delivered to you. However, the online itinerary on our website may change in the meantime.

As a Certified B Corporation, 50 Degrees North has designed this tour using handpicked local hoteliers and suppliers who share our ethos of delivering services and activities of high social and environmental standards.

The CO2-e per person per day of all tours is carefully measured following each season. We fully offset all emissions of our tours on your behalf, and we constantly look at ways to reduce emissions where possible.



Car hire 8 days incl. unlimited mileage, GPS and CDW.

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in a mix of self-contained cabins, fisherman’s cottages and hotels
  • 5 breakfasts at Hamn i Senja, Kvitnes Gård and Svinoya Rorbuer
  • Tasting menu at Kvitnes Gård
  • 2 dinners at Hamn i Senja
  • Car manual hire 8 days incl. unlimited mileage, GPS and CDW
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fees
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 all 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.


Day 1 - Arrive in Tromsø and take the ferry to the island of Senja with dramatic sea cliffs and clear green water.

Arrive in the Arctic Capital of Tromsø where you will pick up your rental car. Take the 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.

1 Dinner
Hamn i Senja

Day 2 - Fjord sightseeing and wildlife safari

Bergsfjorden, just North of Hamn, offers up scenic contrasts of shapes and colours that constantly shift with the changing weather. Steep, majestic mountain dive straight into the sea, and pearly white beaches of crushed sea shells line the islands in the clear turqoise waters. If your lucky you can also get close views of seals, eagles and sea birds. Though the views are almost Caribbeanesque, the temperature will likely remind you that you’re actually North of the Polar circle. On the other hand: warm summer days can bring the temperatures as high as 25°C.
You’ll get a guided tour of the area and enjoy this area from its best side. Be prepared for rosy cheeks and salt water in your hair!

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

1 Breakfast
1 Dinner
Hamn i Senja

Day 3 - Ferry to Andøya, and drive to Vesterålen

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. 100km drive to Vestaerålen. Once again, the drive is stunning with mountain peaks rise and chalk white beaches.

On arrival in Vestaerålen check into Kvitnes Gård a 15 room property with beautiful views located at the foot of the Møysalen mountains. This evening indulge in the hotel's tasting menu of 20-25 courses.

1 Breakfast
1 Dinner
Kvitnes Gård

Day 4 - Travel to the Lofoten Archipelago

Make your way south through incredible scenery as you travel along the Lofoten copastline all the way to Svolvær at the bottom of the archipelago.

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

1 Breakfast
Svinøya Rorbuer or similar

Day 5 - Day in Svolvær with 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.
Join a fun RIB trip to the magical Trollfjord where you can see the sea eagle up close. RIB driving is a fantastic experience in itself, but in Lofoten this activity really comes into its own. The trip starts from the quayside in Svolvær up through Raftsundet and into the Trollfjord, one of the country's most dramatic landscapes.

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.

Reine Rorbuer

Day 7 - Guided kayak tour around Reinefjorden

Get up close to the dramatic landscape of Lofoten on a guided kayak tour.
Reine Rorbuer is located in the heart of Reine, affording direct access to one of the most beautiful fjords in the world, the iconic Reinefjorden. As you paddle out into the fjord, you’ll experience small islands with bird colonies, wild shores, and white beaches, all surrounded by majestic mountains. A nature experience not to be missed.

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

All prices listed are per person, based on two people sharing a room. Prices are indicative due to the current uncertainty across Europe with increasing energy and volatile fuel costs.

Valid From
Valid To
From Price
1 Jun 2024
30 Sep 2024
1 Jun 2024
30 Sep 2024
NZD 5,988
Limited availability
1 Jun 2025
30 Sep 2025
1 Jun 2025
30 Sep 2025
NZD 6,467
On request

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.


Tromsø, also known as the Arctic Capital or the ‘Paris of the North’, is the gateway to the Arctic and Northern Norway. It has been awarded as a ‘Sustainable Destination’, which is the Nordic region’s only national labelling scheme for travel destinations. It is a “tool for sustainable development of businesses and destinations when it comes to the environment, the local community, the cultural heritage, and the economy” Nordic regions awarded this title are not perfect, but they are working collaboratively to achieve a long-term goal. These regions are evaluated every three years to ensure they continue to adhere to these standards.

When staying in Tromsø you will stay in a hotel renowned for its’ environmental efforts. The hotel is ISO 14001 certified (which is given to enterprises that have a high-quality environmental managing system for organizational performance), has launched plastic free initiatives in partnership with WWF, where possible is powered by renewable energy and are taking great strides to reduce water consumption and reduce the use of chemicals. Even though access to water is not an issue in Norway compared to other parts of the world, this hotel is conscious of the energy consumed for heating, and chemicals required for purification, so reduction makes up part of their overall environmental policy. In addition to this they provide sustainable, organic, fair-trade food, and only use sustainably produced palm oil. Your hosts also encourage guests to eat less meat and substitute this for plant-based alternatives.

Senja, your main location for this trip, is also going through the process of becoming an accredited ‘Sustainable Destination’. Visit Norway in recent years named your accommodation in Senja as one of the most attractive accommodations in Norway, and it’s not hard to see why. The beautiful location of the site, nestled in the wilderness high above the Arctic circle, offers a unique diversity and a deep experience in nature throughout the year. Your activities for your stay have been selected as low carbon options which allow our visitors to appreciate their time in nature, such as our Northern Lights snowshoeing walk through light-pollution free wilderness, or our guided wildlife boat safari to learn more about the wildlife of the region and support its conservation efforts.

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