One I thing I noticed about hiking in Norway is to take the grading system with a pinch of salt and always be prepared, because you could set out for a medium hike and it could be relatively easy or you could set out on an easy hike and it could be challenging. Also, if you think you're at the top, you probably aren't and if you think you have further to go you probably already reached the summit. Hiking in Norway works in mysterious ways, just like the weather.
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The views were undeniable and we were lucky enough to have sun the whole time, and not much traffic on the incredibly narrow cliffside roads and even narrower pitch black tunnels. The turquoise water, white sandy beaches and steep jagged cliffs are what make Senja famous and it is described as a mini Norway. An absolutely fantastic part of our trip.
The ferry was the best way to reach Vesterålen rather than drive the entire way around via the mainland. I'll be honest though, I didn't know about Vesterålen, I thought we were heading to Lofoten but soon discovered that the Vesterålen islands lie north of Lofoten. I was so glad we got to experience this. The drive alone from the ferry terminal to our park up at Bleik beach was just phenomenal, so much so that I most likely curse out loud when I saw the views. The park up was incredible, right alongside the white sandy beach but with heaps if space between us and other campers. Somewhat of a campers paradise. The hills behind us had some trails to walk and get an overall view of the beach and nature reserve, and we were amazingly beside the trail head to a famous hike known as Måtinden. We headed off on this trail one sunny day to get a mountain top view of Bleik, with no water and unprepared for what we thought would be a easy stroll. 4 hours later we arrived back to the van, parched and exhausted, but with an incredible sense of achievement and adventure. Again, don't take the hikes lightly.
In Svolvaer, Lofoten we took on the Tjeldbergtinden hike, which overlooked the town and whole coastline, it was beautiful and much more to our skillset. Bringing a dog on a hike can be tricky so I have to choose carefully. This was Gimlis first birthday though, and it was the perfect way to celebrate.
We also hiked to Kvalvika beach at midnight, being such a popular place there was paid parking everywhere and it was always full because people camp at the beach. We got a spot at midnight and set off on an incredible hike with the full moon glistening in the background over the lakes. We took on the slippery and steep Nubben hike, overlooking the town of Ramberg but it was pretty treacherous on the way down and extremely foggy at the top and even got to see Unstad beach, famous for arctic surfing!
In total we drove from Finnsnes to Å, where the road ended and there was no choice but to take the ferry back to the mainland, to the town of Bodø.