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. Throughout you can stay in your own self-contained accommodation, making this a perfect tour for getting away and enjoying stunning scenery and space.
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- Arrival into Tromsø and onwards drive to Sommarøy
- Explore Sommarøy
- Ferry from Sommarøy to Senja
- The island of Senja: dramatic sea cliffs and clear green water
- Free day in Hamn
- Ferry to Andøya and drive onwards to Lofoten
- Free day in Svolvær
- Self-drive further into the Lofoten Archipelago: from Svolvær to Reine
- Visit Å, Røst or Værøy
- Self-drive Reine to Leknes airport
Norway occupies a jagged strip of Scandinavia which runs from the Arctic north to the more temperate south. When you consider that one third of the country is within the Arctic circle and one third of the land is above the treeline, you get a sense of the geographical diversity. The climate varies hugely according to latitude and elevation, though the gulf stream ensures some of the northerly regions are relatively mild considering their location. Depending on what you want to do, Norway is a year round destination offering something different in every season. Read on for a bit more of a breakdown season by season: Spring (March to May) is a popular and colourful season and many locals claim this is the best time to visit Norway, bringing with it the dazzling colours of new growth, wildflowers and regular blue skies. May is particularly lovely in the fjords where meadow grass is lush and flower speckled, orchards are in full blossom and waterfalls are still full of snowmelt. The days are lengthening, too so you can enjoy long hours of daylight especially in the north. Visiting Norway in summer (June to August) means higher temperatures, more sunshine and higher footfall, though Norway is rarely overrun with tourists. The midnight sun is a highlight in the northern regions from mid May to late July, and even if you don't go right to the far north the days are still long and light lingers late. Inland water such as lakes and shallow fjords heat up making summer the best time to visit Norway for wild swimming, and in the south maximum summer temperatures regularly hit the mid twenties. If you choose to take your Norway holiday in autumn (September to November), you can expect crisp weather, beautiful autumn colours and fewer crowds. This can be a great time to visit Norway for city sightseeing and also for hikers, as landscapes change colour and iconic viewpoints such as Pulpit Rock and Trolltunga are much less busy. October heralds the beginning of the aurora borealis season as well so look out for it on your autumn trip. Winter (December to February) is usually very cold and snowy, especially in the north which can make driving difficult and some travel can be interrupted by extremes of weather. However, winter is the best time to spot the northern lights, and experience the famous Scandinavian 'hygge' vibes in cosy towns and cities well set up for the long dark winter. If you are a fan of winter sports such as skiing, dog sledding and snowshoe hikes, this is the best season to visit Norway.
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