The coast of Troms shows Norwegian nature at its very best – it gives you a mighty experience and an unforgettable sailing holiday!

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Published 3. March 2021


Øystein A. Østgård

Skipper and sailing instructor

Do you want to go on a sailing holiday in Norway this year? Here are some good reasons to spend it on the coast of Troms in Norway.

Magnificent and beautiful nature

The coast of Troms offers magnificent and beautiful nature that ranges from steep mountains and peaks, to the most idyllic archipelagos and white sandy beaches. Perfect for those who love the sea and outdoor life in mighty surroundings.

To have nature almost to oneself

During summertime, many places in Northern Norway are often crowded when it comes to tourism. The coast of Troms offers a quiet and tranquil place to be, quite opposite to the busy life elsewhere in this part of the country.

Those who seek a more undisturbed nature experience, often choose our region ahead of, for example, Lofoten. And the nature in Troms is just as spectacular.

When sailing along the coast of Troms, you will also get to see our small towns, fishing and coastal communities where people are living their life as they always have.

Sailing under the midnight sun

Sailing holidays are often about day by day planning, where the time of arriving at a place is set before it gets dark. Sailing under the midnight sun gives a great feeling of freedom, since we are able to sail without planning the trip within this timeframe. The sun will be up at all times anyway!

In Troms, the midnight sun season lasts from May to August.

Les om seilturen:

Senja rundt på 7 dager

Senja rundt på 7 dager

Bli med Seil Senja på denne spennende og innholdsrike fellesturen fra Tromsø til Kvaløya og videre Senja rundt. På “Yttersia” av Senja tar vi turen opp til toppen av det ikoniske fjellet Segla.

Rich animal and bird life

The coast of Troms is home to exotic animal and bird species. Quite often you will encounter bird species such as puffins, auks and guillemots on your journey along the coast of Troms. If you’re really lucky, you’ll meet whales out in the ocean.

The places mentioned in the article are shown with a yellow marker on the map. You can zoom in to view more markers and place names.

The archipelago of Harstad

The archipelago of Harstad – the kingdom of Tore Hund the Viking, is among Seil Senja’s great favorites in Troms. Here you will find the true idyllic archipelago of Northern Norwegian at its most beautiful, with white beaches of coral sand which transforms the sea water into light green and turquoise.

This archipelago is said to be the world’s northernmost inhabited archipelago.

Skjærgården i Harstad
At Meløyvær, almost at the far end of the skerries of Harstad, there is a nice guest pier for sailboats.

Arctic nature at its best

The archipelago of Harstad is well protected within Vesterålen’s long mountain range in the west. These mountains protect against the harsh weather that sometimes emerge from the sea. This creates a milder climate and perhaps more lushness than anywhere else in Troms.

The high mountains arise in a majestic way from Senja in the east, Andøya in the west, and Grytøya in the south.

Les om seilturen:


Harstad til Meløyvær

Vi seiler på dagstur til Meløyvær. Her finner vi den nordnorske skjærgårdsidyllen slik vi kjenner den, med kritthvite strender av korallsand som farger havet lysegrønt.

Yttersia; On the Outer Side

The west side of Senja and Kvaløya, all the way to the open sea, is called Yttersia; On the Outer Side. Here, this part of the country ends in a spectacular way, with steep mountains plunging into the open sea.

Outside of Yttersia you will not encounter land until you reach the east side of Greenland.

Sailing on Yttersia of Senja and Kvaløya in the midnight sun gives you the most spectacular experience of nature.


Senja, the second largest island in Norway, offers very varied and beautiful nature. On Yttersia, steep mountains and peaks dominate, while on the east side you will find a more calm and lush landscape.

Iconic mountains

In the range of impressive and towering mountains on Yttersia of Senja, you will find the iconic Segla and Okshornan (or Oksen as the mountain is actually called). If you have seen pictures of Senja before, you have probably also seen pictures of these mountains.

Bergsøyan – the Arctic version of Bahamas

Although a sailing trip on Yttersia of Senja is characterized by open sea on one side, and steep mountains and peaks on the other, you will find a beautiful archipelago at the far end of the Bergsfjord.

With its about 90 islets and reefs, Bergsøyan is an incredibly beautiful archipelago. Here are several small lush islands with white beaches of coral sand. A bit like the Caribbean islands in miniature.

There is a partly landing prohibition in the skerries during the summer, but this does not apply to Kjøpmannsøya, Kråkøya, and Store og Lille Færøya. So here you can feel free to row ashore and enjoy a quiet day with a barbecue on the beach. There are several nice anchorages around Bergsøyan.

Hamn in Senja

Just inside Bergsøyan is Hamn in Senja, an old fishing village that is now a hotel, conference and activity center, with an associated guest pier.

Les om seilturen:

Harstad til Hamn i Senja via Holmenvær

Harstad til Hamn i Senja via Holmenvær

Hamn i Senja – det historiske fiskeværet på Yttersia av Senja. Her kan du ta deg en øl på brygga, etterfulgt av et besøk i badstua eller en tur i jacuzzien. Overnatt i seilbåten eller på hotellet.

In Hamn in Senja you can have a cold beer on the pier, followed by a visit to the sauna or a trip in the jacuzzi – not at all a bad thing to do after a long and eventful sailing trip.

When you are in Hamn, we also recommend a short mountain hike to Sukkertoppen. Here you will get a panoramic view of the archipelago Bergsøyan and the open sea. The mountain trip is a 2 hour round trip.

Seiltur til Hamn i Senja
The hotel Hamn in Senja has its own guest pier.

Husøy – the pearl of Senja

The charming island of Husøy lies far into the fjord Øyfjord. This small island is in fact the most active fishing community in Senja with its 300 permanent residents.

Due to the extreme weather conditions in the autumn and winter out here, the oldest houses are braced to the ground. A few years ago, the only connection to the mainland was by boat. Now the long pier connects Husøy to the rest of Senja.

Those who live on Husøy are known for keeping a traditional Siesta, which is said to be a tradition that has arisen hundreds of years ago from the survivors of a Spanish shipwreck. So if you are going to shop for supplies at the local store, you will have to wait if you arrive between 12 pm and 1 pm in the day.

There is only one guest berth for visiting boats. It is situated at the very end of the floating pier which is located on the south side of the pier.

On the eastern side of Senja

On the eastern side of Senja, the landscape is not quite as rugged. It is also more lush here than on the west side. The weather and wind stability on this side of the Island is reflected by a more plain landscape is a good thing for cruising.

Our long weekend sailing courses will be arranged here on the eastern side of Senja.


Southeast of Senja you will find Tranøya, a lush little island and an old church site. History can tell us about an ancient civilization living here more than 2000 years ago. We can find proof of this among the many burial mounds, and all the boathouse and house foundations on the island. Today, only the church and the old rectory can be found.

Les om seilturen:

Seiltur fra Harstad til Tranøya via Engenes

Harstad - Tranøy via Engenes

Tranøy er en frodig liten øy og et gammelt kirkested sør-øst for Senja. Dette er stedet for å nyte stillheten og roen. Overnatt i seilbåten eller på den gamle prestegården.

It is impossible to drive to Tranøya by car, since there are no roads leading to the island. This makes the island a nice place to enjoy the peace and quiet. On the inner side of the island there are several good anchorages.

The old rectory offers accommodation and activities.

The Tranøy Church Association is arranging Tranøydagan during summer, which among other things, consists of a religious service, various cultural happenings and foodservice.


South of Finnsnes you will find the historic place Klauva. This old trading place had its period of greatest productivity in the 19th century. Here are remains of old buildings, and the old cemetery can still be seen.

Les om seilturen:

Finnsnes - Klauva

Finnsnes - Klauva

Seiltur til det gamle handelsstedet Klauva på Senja – en seiltur med historisk sus. Vi ankrer opp og utforsker stedet.

Klauva is a nice mooring, and there is also a mooring buoy that can be used by visiting boats. Today, no one lives in Klauva, and there are no roads leading out here. Therefore, Klauva is a great destination for a sailing trip.

Seiltur til Klauva på Senja
The remains of buildings in Klauva are evidence of life here back in the days.


On the outer side of Kvaløya, west of Tromsø, you will find a beautiful archipelago in mighty surroundings. This area is also known for its numerous white sandy beaches.

Here you will find both existing and abandoned fishing villages, side by side. On almost every islet and reef, you will find evidence of people living here for hundreds of years.

Les om seilturen:

Seiltur fra Tromsø rundt Kvaløya

Tromsø - Yttersia - Kvaløya rundt

Bli med på en spektakulær seiltur fra Tromsø rundt Kvaløya via Gåsvær, Røssholmen og Sommarøy.


Out in the open sea on the outside of Kvaløya, you will find Røssholmen. For hundreds of years, this small islet was an important and busy fishing village. This is hard to imagine when visiting the place today.

Today, Røssholmepn is an overgrown and almost forgotten place. All that is left is a beautiful green islet with flowers, some house foundations and other remains from a bygone era.

There were people living on Røssholmen until about the 1960s.


On the outer side of Kvaløya you will also find the famous Håja. With its characteristic shape, the island rises almost 500 meters up from the sea.

Håja is an important landmark, and is known for being the inspiration for the architecture of the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø.

Håja is an important landmark on the outer side of Kvaløya. Here seen from Røssholmen.


Gåsvær is a beautiful small island, and an old fishing village with white sandy beaches and green plains. Who would have thought that Gåsvær was the busiest place on the outer side of Kvaløya for about a hundred years ago.

Today, there are no permanent residents on Gåsvær, but the chapel on the island is still maintained. This chapel is used for religious service every year at the end of July when the weekend of Gåsvær is arranged.


West of Rebbenesøya, a little north of Kvaløya, you will find Sørfugløya as a pyramid rising from the sea. Sørfugløya is one of the most important bird islands in Norway. Sørfugløya Bird Island is spectacular, containing one of the largest colonies of puffins in Norway.

Seiltur rundt Sørfugløya
In nice weather it is possible to sail around Sørfugløya


Sommarøy is, with its around 300 inhabitants, a vibrant fishing village and a popular travel destination for the population of Tromsø. This is one of the most active fishing villages in the county.

The view from the island is breathtaking in all directions, starting with all the small islands with the lofty mountain of Håja in the north, followed by the mountain range of Senja in the south to the mountains of Kvaløya in the east and the open sea in the west.


Everyone who loves Northern Norway, the sea and outdoor life should experience the coast of Troms. We dare say that sailing holidays are the best way of doing it.

Welcome to the coast of Troms!


Tenkte du på noe da du leste denne artikkelen, og som du fikk lyst til å dele med meg?


Øystein A. Østgård

Skipper og seilinstruktør