Autumn in Senja & Dyrøy
The two islands are a year-round beauty. But if you ask the locals, they will tell you that autumn is the best time of the year. Streams and lakes are clear, the air is crisp, moors and forests are ablaze with colours and darkness creeps in at night. By mid-September the Northern Lights are back with a vengeance, reminding us why we can’t get enough of Lady Aurora.
Autumn is a time of colour
In late August, you feel it in the air. Heather and dwarf birches are already changing colour in the mountains. By mid-September, the mountainsides and lowlands are ablaze with yellow, orange and red. In October, the vivid colours have given way to a melancholy beauty of bare, black trees, clear air and sugar-coated mountain tops.
Hiking is the locals’ favourite activity in the autumn
Hiking is especially popular among the locals in August, September and early October. At this time, the air is crisp, the water in streams and lakes is clear and the temperatures neither too hot nor too cold, most of the time. The islands of Senja and Dyrøy has a number of marked trails leading to viewpoints. Some are easy and suited for shorter trips and relaxed people, other require stamina and a whole day.
Get on the water
You cannot go to the island of Senja without trying out the sea around, be it the Atlantic on the west side, the sheltered Solbergfjord on the southern side or the inner waterway dividing Senja from the mainland. A RiB safari - RiB is a very stable variety of a zodiac - takes you to distant islands and beaches and requires no skills or good shape. Kayaking among the little islands can be done both for beginners and skilled. A fishing trip is pure bliss, and you can eat the catch.
Ride on wheels in Senja & Dyrøy
Riding a bike along the Norwegian Scenic Route is fun, and a fair bit easier than you think. Remember that the route follows the shoreline. Alternatively, you can go along quiet routes inland or along the southern coast. Bikes are for hire, and there are also guides and organised trips available. Dogs need to work out ahead of the busy winter season - this means you can go dogsledding on wheels. The dogs are even happier to see you than you are to see them.
Already in mid-August you can be lucky to spot the Northern Lights in both Senja and Dyrøy, and by mid-September the activity is as high as in mid-Winter. Often, there is increased activity around Autumn equinox in late September-early October. You can try to look out from where you stay. Even better is a long walk, or even a hike with headlamps to the nearest hill. There are also professional Northern Lights hunters, taking you to places with clear skies if the weather is iffy. Best part of it all; the bare minimum of light pollution.
Autumn is time for candle-lit dinners
Some parts of Senja are surprisingly rich in agriculture. In Autumn, turnips, cabbage, carrots and the local favourite nepe (known as neep in Scotland) are tasty delicacies. Fresh mutton is another favourite at this time, often served in hearty stews and soups. The region offers fish all year round, and shellfish gets fatter and firmer as the water temperatures sink.