Land of Red Peaks

Land of Red Peaks

BY ONDŘEJ HROMÁDKO | POSTED NOVEMBER 27, 2018

Full of expectations, I was sitting on a small rock protrusion well hidden behind the summit of Hesten peak. I was even afraid to move a little. From all sides but my back, I was surrounded by a steep and very deep abyss. I was waiting. According to the weather forecast the sun had to “rise” at any minute, but the sky was still quite overcast. From the place where I sat, I could not see the sun. I did not know how long it would take for the sun to “rise”, or if it would come out at all. I breathed deeply and watched the ravishing scenery spreading out before me. I felt like Bilbo Baggins when he saw the Lonely Mountain for the very first time. Suddenly it all began.

In the end, I concluded that I do not want to write just another information-based article that the internet is full of.


What are the first things that come into your mind when someone says Norway? Let me guess. Fjords? Beautiful nature? Tuna maybe? And what about Lofoten? Sure, those islands are on a bucket list of almost every avid traveler and nature lover on earth. However, I am not going to write about them today and you might ask yourself why I even mention them. Everybody knows where Lofoten is located, but only a few people know where, or even what, Senja is.

In fact, it is only a few kilometers to the north. I asked myself frequently how it is even possible that Lofoten is overwhelmed by the masses of tourists and, at nearby Senja, you will literally not meet a soul. For a long time, I’ve been thinking about the way I should write this article. In the end, I concluded that I did not want to write just another information-based article. ‘People want to read the stories,’ I told myself. So, this article was written about two very intense days far north of the Arctic Circle.

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KEEN Targhee II Mid Hiking Boot - Women's

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Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boot - Men's

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Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot - Men's

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It took us several days of traveling across Sweden before we reached the true north – Senja. It was almost hour before midnight when we passed the sign that welcomed us into the village called Fjordgård. Well, actually there is no true night in summer as the sun never sets below the horizon. When you are traveling through a country where the night is missing, you can easily change your daily rhythm. You have to do so if you want to observe the midnight sun, which is when the sun is the lowest on the horizon and all of the mountain peaks turn red for a while. In front of us was a night hike to Segla (Well not exactly. It was a hike to Hesten from where we observed that majestic lonely mountain). There are two possible hikes which you can take there.

The first one – steeper and longer – will lead you directly to the top of the mountain, however, I will personally recommend choosing the second one like us. Although this path is not officially marked as a tourist route, it´s completely safe. The trailhead for this hike is quite hidden (69°30’30.5″N 17°37’24.2″E, in case you are curious). The first problem after arriving in the village was finding a place where we could leave a car and build tents. In Norway, you can camp wherever you want unless it is close to or directly on private land. That may seem like an easy task, but appearances are deceptive. There had recently been snow in some places, and it left behind flooded grounds and swamps. Approximately 45 minutes, and few seagull airstrikes later, we finally found the perfect spot. It was recommended by perhaps the only inhabitant of the village that was still awake. In the end, we set the camp at the very end of the village where we found, to our surprise, the perfect spot on the beach. It included a gazebo, grill, toilet, and one magnificent view. The best thing about this hidden gem was the fact that there was no one except us (later in the night a Russian couple joined us there). In my home country, a man would have to pay a fortune for this little piece of paradise – In Norway, it's free to use.

It was absolutely breathtaking and I will remember this view until the end of my life.

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Arc'teryx Atom LT Hooded Insulated Jacket - Men's

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The first stop of the second day was a rather cold experience. Ersfjord Beach is for sure one of the most spectacular beaches on the island, if not the most spectacular one. We could not resist the temptation, and went swimming. It was the coldest water I have ever encountered, but I guess I should have expected that as it was my first swim above the Arctic circle. A 5-minute drive from Ersfjord Beach led us to Tungeneset. This is the most famous to observe spiky mountain row Okshornan. This rock formation is also known as Dragon´s or Devil´s Teeth. It can be seen from different places, including Ersfjord Beach, but the best possible view is certainly from Tungeneset.

Unlike many other viewpoints, this one is easily accessible from the road. We left our car at the adjacent parking area, and walked down through the photogenic wooden footbridge to the rocky coast. My personal recommendation is to walk to the end of the beach for two reasons. Firstly, most of the people stop at the very beginning of the coast, so you will get a much cleaner view. Secondly, there are flooded holes which create mini lakes. The still water in them is perfect for reflections, and it is possible to capture a lot of beautiful photos there.

Husfjellet itself offers stunning 360° scenery and it is something not to be missed at Senja.


With the day slowly coming to an end, we had another night hike before us. The journey to Husfjellet starts in a little village named Skaland, right next to the local church. In terms of difficulty, it was rather easy as it was only 7.7km in total (out and back), with an elevation of 640metres. Husfjellet itself offers stunning 360° scenery, and it is something not to be missed at Senja. As in Hesten, we were welcomed with a completely cloudy sky, which did not spoil the breathtaking atmosphere.

         

We found out how small Senja actually is when we saw a Finnish photographer that we had previously met at Tungeneset. With him, and one Finnish girl, we were once again the only ones there. After a while admiring the scenery, the rest of our small group slowly began to go down while my brother and I decided to wait here for the sunrise. It was another two hours before the sun broke through the dense clouds. We certainly did not regret waiting. The way the sun gradually enlightened the whole landscape before my eyes, red light highlighting the peaks, was my strongest and the most touching experience from Norway. I can only recommend you actually see it, because while the photos might be beautiful, they cannot replace actually experiencing it.

It was time to say goodbye to Senja. Although I only spent two and half day here, they were very intense. The land of red peaks will be always in my heart and on my mind.

Ondřej Hromádko

Ondřej Hromádko is a young photographer, content creator and the avid traveler from the Czech Republic. The lover of minimalism and abstract solutions, which he also seeks to achieve in his photographs. Ondřej´s personal work primarily consists of fine-art architecture and landscapes motives which are shown from his unique perspective.

BY ONDŘEJ HROMÁDKO | POSTED 11.27.18

Full of expectations, I was sitting on a small rock protrusion well hidden behind the summit of Hesten peak. I was even afraid to move a little. From all sides but my back, I was surrounded by a steep and very deep abyss. I was waiting. According to the weather forecast the sun had to “rise” at any minute, but the sky was still quite overcast. From the place where I sat, I could not see the sun. I did not know how long it would take for the sun to “rise”, or if it would come out at all. I breathed deeply and watched the ravishing scenery spreading out before me. I felt like Bilbo Baggins when he saw the Lonely Mountain for the very first time. Suddenly it all began.

In the end, I concluded that I do not want to write just another information-based article that the internet is full of.


What are the first things that come into your mind when someone says Norway? Let me guess. Fjords? Beautiful nature? Tuna maybe? And what about Lofoten? Sure, those islands are on a bucket list of almost every avid traveler and nature lover on earth. However, I am not going to write about them today and you might ask yourself why I even mention them. Everybody knows where Lofoten is located, but only a few people know where, or even what, Senja is.

In fact, it is only a few kilometers to the north. I asked myself frequently how it is even possible that Lofoten is overwhelmed by the masses of tourists and, at nearby Senja, you will literally not meet a soul. For a long time, I’ve been thinking about the way I should write this article. In the end, I concluded that I did not want to write just another information-based article. ‘People want to read the stories,’ I told myself. So, this article was written about two very intense days far north of the Arctic Circle.

It took us several days of traveling across Sweden before we reached the true north – Senja. It was almost hour before midnight when we passed the sign that welcomed us into the village called Fjordgård. Well, actually there is no true night in summer as the sun never sets below the horizon. When you are traveling through a country where the night is missing, you can easily change your daily rhythm. You have to do so if you want to observe the midnight sun, which is when the sun is the lowest on the horizon and all of the mountain peaks turn red for a while. In front of us was a night hike to Segla (Well not exactly. It was a hike to Hesten from where we observed that majestic lonely mountain). There are two possible hikes which you can take there.

Suggested Hiking Boots

KEEN Targhee II Mid Hiking Boot - Women's

$107.96- 20% off

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Wide Hiking Boot - Men's

$123.71 - 25% OFF

Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot - Men's

$134.96- 25% off

The first one – steeper and longer – will lead you directly to the top of the mountain, however, I will personally recommend choosing the second one like us. Although this path is not officially marked as a tourist route, it´s completely safe. The trailhead for this hike is quite hidden (69°30’30.5″N 17°37’24.2″E, in case you are curious). The first problem after arriving in the village was finding a place where we could leave a car and build tents. In Norway, you can camp wherever you want unless it is close to or directly on private land. That may seem like an easy task, but appearances are deceptive. There had recently been snow in some places, and it left behind flooded grounds and swamps. Approximately 45 minutes, and few seagull airstrikes later, we finally found the perfect spot. It was recommended by perhaps the only inhabitant of the village that was still awake. In the end, we set the camp at the very end of the village where we found, to our surprise, the perfect spot on the beach. It included a gazebo, grill, toilet, and one magnificent view. The best thing about this hidden gem was the fact that there was no one except us (later in the night a Russian couple joined us there). In my home country, a man would have to pay a fortune for this little piece of paradise – In Norway, it's free to use.

It was absolutely breathtaking and I will remember this view until the end of my life.


The first stop of the second day was a rather cold experience. Ersfjord Beach is for sure one of the most spectacular beaches on the island, if not the most spectacular one. We could not resist the temptation, and went swimming. It was the coldest water I have ever encountered, but I guess I should have expected that as it was my first swim above the Arctic circle. A 5-minute drive from Ersfjord Beach led us to Tungeneset. This is the most famous to observe spiky mountain row Okshornan. This rock formation is also known as Dragon´s or Devil´s Teeth. It can be seen from different places, including Ersfjord Beach, but the best possible view is certainly from Tungeneset.

Unlike many other viewpoints, this one is easily accessible from the road. We left our car at the adjacent parking area, and walked down through the photogenic wooden footbridge to the rocky coast. My personal recommendation is to walk to the end of the beach for two reasons. Firstly, most of the people stop at the very beginning of the coast, so you will get a much cleaner view. Secondly, there are flooded holes which create mini lakes. The still water in them is perfect for reflections, and it is possible to capture a lot of beautiful photos there.

Husfjellet itself offers stunning 360° scenery and it is something not to be missed at Senja.


With the day slowly coming to an end, we had another night hike before us. The journey to Husfjellet starts in a little village named Skaland, right next to the local church. In terms of difficulty, it was rather easy as it was only 7.7km in total (out and back), with an elevation of 640metres. Husfjellet itself offers stunning 360° scenery, and it is something not to be missed at Senja. As in Hesten, we were welcomed with a completely cloudy sky, which did not spoil the breathtaking atmosphere.

Suggested Gear

Osprey Packs Atmos AG 50L Backpack

$179.95- 25% off

Arc'teryx Atom LT Hooded Insulated Jacket - Men's

$259.00

Mountain Hardwear Firefall Jacket - Men's

$224.96- 25% off

We found out how small Senja actually is when we saw a Finnish photographer that we had previously met at Tungeneset. With him, and one Finnish girl, we were once again the only ones there. After a while admiring the scenery, the rest of our small group slowly began to go down while my brother and I decided to wait here for the sunrise. It was another two hours before the sun broke through the dense clouds. We certainly did not regret waiting. The way the sun gradually enlightened the whole landscape before my eyes, red light highlighting the peaks, was my strongest and the most touching experience from Norway. I can only recommend you actually see it, because while the photos might be beautiful, they cannot replace actually experiencing it.

It was time to say goodbye to Senja. Although I only spent two and half day here, they were very intense. The land of red peaks will be always in my heart and on my mind.

Ondřej Hromádko

Ondřej Hromádko is a young photographer, content creator and the avid traveler from the Czech Republic. The lover of minimalism and abstract solutions, which he also seeks to achieve in his photographs. Ondřej´s personal work primarily consists of fine-art architecture and landscapes motives which are shown from his unique perspective.

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