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Drink: a flappe-latte-drinkety-winkety; the best coffee on Senja (Norway) and a stay on Tranøya

Honesty compels me to confess that we had, in fact, taken a wrong turn. Our intent was to seek out one of the scenic roads of Senja (Norway), and we had misinterpreted one of the symbols on a roadside sign as indicating the beginning of such a route. Later, it became apparent that this was the exit for a national park - undoubtedly worth a visit, but time was a somewhat scarce resource for us. So, after approximately 40 minutes of driving, we found ourselves at a T-junction. To one side stood an aged white church, and on the other, a flagpole with a fluttering pennant. The flag read "Senja Roasters."


Suddenly, an urge for coffee overcame me. Or maybe not. Perhaps it was more a sense of complete astonishment that such an establishment could reside in such a remote location. As we parked the car, the intrigue deepened. Stepping into Senja Roasters, confusion took the best of me. Not due to a lack of comprehension, but because of the setting itself. The interior, the aroma, and the multitude of languages being spoken, all conspired to suggest a bustling metropolis. Copenhagen, or Madrid... or Boston. Yet, one finds oneself on an island, amidst one of the most secluded corners of Norway.

The atmosphere is undeniably cosy. A couple of industrious Gen-Z’ers clatter away at their laptops, the proprietress tends to roasting beans in the back of the establishment, and a young Spanish twentysomething, who utters around three words of Norwegian, charmingly takes my order. All the while, gazing through the window, one is reminded that this is not Copenhagen, Madrid, or Boston.

The coffee is amazing. Its flavor exquisite. And the mandarin muffin, equally delectable. Even though the primary draw is undoubtedly the exceptional coffee, I feel compelled to emphasize that there's something noteworthy about the person who has chosen to establish a business right here in a drowsy corner of Norway, and thus bringing back life to an area where the population has been gradually declining for years. It takes an incredible amount of courage. And courage, in this world, deserves far greater recognition. Thus, I call upon every tourist to ‘take a wrong turn’ and indulge in a cup of coffee at Senja Roasters. Afterwards, one can explore Ånderdalen National Park at leisure - the very park that regrettably eluded our time constraints. So I think I should rephrase. There’s no such thing as ‘wrong turns’. Not on Senja at least.

I completely understand if, after perusing this snippet, you find yourself eager to spend a few nights on Senja. As luck would have it, in the summer of 2023, I discovered Tranøya; a tiny island nestled just off the coast of Senja. Here, amidst the backdrop of an ancient church, stands an extraordinary old farmhouse tended to by two sisters. In fact, they more or less grew up here. They've essentially transformed the island (Tranøya) into a destination in its own right. Beyond the blissful slumber accompanied by the gentle lapping of waves, this serves as your base from which you can explore the stunning surrounding nature, embark on boat and fishing trips (did you know that the world's best fishing waters are around Senja?), partake in guided or independent ventures. For the history enthusiast, there are tours offering a glimpse into the bygone way of life, and, of course, you can venture out with a kayak or a SUP board.

There's something special about islands. They are like tiny reserves where authenticity and history seem to be preserved just a bit more diligently than elsewhere. Moreover, your heartbeat almost instinctively slows down. Allow yourself to be enchanted, much like I was, and secure a few nights in this enchanting paradise. It's so beautiful, it's nearly ridiculous.

**Getting there: it is most likely you'll arrive at Narvik Airport (EVE). From there public transport isn't really an option, so it is most wise to reserve a car in advance. Since Norway has one of the best fast-charging networks in the world, I would advise you to rent an electric car. Better for the environment, cheaper to charge and it gets you everywhere. Check here for availability.


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