Oslo fjord


Drøbak is the only all-year christmas town in Norway, and every year they recive about 20 000 letters to the Norwegian "Julenisse" from all around the world.

Drøbak is a town and the centre of the municipality of Frogn, in Akershus county, Norway. The city is located along the Oslofjord, and has 13,409 inhabitants.


Drøbak and Frogn was established as a parish on its own through a royal decree Sept. 8, 1823. It had been a part of Ås parish.

Drøbak was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). It was merged with Frogn January 1, 1962.

The old bakery in Drøbak

Traditionally, Drøbak was the winter harbour of Norway's capital, Oslo, since in severe winters the fjord will freeze from outside Drøbak all the way up to Oslo. It had a city status between 1842 and 1962, upon which point the municipality was merged into the rural municipality Frogn and lost its city status. The city status was regained by the municipality council on 13 February 2006. It was also decided that adjacent villages such as Heer would be included within the city.

A notable event in Drøbak's history is the World War II sinking of the German cruiser Blücher in the Drøbak narrows (only 1 mile (1.5 km) wide), on the early morning of 9 April 1940. The cruiser was transporting German soldiers and bureaucrats for the planned swift occupation of Oslo, but the Battle of Drøbak Sound resulting in the sinking by the Oscarsborg fortress delayed this, and thus allowed for the evacuation of the Norwegian Royal Family, parliament, and cabinet, and for the nation's gold reserves to be denied the occupiers

Early Drøbak had ferries that crossed the fjord, in modern times they have largely been replaced by an underwater tunnel. However, some of the old ferries are still used as "floating restaurants" during the summer.


In summertime, cruise ships visit Oslo almost every day. Often, as many as four or five cruise ships visit each day, in addition to all the regular traffic, it has made Drøbak a popular sea-side tourist spot. However, the numerous restaurants, art galleries and mild summers are probably more important factors for visiting tourists.[3]

Drøbak is also known for its many art galleries. The town has a Christmas shop called Julehuset (the Christmas house), and letters often end up in Drøbak from Europe similarly to how they end up in Santa Claus, Indiana in the United States.[4]

During the summer months, there are tourist buses going from Oslo to Drøbak on day trips for tourists. Visitors can experience a traditional Norwegian fjord town. It is also a popular Oslo suburb for citizens to live as public transportation is well connected between Drøbak and Oslo, both by bus and boat.

At the marina at the approach to Drøbak is a sculpture, made by Reidar Finsrud, cast in bronze of three mermaids sitting on a rock. The sculpture was unveiled in 1999.[5]

The three mermaids in Drøbak

Drøbak Church

Square in Drøbak

lfish is open to the public and shows live video footage of the sea life in the fjord where fish, lobster and crab are often visible for the aquarium visitors. [6] Norsk Luftambulanse is headquartered in Drøbak.[7]

The name

The Norse form of the name was Drjúgbakki. The first element is drjúgr 'hard; long', the last element is bakki m '(up)hill'. This is related to the very steep roads winding down into the city center of Drøbak.

Drøbak Church

Drøbak Church (Drøbak Kirke) is located in Drøbak parish in the Søndre Follo deanery within the Diocese of Borg. The church was opened on October 29, 1776. The church was a gift from timber merchant, landowner and shipowner Niels Carlsen (1734-1809) and his wife Martha Zachariassen (1743–1821). Significant repairs were made to the church in the 1820s. Domenico Erdmann (1879–1940) led the restoration in conjunction with the 150th anniversary in 1926. [8] [9] [10] [11]


Drøbak is divided into eight notable areas. These places include:

Gyltåsen, which mainly consists of cabins and "season-housing".

Husvik, where most of the year-around boats are being kept. This area was also significant in the sinking of the German cruiser Blücher in 1940, as the location of the Husvik Battery of Oscarsborg Fortress. The guns of the battery are still in place in these hills as tourist attractions.

Sentrum (city centre), here lies "Julehuset" and most of the local stores. Most of the City Centre is being protected by local laws as "Verneverdig" which in short terms means that it has a significant cultural value and cannot be changed or rebuilt. Therefore, much of the city centre looks like it did 100 years ago.

Skiphelle and Elleflaten, an area consisting of suburban housing and a tiny hotel called "Drøbak Fjordhotel".

Sogsti, consisting of much of Drøbak's suburban housing.

Odalen and Haveråsen is the "outer banks" of Drøbak, where the housing and population consists more of agricultural purpose.

Belsjø and Heer, the suburban housing around the large golf course surrounding most of northern Drøbak.

Ullerud and Dyrløkke, a large hill of suburban housing. Here are also the local mall and a large school up to high school level.[12]

See also

Drøbak Sound

Battle of Drøbak Sound


•Sørensen, Rolf m.fl.: Frogn bygdebokverk, Frogn kommune, 1996-, 5 b. (in Norwegian), ISBN 82-993990-0-9

Oscarsborg Fortress(in English)

•Drange, Erling: Drøbak fra nord til syd : husene forteller historie (2001), (in Norwegian) ISBN 82-996109-0-7

Julehuset (The Christmas house) Archived December 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (in English)

Three mermaids in Drøbak, Norway mermaidsofearth.com (in English)

Drøbak Akvarium (in Norwegian)

Norsk Luftambulanse, Headquarters in Drøbak (in Norwegian)

"Drøbak kirke og kirkegård". lokalhistoriewiki.no. Retrieved September 1, 2018.

Sigrid Marie Christie, Håkon Christie. "Drøbak kirke". Norges Kirker. Retrieved September 1, 2018.

Bernhard Magnussen. "Niels Carlsen". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2018.

Dag Myklebust. "Domenico Erdmann". Norsk kunstnerleksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2018.

Svein Askheim. Drøbak at Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian)

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Drøbak.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Drøbak.

Visit Drøbak (in English)

Introduction to Drøbak (in English)

A taste of Drøbak VIDEO (in English)

Drøbak travel guide from Wikivoyage


Drøbak is a town of historical interest; this is where the German ship Blücher was sunk during the German attack on Norway on the morning of April 9, 1940. The ship transported German soldiers passing Oscarsborg Fortress, and the sinking of the ship delayed the German invasion and allowed the government, parliament, and royal family to evacuate to England. The fortress is located five minutes by ferry from Santa’s post office, with hotels, spas, and even an opera each year.

Get in

By plane

Oslo Airport Gardermoen, Norway’s Main Airport. Travelling time by car to Drøbak is approximately 1 hour (50% more during busy day hours through Oslo Ring Road).

For more information on facilities at and around Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, see the Oslo Airport, Gardermoen article.

By boat

Good moorings if you have your own boat.

In the period April 15 to September 30 you may travel to Drøbak by ferry. The ferryboat leaves every day from Aker Brygge in Oslo, landing at Sjøtorget in Drøbak. This ferry stops at Oscarsborg Fortress and Håøya.

By bus

Bus routes 541 and 542 from Oslo, about 40 minutes away. The fare is 74kr.

By car

European Route E6 is going through Frogn municipality in the north-south direction (from Oslo and the Swedish border). Follow signs to Drøbak from the motorway. There is a sub sea tunnel at Norwegian National Road 23 under the Oslofjord from the west side of the fjord. (Hurum and Drammen where connected to the European Road E18)

By motorcycle

The mentioned routes for bicycles are tempting drives for MC-enthusiasts who want to avoid the motorway and enjoy curvy country roads.

By taxi

A taxi from Oslo will cost you about 500-600kr in the daytime, and about 1000kr in the evening or at night. On longer taxi rides, it's OK to bargain with the driver for a fair price.

Get around



500 m

Wikimedia maps | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Map of Drøbak

The town of Drøbak is small, and most can be reached on foot. For tours in the wider area Follo, the bus is the best option, both north towards the capital, Oslo and south towards Østfold county.

Drøbak has good ports for small boats. The surroundings around Drøbak provide excellent opportunities to use a bicycle or motorcycle. If you drive a car, you should be aware of the many toll booths in the area. Taxi is a rather expensive alternative.

1 Ferry to Oscarsborg Fortress. edit


The three murmaids in Drøbak

1 Oscarsborg Fortress. (Ferry timetable). with a museum. Learn about the sinking of the German warship Blücher that was sunk just outside Drøbak on April 9, 1940 during the invasion of Norway. Ferry from Drøbak to the island of Oscarsborg Oscarsborg Fortress on Wikipedia Oscarsborg Fortress (Q2033069) on Wikidata edit

2 Fredrik Stabel & Avistegnernes Hus, Lindtruppbakken 1. A museum for newspaper cartoons. edit

3 Drøbak Church, Kirkegata 18. is a very beautiful 18th-century church edit

4 Drøbak Aquarium, Havnegata 4. study local fish and marine animals close up. edit

Lutefisk Museum - This museum is unique - being the world's only. It has a rather humouristic exhibition of one of Norway’s most special and traditional fish dishes, next door to the Aquarium

5 A sculpture of three murmaids. is placed in the at the approach to Drøbak, created by Reidar Finsrud and unveiled in 1999. edit

Several art galleries.


Go for a walk in the city centre, with the many art galleries. Take a look at the picturesque buildings everywhere.

Go for a sea bath in Badeparken or one of the many beaches in the summer.

1 Drøbak Golf Club, Belsjøveien 50, ☎ +47 64 98 96 50. Drøbak Golf Club has one of the most popular golf courses in Norway! Green fee: Adults NOK 400,

junior NOK 250. edit


The post office of Santa Claus - in Drøbak

1 Tregaardens Julehus (The Christmas House), Havnebakken 6. Drøbak is hometown to Santa Claus, or Julenissen in Norwegian, and he has of course an office open to public where you can buy his stuff all year long edit


1 Skipperstuen (Captain's lodge), Havnebakken 11, ☎ +47 64 93 07 03. Just up from the harbour provides good food and a splendid view to the fiord. edit

2 Kumlegaarden, Niels Carlsens gt. 11, ☎ +47 64 93 89 90. Traditional food in one of the oldest houses in Drøbak. edit

3 Miramar, Jørnsebakken 7, ☎ +47 64 93 00 68. A place to eat while looking out on the Oslofjord from the panorama windows. edit

4 Peppes Pizza, Torget 1 (on the square, in the middle of town), ☎ +47 2222 5555. 1PM -10PM, Saturdays 1PM - 11PM. American style pizza. (Also home delivery, take-away service) Peppes Pizza on Wikipedia Peppes Pizza (Q911973) on Wikidata edit

Telegrafen (To be reconstructed after fire). Lunch and dinner place, which also serves as a nightclub. edit

5 Havnekroa (in the guest harbor of Oscarsborg). varied menu at the fortress edit


1 Bageriet, Havnebakken 1. A very very very small and cosy pub. edit

Telegrafen and Reenskaug hotel (generally a bit younger crowd)

Note: The local authorities closed all food sale after midnight because they did not want people in the streets at night time. So no burgers, etc., on the streets of Drøbak.


1 Reenskaug Hotel, ☎ +47 64 98 92 00, e-mail: mail@renskaug.no. Cozy hotel in the centre of town. Fridays and Saturdays a disco on the ground floor. edit

2 Oscarsborg Hotel & Resort (Boat from the town centre), ☎ +47 64 90 40 00, e-mail: booking@oscarsborghotel.no. The hotel & resort at the historical site of Oscarsborg Fortress. edit

Go next

Hvitsten (to the south) - an idyllic little port where the famous painter Edvard Munch had his summer residence.

Son (a few miles to the south) is a cozy, traditional village and port in Vestby municipality, even smaller than Drøbak that consists of small, picturesque houses and reputable restaurants near the seafront. A popular location for different artists.

Tusenfryd Amusementpark is a necessary stop for children, on your way northwards towards Oslo.

Kilde: Wikivoyage, Wikipedia + This travel guide page was last edited at 21:33, on 6 August 2018 by Wikivoyage user Wrh2Bot. Based on work by Wikivoyage users Carsten R D, Traveler100bot, Traveler100, AndreeBot, Ground Zero, Simon Peter Hughes, Matroc, CarstenR and Jjtkk and others.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.




Hvitsten is the Norwegian "equivalent" to Positano, Italy, where brick houses are virtually stacked on top of each other on the hillside seemingly diving into the ocean. The difference is that the houses "stacked upon each other" here are white wooden houses.

Hvitsten download (3).jpg

Hvitsen is located midway between Drøbak and Son. The village has two popular beaches, Hvitsten beach located in the Hvitsten's harbor bay, and Emmerstadbukta a couple of kilometers south of the village center.

Around the early 1900s Hvitsten and Emmerstad were popular among the Christiania Bohemians in the capital Oslo. Today the village has a mixture of locals and holiday home owners.


Son-harbour-sharped-1100 (2).jpg

Son is the






Son is called Norway's "northernmost southern town". It is easy to understand. Small white wooden houses along twisting streets is a characteristic feature of this coastal gem located along the sunny side of the Oslo fjord. In addition to its idyll, Son is also offering much history and exciting coastal culture. Did you know that the entire Oslo fjord was once named after little Son?

Visit Son – stay at Larkollen during your visit in Norway

Son is a densely populated place (6,000 inhabitants) by the Oslo fjord in the southern part of Vestby municipality in Akershus county. It is especially known for its old buildings from the Dutch period, with wooden houses and narrow alleys that give a distinctive look that one might associate with towns along the coast of southern Norway. It is therefore only natural that holiday makers multiplies the population in the summertime. And the numbers of visitors will probably not be any less in the years to come. The hotel Son Spa, which last winter was named 'Best Quality Resort 2010 in Scandinavia', has atrracted lots of tourists and other visitors to Son since its opening in 2008. The new spa facility is situated where Jack M. Iversen built his famous sailboats in the period between the two world wars.

Paradoxically bad economy was the reason why Son is one of the Oslo fjord's best preserved towns. Earlier they simply could not afford to demolish the old wooden houses. Today 200 houses are registered as preservable.

Three old trading houses are situated along the harbor. One of them is Thornegården from 1640. It is the second oldest building in the Oslo fjord and has an architecture characterized by both Renaissance and Barocque. If you go into the backyard you can see that it is a half-timbered house, clearly influenced by the Dutch style. Strolling along the Strandgaten you will find eccentric artists' houses and Little Skaugum. The latter house is rumoured to be a miniature copy of Skaugum before the fire. Spinnerigården, Stoltenberggården and Wollegården, all from the 1700s, are other listed buildings bearing witness of prosperity in Son's heyday. You can also admire imaginative reconstruction of old outhouses and barns.

Son Coastal Culture Center

Down by the harbor is Son Coastal Culture Center scattered in several buildings. Here you can visit an old fisherman's house and learn about faith and superstition among fishermen. The Center also has a forge house, seaside cottage, a museum pier for old wooden boats and a boat yard. The Coastal Culture Center also owns a fishing net dryer, one of the very few remaning ones in the fjord.

Son is a favored port and natural stopover for boaters. There are almost half a million recreational boats in Norway, and no country in the world has more boats per capita. In Son's harbor are more than 1,000 boats of different types and sizes, and there are also particularly many guest spots here. In other words, the port represents a large part of Son.

Son Seilforening (Son Sailing Association) has asserted itself for a long time as one of the Oslo fjord's most active sailing associations. It became famous after one of its members, Siren Sundby, won the gold medal in the Summer Olympics in 2004. Son Marina was also used as location for the TV series “Båtliv (Boat Life), which aired on NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corp.) in 2003. An important feature of the port in Son being one of the most attractive harbors in the Oslo fjord, is that it is relatively deep. This makes it easy to dock large sailboats at the pier in Son center.

On the town in Son

If you're going out to eat, Son is definitely the place. Son has several restaurants and eateries, art galleries and shops. From my stay in Son last summer in connection with collecting background material for this article, I still remember, 10 months later, that I should remind myself to recommend Son Kro in this article. When a restaurant offers the very best of service and food experiences, it is only proper to salute Son Kro. It is especially nice when food and service are top-notch, which is exactly what it was on this warm summer evening at Son Kro's terrace.

In Gallery Son's magnificent garden you can enjoy good drinks with a view to the throng of people on the beach promenade below. In the evenings a DJ often ensures a relaxed atmosphere by playing songs in the "chill out" category.

Artists love Son

Early in the 20th century Son became an artists' town. Celebrities like Nils Kjær, Ludvig Karsten, Herman Wildenwey, Ronald Fangen and the eccentric painter Karl Dørnberger were among those who settled here. Even today a number of famous artists live in Son, and there are several galleries here.

Beach lovers’ paradise

Son is a paradise for those who love the beach life. Son Beach is 200 meters from the town square and has rocks, a diving board, swimming ladders and a kiosk.

The Brevik bay is located in a particularly wonderful recreational area south of the spa hotel. Here are polished rocks facing south and west, excellent for sunbathing, a beach volleyall court, parking and toilets. Nordre Sauholmen is an excursion islet (located in the sound outside the spa hotel) with child-friendly sandy beaches. Nordre Sauholmen has many fine rocks with great fishing opportunities. If you throw out the line here, you run the "risk" of catching a fjord mackerel or a whiting. On the islet are several well-preserved sea sheds and old tan equipment for the preparation of fish nets. Here are good anchoring opportunities (no public pier) with mooring possibilities on the west and east sides of the islet.

Large area around Son is open for public recreation.

Trips in Son

With a rented horse and carriage, or a with a rowing boat, you can take a trip to the old lading site at Hølen. This trip is called a truly exotic experience. Or you could try the coastal culture trail to Hølen and Vardeåsen with a view of the fjord from Oscarsborg fortress to Færder lighthouse and four counties.

The hike to Kjøvangen is alone worth the experience of this vigorous avenue. Come visit when it is at its most beautiful in late May or early June.

North of Son is the public area Kjøvangen with a small pebble beach, rocks, grass areas and a pier with fishing opportunities. Widely used by locals. A Bronze Age burial mound is also in the area. Kjøvangen is a great hiking area; go past the ice dam Stamnestjernet and all the way to the top of Vardeåsen. From here you can see everything from Drøbak in the north to Bolærne (Sweden) in the south. After you have passed the golf course on your way to Kjøvangen, you'll be walking along one of the most beautiful avenues in the region. The hike to Kjøvangen is alone worth the experience of this vigorous avenue. Come visit when it is at its most beautiful in late May or early June.

The Angel Town

Drøbak has Santa Claus, Son has the angels. Its not just in the summer that Son buzzes with people and activity. The Lucia procession on December 13 is one of the biggest events in Son during the exciting Advent packed with activities. The summer town of Son offers lots of enjoyment for the whole family around the harbor area - even in winter: Cafes and restaurants have Christmas and angel menus. How about doing your Christmas shopping in Son? Angels in all shapes and sizes adorn the streets, square, shops, and restaurants.

The name Angel Town has its basis in Gallery Son's annual angel exhibition, which the gallery's owner, Marianne Helle, started 12 years ago. It is an exhibition with angels in all varieties; sweet, small, large, and angels full of character. When you arrive at Son in the winter you will now be greeted by angels with candles and with live lanterns outside shops and cafes. Amazingly evocative!

Zoon, Zoen, Soon or Son?

Did you know that the entire Oslo fjord was once named after little Son? The first maps of Norwegian coastal waters are of Dutch origin. There were several reasons for it. Firstly, the Dutch were skilled cartographers. Moreover, they imported large quantities of timber from Norway with their own ships.

One of the maps that has been preserved from this time is drawn by Lucas Janszon Waghenaer from Enkhuizen. It is reproduced in "Spiegel der Zeevaerdt", a sea atlas published in 1583. The map is small scale and covers the coast from Merdø via "Zoen Water" to Uddevalla (Sweden). Zoen Water was the Dutch name for the Oslo fjord. It was probably named after Son, which was an important lumber port. Lucas Janszon's map provides a rough simplified picture of the waters and only includes the largest islands and fjords.

The name Son is not verifiably explained by official place name research.

A prevailing view is that it has a river affiliation. The name is assumed to come from the river Saanen which runs through the neighboring parish Saaner, then to Hølen, further on to Son before it empties into Sonskilen with the name Hølenselva. The name has also been linked to the verb (to) sow, used for fish spawning and in this case meaning "spawning river". It has also been attached to the verb svona - svinne inn, minke (shrink, dwindle), so that the meaning becomes "the river that dwindles greatly when drought". In earlier times Son was also written Soon, Zoen, Zoon and Sogn. The latter spelling is considered to be based on a misunderstanding that the name stemmed from the word "sogn" (parish); it doesn't seem to have been used locally. "Son" became official spelling in 1891. Earlier "Soon" seems to have been used most often. Several businesses in Son use the spelling Soon if it is part of their company name.


Son is an ancient seaport by the Oslo fjord, between Hvitsten and Moss. The town had 586 inhabitants in 1920. Son was used as a harbor for Christiania (today Oslo) when the inner parts of the fjord was covered by ice. Son's heyday as a commerce center and shipping harbor started around 1550. First through the export of lumber, and until 1900 large quantities of wood materials were exported from Son, especially to England, the Netherlands and Denmark. Zoon Water is used as the name of the Oslo fjord on old Dutch maps. Shipowners opened business in Son. Many other businesses were established at the same time; lumber trading, tobacco spinnery, and licquor distillery. They all contributed to Son's prosperity in the late 1700s.

The town was an important lumber harbor already during the Dutch period from the end of the 1500s until well into the 1700s. The town received its customs rights in 1604. Customs revenues were large, and Tønsberg, Fredrikstad and later Moss tried to incorporate Son. In the 1670s Son had twice as much customs revenues as Moss. The population naturally grew in line with the prosperity growth. Several of the buildings in the city are from the glory days that followed, including the brick building Thornegården from 1641 and the timber buildings Stoltenberggården and Spinnerigården. The latter was named after Ove Meyer's Tobaksspinderi. Ove Meyer lived here from 1750. Son's growth stagnated after 1720, when Moss became a town. One could float timber to Moss from a far wider area around Vannsjø and Moss were thus able to offer somewhat better conditions.

During the last half of the 1800s the export of ice was also an important commodity for Son. Son got its own fleet of schooners in the 1800s, and 23 ships were domiciled there in the 1890s. However, by 1905 Son was no longer home for proud sailing ships. The fact that Son Sailing Association is one of the most active in the Oslo fjord today, is kind of a maritime continuation of history.

Early in the morning of April 9, 1940, after the German fleet heading for Oslo had been forced by Oscarsborg fortress to turn back, the ferry "Oscarsborg", also known as "Borgen", which shuttled between Son and Oslo, was hijacked by the cruiser "Lützow". Around 300 soldiers and officers boarded the ferry which docked at Son. Thus, the town square in Son was the first place where German soldiers set foot on Norwegian soil during the invasion, with the exception of those who had swum ashore from "Blücher". A total of about one thousand German troops were put ashore in Son during the day. On April 28, 1940 the Royal Air Force tried to bomb the fuel stockpiles at Laksa with phosporus bombs. They missed their target and no buildings were damaged, either. The town center was evacuated during the attack.

Map data ©2018 Google

Terms of Use

Report a map error


Hvitsten is the Norwegian "equivalent" to Positano, Italy, where brick houses are virtually stacked on top of each other on the hillside seemingly diving into the ocean. The difference is that the houses "stacked upon each other" here are white wooden houses.

Hvitsen is located midway between Drøbak and Son. The village has two popular beaches, Hvitsten beach located in the Hvitsten's harbor bay, and Emmerstadbukta a couple of kilometers south of the village center.

Around the early 1900s Hvitsten and Emmerstad were popular among the Christiania Bohemians in the capital Oslo. Today the village has a mixture of locals and holiday home owners.

Kilde: Wikipedia






Larkollen – an idyllic place under development

Visit Fredrikstad and Hvaler – stay at Larkollen during your visit in Norway

45 minutes from downtown Oslo you’ll Larkollen in Rygge municipality. Larkollen, with its grand wooden villas and tightly packed beaches, is a favorite destination not only for tourists, but also for those who come here just for the day. With is combination of rocks, several recreational areas and shallow beaches, is this a typical summer resort.

Restaurant "Losen"

Just a few years ago, Larkollen was a village where not a lot happened. The “Losen” very quickly became a meeting place where both locals and vacationers thrived. Støtvig Hotel opened in November 2013 with much to offer for both overnight guests and those who make use of the offerings on a day's visit.

Larkollen is a small village with about 1,500 residents, but during a few hectic summer months this number doubles. Larkollen is a nice and popular place to live, but perhaps even better to spend the vacation, whether it is in a caravan, tent or own cabin.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Larkollen, 23th of june, 11.30PM

Some history

The name Larkollen does not appear until around 1650. The port of Larkollen is well suited for sailing ships, and was at that time the most popular port on the eastern side of the Oslo fjord. It was safe for large ships to anchor here, sheltered by the Kollen and Eløya islands. Larkollen was an important harbor for sailing ships in the 1700s, and pilots, captains, innkeepers and craftsmen happily settled here.

Images in the slideshow: Boydell's picturesque scenery of Larkollen - John William Edy.

John William Edy (1760 – 1820) was an English painter. He worked for the publisher John Boydell in London, often anonymously. In the summer of 1800 Edy visited Norway on an assignment for Boydell together with the landscape painter William Fearnside. They were in Norway from July 31 and until the end of September the same year. Edy made numerous drawings from the trip, among them drawings of Ny-Hellesund which was the place the two artists arrived at in Norway. In Norway he is also known for his drawings of Christiania (Oslo), Larkollen and Moss. Boydells Picturesque Scenerey of Norway was published in London in 1820.


It is easy to understand why this wonderful place began to attract vacationers in the late 1800s. In 1879, the railway between Christiania (Oslo) and Halden opened, with a stopover at Dilling, located 7 kilometers from Larkollen. Larkollen thus became an attractive and available area for bathers in the summertime. In the 1900s, holiday makers continued to visit the place in large numbers, and many rented rooms with permanent residents. Eventually cabins were built, too. Additionally, Larkollen got a steamship wharf, where fjord boats called en route from the capital and made it easy for even more people to spend their vacation here. In the summertime the Larkoll sound is heavily trafficked by boats, even today.


"Denmark beach" - Night in August

There are many places to visit around Larkollen, and the town itself is also nice for families on day trips. Here you can walk dryshod to Danmark! By this we don't mean the country Denmark, but the small peninsula located south of Larkollen. Via a several hundred meters long naturally built stone dam you can walk on dry land to the peninsula at low tide. Here you can relax, fish sea trout, enjoy the view and swim.

There is a pine forest with red and white wild roses on the peninsula. An ideal place for a picnic. If you get surprised by the high hide while you are here, we are happy to inform you that the water is only knee-deep.

Via a several hundred meters long naturally built stone dam you can walk on dry land to the "Denmark" peninsula at low tide.

Blomsterveien (The Flower Path)

Blomsterveien runs between Halmstad, Larkollen and Ekholt/Øreåsen. Blomsterveien is the name of a number of trails criss-crossing throughout the region. This system of various paths is aiming to pave the way for biking and hiking in Rygge municipality. There are several types of landscapes, sights and monuments around Blomsterveien. The route is marked with signs and markers decorated with a flower.

Kollen and Eldøya

The Kollen and Eldøya islands are located on the other side of the narrow strait across from Larkollen. The islands are situated within the Eldøya-Sletter conservation area. The most of this area consists of sea. On Kollen you'll find woods and thickets, while Eldøya offers a varied landscape with meadows, woods, thickets and a pond. Eldøya is no lonher inhabited. It is nice to go here for a day's visit, and there are several good tenting spots for those who wish to stay here overnight. It is easy to dock a boat on the beach, which is located on the northeast side of the island. As many as 380 plant species are registered on Eldøya. The vegetation is protected, but it is allowed to pick berries and collect mushrooms. Nice trails run to Eldøytjernet (pond) and Vardeberget in the southwest, where you can see burial mounds from the Bronze Age.

Balke gård (Balke Farm)

Visit Balke gård this summer. The farm is located a few hundred meters after the exit from Larkollveien road against Rygge church. The farm has horses, ponies, rabbits, pigs, goats and birds. Balke gård also has a café, and local artists often have art exhibitions here.

You can discover Larkollens´s world just a short drive (45 min) from Oslo.

Kilometers of beaches

Larkollen has many shallow and sandy beaches where children can play and you can wade. With high reeds and dog roses around the swimming area, steep slopes where you can dive right into deep water, and rocks where you can sunbathe. Larkollen is often, and with good reason, associated with the joy of swimming. You'll find several of the county's best beaches in the Larkollen archipelago. Here are some for you to check out this summer:

Botnerbaugen is located northernmost in Larkollen near the Evjesund area. The popular beach area consists of both two sandy beaches and rocks. There is a lot of seaweeds and rocks in the water. The beach is therefore best suited for small children who don't go far out. A large bench is placed on the beach. A little further south are great rocks with diving board and swim ladder. The area has a good supply of water from the bay. An outdoor latrine is placed at the large car park, which is 400 meters from the beach.

Driving onto Tollbuveien road you'll arrive at Tollerstranda beach, a little south of Botnerbaugen. Tollerstranda is a small recreational area, secured by Oslofjordens Friluftsråd as early as 1935. Today Tollerhuset is a resort for employees of the Customs Service. Customs officers were stationed in Larkollen until 1960. The beach consists of a west-facing slope with rocks in the water and lots of seaweed, but a swim ladder provides easy access to the water. But be careful, the water is very deep. Best access to the water is from a small pier. There are toilets and a few benches at the site, as well as a large car park. The site is not very child friendly and therefore best suited for sunbathing.

Billmannsbakken beach is perhaps the finest and most child friendly beach at Larkollen. A lovely curved sandy beach and a long pier, which is nice to dive from. You can find the beach south of Tollerstranda. Drive onto Billmannsbakken and you'll see the beach, eventually.

Billmannsbakken Beach

Støtvig is a south-facing flat bay with a nice sandy beach suorrounded by jetties and breakwaters. Here is a floating dock and diving opportunities from a height of 1.5-2 meters from the pier. Here is a lot of traffic both at sea and on land. New Støtvig Hotel is next door to the beach.

Støtvig is a south-facing flat bay with a nice sandy beach suorrounded by jetties and breakwaters. Here is a floating dock and diving opportunities from a height of 1.5-2 meters from the pier. Here is a lot of traffic both at sea and on land. Støtvig Hotel is next door to the beach.

Engholmstranda and Langstranda are two beaches to the west in the innermost part of Larkollneset in the area locally called "Paradise Bay". You’ll get here by turning off the road at the sign at Larkollveien, then drive approx. 1 km south through the forest. The parking is located on the right hand side inside an old gravel pit. The northern beach is named Engholmstranda and is a nice sandy beach of nearly 200 meters with a flat spacious level behind it. There are toilets on the west side of the level. Lanstranda is located south of Engholmstranda, and is separated from it by 4-5 cabins. The sandy beachis facing northeast, wide and nice with some pebbles and not very child friendly.There is a floating swim platform and kiosk at Larkollen Camping. Two car parks, a small one near the water and a large one approx. 500 meters from the beach.

The southwest facing Danmarksstranda at Larkollen Camping is considered by many to be the area’s finest sandy beach. There are also some rocks here, and a beach volleyball court. A large car park approx. 200 meters from the beach.

Islands that need to be explored and experienced

The three Sletter islands (Store Sletter, Midtre Sletter and Søndre Sletter) located southwest of Larkollneset, confirm their kinship with the other islands along the Østfold coast. A reddish, sharp and gnarled conglomerate of rhomb porphyry is sticking up in the day.

The islands are a collection of flat, grassy islands off Larkollen. They can only be reached by boat, but docking is easy on all islands. Store Sletter has an especially nice sandy beach. The islands got their names because of their appearance. There are not many traces of people on the islands, apart from tourists during the summer season. Store Sletter was inhabitated in the late 1800s. They grew potatoes and minded the livestock, own by the Tomb manor and placed here for grazing in the summer. On top of Store Sletter are three major Bronze Age cairns, bearing witness of ancient habitation. If you decide to visit here, your main purpose should be the experience. To perceive the special un-Norwegian landscape - in a positive sense.

The three Sletter islands (Store Sletter, Midtre Sletter and Søndre Sletter) located southwest of Larkollneset, confirm their kinship with the other islands along the Østfold coast. A reddish, sharp and gnarled conglomerate of rhomb porphyry is sticking up in the day. The islands are a collection of flat, grassy islands off Larkollen. They can only be reached by boat, but docking is easy on all islands. Store Sletter has an especially nice sandy beach.

Norway's biggest instance of the beautiful spring flowering Pasqueflower, Pulsatilla pratensis, can be seen on Store Sletter and Midtre Sletter. We must otherwise go to Eastern Europe's steppes to find a similar terrain with much Pasqueflower. May is the best month to observe these flowers. The flower is bell shaped and nodding with a brown-violet exterior and a dark blue violet inside. The northernmost growing place in the world for this plant is Hovedøya near Oslo.

The Swedish frigate "Venus" with a crew of 300 was borded outside Søndre Sletter by five ships from the Russian Baltic fleet after a short battle. "Venus" was taken as war booty and sailed in the tsar's service for many years after the crew were taken prisoners of war. Several shipwrecks have happened near the Sletter islands. The schooner "Waldemar" of 200 gross tons went down in 1880. Another schooner, "Vigil" of 120 gross tons and loaded with coke, decreased at Sletter in 1990 and the brig "Lina" was loaded with ice when she sank in 1906.

The islands have a total area of approx. 16 acres. There is a sea bird sanctuary on Store Sletter and Søndre Sletter, and both islands with adjoining sea areas are included in the Eldøya-Sletter conservation area. Store Sletter has a gangway pier, information board and toilet on the eastern side. The island is well suited for camping.

Cycling the Coastal Trail. Early autumn is a perfect time for cycling. Slanting sunlight and warm wind make the experience pleasant and rewarding.

Larkollen Coastal Track

Larkollen Week

The Larkollen Week takes place in Mid-July each year, with activities for the whole family. This is a popular event among both residents and holiday makers. Over the years the week has included activities like Olakjerre (homemade "cars" by kids) races, sandcastle building competitions, concerts and local theatrical performances.

Larkollen Week - Activities for the whole family

Typical Larkollen


The archipelago of Fredrikstad stretches along the coast like a string of pearls. You don't have to travel far from the city to find charming fishing villages, Engelsviken is one of them. Engelsviken is famous for its fish soup, Summer Show, and with good places for swimming.

All photography provided by Visit Hvaler

This page is under construction. We are working hard to launch a new page about Engelsviken with new features. Stay tuned!


visit koster.jpg


Just west of Strömstad is a magical place with hundreds of unique islands, islets, and skerries called the Koster Islands, or Kosteröarna. It is a well-known holiday destination loved by many Norwegians. Take the Koster ferry from Strömstad and experience the beautiful islands of Koster in person.

Tourists, cabin-goers, and swimmers are brought to the islands by ferry from Strömstad.

As one of Sweden’s sunniest places, along with its amazing beaches and granite cliffs, the islands have become a popular destination and a go-to for artists, nature lovers, divers and boaters.

Your bike is your best friend on the car-free Koster Islands. One of the best seasons to get well acquainted with the Koster Islands from your bike is autumn.

Bring your bike, but make sure you check out South Koster as it is especially lovely while riding your bike. North Koster has a more vigorous and rugged landscape, which is perfect for hiking trails. Outside the islands is Sweden’s largest seal colony, as well as Sweden’s westernmost lighthouse, Ursholmen.

Koster’s unique nature and genuine archipelago environment

For hundreds of years, the Koster population has worked within agriculture and cultivated the land and the forest into fields, meadows, forests and buildings. With its close proximity to Skagerrak, fishing and seamanship has also been a significant industry for hundreds of years. In fact, since the 17th century, Koster has been a sought-out area for lobster, which was later an exported product to Holland, Belgium, and other European countries.

In the mid-18th century, herring came to the coast in large quantities, and the herring fish industry became the most important industry in Koster for almost 200 years. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, shrimp fishing became popular, and it has since become the most important industry in Kosterhavet (Koster Sea).

It is unclear when the first fishermen settled on the Koster Islands or when the islands were first permanently inhabited, but sources indicate that people lived on the Koster Islands during the 1300s. There is evidence from the end of the 1300s about seven farms; Nordkoster, Långegärde, Upper Kile, Lower Kile, Röd, Brevik and Kyrkosund. During this time, Koster belonged to the southeastern part of Norway and Koster was ruled by the Grimsø Monastery in Skien. Tax was paid in the form of agricultural products from Koster to the Grimsø Monastery.

There are only a few places in Scandinavia with such immense orchid meadows like the ones found on South Koster.

— The orchid above is called “Virgin Mary’s Keys”

The location of the Koster Islands brings mild winters and sunny hot summers. “The sun shines bright above Koster” is an old expression that is certainly true. In addition to the welcoming climate, the soil is rich with limestone, resulting in biologically diverse flora. There is not a single place in Bohuslän with such large orchid meadows as those found on South Koster. The Koster Islands are home to several rare plants, and a considerable amount of these species are only found on Koster, making Koster one of Sweden’s most biologically diverse regions.

The Koster Islands have a rich wildlife. Most people are probably surprised when by the large seal population here. Large groups of seals are usually seen at the shores and islets southwest of South Koster. Deer, hares, and foxes are also found in large numbers on the Koster Islands. Seabirds, as well as migratory birds, are abundantly represented. They even use the Koster Islands as an “airport” as their first stop in Scandinavia on their journey from mainland Europe in the spring, or as their last stop in the fall before they cross Skagerrak and continue south again.

Kosterhavet National Park is a national park off the coast of Bohuslän in Sweden, and houses a unique ecosystem of 12,000 species (about half on land and half in the sea). Kosterhavet National Park was initiated in 2009, in an attempt to preserve and secure the vulnerable marine life in Kosterhavet (Koster Sea) and the unique nature of the Koster Islands. The national park includes 38,878 hectares around the Koster Islands, along Strömstad and Tanum municipalities in Västra Götaland county. The park also borders Ytre Hvaler National Park on the Norwegian side. The islands are separated from the mainland by the Koster Fjord, a 247-meter (810 feet) depression that connects to the Norwegian trench.

Amazing nature, old houses and buildings, meadows filled with rare orchids, sandy beaches, and warm coastal stones and slabs – can’t beat this!

Koster is a group of Swedish islands, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) west of Strömstad. North Koster, with an area of 4 kilometers² (2.5 miles²), has about 60 permanent residents, while South Koster, at 8 kilometers² (5 miles²) has around 240 residents. Around these main islands are a number of smaller uninhabited islets and skerries.

The islands are Sweden’s westernmost place with permanent resident. In addition, the islands are popular vacation destinations, and the number of residents increases almost ten times during the summer. A large portion of the tourists come from Norway. The islands have also become famous for the Kosterbåt (Koster boat), which is a double ender.

Accommodations on the Koster Islands include cabin and apartment rentals, as well as a hotel and private cottages – click here for an overview ->

Guest ports are located in Kostersundet (Koster Strait) on North Koster and in Vettnet. Ekenäs welcomes most visiting boats on South Koster. Kyrkosund and Brevik are smaller guest ports with only a few guest spots.

Koster has daily public transportation by boat to Strömstad. The boats arrive Västra Bryggan and Vettnet on North Koster, as well as Långärde, Ekenäs and Kilesand on South Koster.

Naturrum is the visitor’s center for Kosterhavet National Park. At the visitor’s center you’ll find information about the national park, the aquarium, as well as tips and advice on how to get the most out of your visit on the Koster Islands.

There are also other great activities and amenities worth checking out, including coastal trails, bike trails, miniature golf, and camping. Showers and toilets are available at the guest ports. During the summer, there are two grocery stores that are open. The grocery store on South Koster is open all year round. Kiosks, interior and craft shops, restaurants and cafés are also found on the Koster Islands, but most of them are only open during the summer months.

Source: Wikipedia, Kosterhavet National Park, and the book, Bohuslän, from Bilda Forlag.