Åsgårdstrand is an idyllic small coastal communities. Just to stroll around this small town and see all the manicured gardens provide a lovely ambience in the body. Beautiful and white painted snugly settlement in Åsgårdstrand, with a population of about 3,000 residents.

Overnight at the wharf in Åsgårdstrand ->

Munch's vacation paradise

Especially in summer, this city has much to offer. Åsgårdstrand is a wonderful mix of boats, galleries, cyclists and swimmers. One can swim almost all along the shoreline in the city center, and the shoreline is good about space. Åsgårdstrand is very popular among summer visitors by boat and cabin area. The port is however not so great, and it may be wise to bring in the sails before entering the harbor. The port is expanded with two new pools and it has thus become better accommodate visiting boats. Cobblestones give quay a special touch. In 2007 Åsgårdstrand classified as tourist because the number of tourists and visitors are so high in relation to permanent residents. Summer visitors are largely involved in shaping the atmosphere of the city.

The White City by the Oslo fjord - Åsgårdstrand

Åsgårdstrand is Horten Municipality smallest and oldest city, and was founded about 450 years ago on the basis of timber and shipbuilding. But not until the mid-1800s began passenger boats between Oslo and Vestfold towns to visit Åsgårdstrand, which made the city a popular bathing and holiday resort. Åsgårdstrand eventually became known as the center for artists because of the unique light here.

Ride on the coastal path from Horten to Åsgårdstrand? Read more ->

There is no doubt that Edward Munch enjoyed staying in Åsgårdstrand, and was inspired as an artist. In 1889, he spent his first of many summers in Åsgårdstrand, and bought a few years later a simple fisherman's house from the 1700s. In this house decorated his living room to serve as bedrooms, study and dining room. Today owned house of Horten Municipality, and it serves as a museum where everything is preserved as it was when Edward Munch lived there. The museum is open every day during the summer months of June, July and August, except Mondays.

The light of the Oslo Fjord and the beaches of Åsgårdstrand fascinates as much today as in Edvard Munch's time.

Edward Munch painted many of the most famous paintings in Åsgårdstrand res, including "Girls on the Bridge" in 1902. There have been many famous artists in Åsgårdstrand, and primarily painters. The place became known as the center for artists and since 1880 a number of artists painted in Åsgårdstrand, among them world names like Christian Krogh and Hans Heyerdahl as well as Edvard Munch, as already mentioned. In the center we find several galleries, and many artists have sommeratelierene its here. The place is known for its distinctive light that is reminiscent of the unique light at Skagen. Artists went to either Skagen or Åsgårdstrand to paint this special light.

Charming café life in Åsgårdstrand streets

In Åsgårdstrand we find a number of inviting restaurants and cafes. If you go up the steep hill from the harbor next to the hotel and turn left at the top, you are moving into a typical Åsgårdstrand-coat with picket fences and whitewashed houses. Here is Frantz Confectionery with backyard cafe next door to the cozy Munch's Café. Here you can sample the local traditional favorite crab wonder. A crab lure is a round donut baking, reminiscent donut. The cafe is a cross between patisserie and restaurant. The chowder here can heartily recommend. And in Åsgårdstrand only pub boathouse has been life for many years. Come and savor the local atmosphere.

Bike ride to art and donuts at
Åsgård Beach

Would you like to have culture, nature, and history without uphill slops this summer? Join the short ride between Horten and Åsgårdstrand, or Åsgård Beach. A bike ride without lots of effort but nonetheless beautiful stretches of coastal path. 

You need not be a bike enthusiast to enjoy cycling from Horten to Åsgårdstrand. You just have to know how to ride a bicycle. The ride is safe for kids, too. The path is clearly marked, and running mostly through forests and hills. It's not far. Uphill conspicuous by its absence, and there is much to see along the way. Don’t have a bicycle? At the tourist office on the pier in Horten, you can rent one for 35 kroner. Then you have the bike and helmet for three days, if you’d like. From Horten, you must ride through some lovely residential areas before going to the forest.

After a few kilometers through the forest, we arrive at Borre, Scandinavia's largest collection of graves from the Viking era. The nine large mounds still reign over the majestic landscape. You can have a picnic under an oak tree, or grab a cup of coffee and watch the show at Midgard Historical Centre. Now comes the final treat of the ride: The last part of the way through Fjugstad nature reserve, with Scandinavia's largest ash forest. The trail is sun speckled, with ash trees closing around us and buttercups growing in the grass. All we hear are birds chirping.

- I'm sitting in the only nice house I have lived in – the house in Åsgårdstrand, wrote Edvard Munch to his friend Sigurd Autumn. If you follow the road straight ahead when entering Åsgårdstrand, you’ll reach Munch's house. The house was bought by Åsgårdstrand municipality in 1944 and is a museum today. Everything here is preserved as it was when the painter lived there. His suit hangs on the wall, collars in the closet, inkwell and pen splits on the table. Munch bought the house in 1897 for 900 kroner. At the time, this was the poor district of Åsgårdstrand.  Fishermen here lived in small houses with their large families. But Munch enjoyed living here. He sought the real and original. Munch came here when he was very young, and was looking for his expression, which was largely shaped here in Åsgårdstrand. Here he met his great love, Mille Thaulow, which he never forgot. She was married, so they faced each other off in bird song, which is the forest we just rode through. Munch’s motives are everywhere in Åsgårdstrand. Portions of Munch iconography, moon pillar, and the shoreline are taken from this area.

Åsgårdstrand offers a variety of galleries, studios, restaurants and nice little shops. Munch Café has been the area’s confectionery since 1914. Back then, the painter often ate krabbelurer, or “crab wonders,” here, which is a kind of roll with donut dough. It’s normal to buy a krabbelurer and take it down to the pier where Munch painted girls on the bridge, sit down on a bench and recharge the return trip: The forty-five minute bike ride on a sunny trail along the lake.


Kjerringvik and the delightful surroundings


A narrow and winding road leads through to Kjerringvik, beach spot which is the most northeasterly and smallest of the old ports in Larvik Coast. Here in the changing nature between forests, beaches, rocky shores and mountain views, the Vestfold idyll couldn’t be more apparent. Let the rocks warm your feet, the wind dance through your hair and cool off in the clean, clear waters of some of the many swimming spots.


Idyllic Vacation

Kjerringvik is sheltered by steep hills and knolls, although the place is totally out at sea.

It’s probably not too surprising that this place was known as smuggling port in the first quarter of the 1900s. Kjerringvik is an idyllic place where old architectural building styles are mixed with the new. White, wooden houses with manicured gardens surrounded by a picket fence are a common sight in Kjerringvik. There are no restaurants or shops in Kjerringvik but a summertime kiosk has the most necessary goods. Kjerringvik is a part of the northern-most part of the Eftang peninsula and pretty close to Sandefjord, but within Larvik country lines.


Boating and Bathing

Kjerringvik has two great children-friendly beaches, Northern Harbor and Southern Harbor, located on either side of the pier out to the island of Fornet. The two sandy beaches are frequented by sun lovers. Residents of the pleasant village and visitors come often to the beaches. In addition, there are excellent places to swim from the rocks in areas outside of Kjerringvik and the islands south of the harbor.


Martaholm, the southern of the two Kjerring islands south of Kjerringvik, is a popular place to swim throughout the summer season. People come from far and wide to the islands. Both guests who own cabins in the area or are here on vacation love the place and those who take boats along the coast are welcomed to Martaholm, a lovely port with shelter from the weather. Although toilet and waste amenities are unavailable at Martaholm, but what the island lacks the facilities, it makes up in beautiful archipelago nature. Here, high cliffs plunge straight into the sea, while the center of the island is smooth and flat and goes by the name "The Dancehall". There is a wonderful grass area suitable for a camping trip, and the bay to the north has shallow beach for swimming. The beach is closed off by buoys for protection against boat traffic. Martaholm is blessed with beautiful evening sun and great fishing around the whole island.



Maritime aktivity since the 1400s

Kjerringvik has a rather long and turbulent history. Already in the 1400s, Kjerringvik was a fishing port for the surrounding farms. Under the lumber trade era the town was a famous place to anchor. Mooring rings on the rocks outside Kjerringvik are evidence of this. The first inhabitants settled here in the 1720s. There were fishermen and navigators. In the latter half of the 1700s, Kjerringvik had a shipyard, and from the 1850s to the 1950s, there was a toll station on site.


War drama in Kjerringvik

On May seventh, 1808, nine brave men from Tjølling chased English sailors at sea in Kjerringvik and rescued a vital cargo of grain from falling into enemy hands. Having sunk or captured nearly the entire Danish-Norwegian fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen, the English naval vessels formed an effective blockade around Skagerrak in order to starve Norway. They were effective enough to cause people to starve because of the shortage of grain.


The drama in Kjerringvik started when a Norwegian brig loaded with grain was discovered by the English frigates "Tartarus" and "Daphne". In an attempt to escape, they set course towards Kjerringvik. The crew then jumped ashore and ran into the woods to escape the English. From the frigates came the English, planning to claim land and take the cargo, which they assumed would be easy prey.

Kjerringvik’s chairman of coastal protection, Anders Hovland, realized early what was about to happen. Before the English had reached land, Anders Hovland managed to find eight men (7 from the coast guard and 1 navigator). They posted themselves up in the mountains by the port. When the English tried to enter the grain ship, the small defense opened fire against the English. An English officer shook mockingly with his sword against the small group of defenders, but fell just after being hit in the first skirmishes. Shortly after, enough of the Englishmen dropped to give a Norwegian lead. Then another two soldiers were hit and the English took to flight and rowed hastily back to their frigates, which sat out at sea.


Anders Hovland, who spearheaded the small force that drove back 30 soldiers under military management, was recognized and awarded with the Order of Dannebrog. In the rock wall at the pier in Kjerringvik is an inscription commemorating the event.


Loss in Kjerringvik’s waters


Martaholm, which we referred to as a bathing paradise earlier in the article, is named after a windjammer from Tjøme, "Martha," which was wrecked by Martahølet, the creek to the south, in an accident in 1875 after the rudder jammed in a powerful storm, and "Martha" was thrown into a ravine with a steep rock wall and shattered. Of the crew of ten, five perished on the ship, which was put on the water outside Rauer. The ship remained on the island for a while, but was broken down by the sea.


Another ship, "Hanna", wrecked in the same place in 1891. It encountered Rauer (a group of islands, southeast of Kjerringvik), got a leak, and the crew abandoned ship, which drifted into Martahølet. One of the crew had become entangled in the rope was taken with the ship. The remains of the two vessels still lay at the bottom.


Surrounding Delights

First and foremost, Kjerringvik and the close surrounding areas Karto, Håkavika, Svinvika, and Kjerringfjellet are great holiday and cabin paradise with a beautifully stunning location. The area is like the coastline along Eftang Peninsula - wild and beautiful with massive height differences, with its high mountain that ascends up dramatically from the white sandy beaches. The great hilly terrain alternates between woodlands through open pastures to the archipelago scenery, cliffs, and beaches.


The coastline of Eftang offers perhaps the most spectacular scenery along the coast of Vestfold. Those who have cabins in the area are well acquainted with the natural qualities here, and once you have gotten your cabin here, you’ll find quite extraordinary reasons for a cabin. The relatively pristine, idyllic nature here also provides a peaceful contrast to the teeming human life, which unfolds at campsites and beaches in the area.



Håkavika, located at the very north of the Eftang Peninsula and southwest of the Sandefjord fjord, and is one of the many places you can check out while driving the Eftang Peninsula. In the area around Håkavika there are numerous forest trails and wide gravel roads.

The area is a recreational area that is well protected from traffic in the Sandefjord fjord. You can find a great jetty and some mooring bolts in the bay. Both around the pier facility and in the cove are lovely beaches of golden rocks and fine-grained sand beaches. The rocks to the south are well suited for angling, and the fish bite often. If you love to pick blueberries, then the woodlands at Håkavika are pure paradise at the end of July and the first half of August.


Look out for trolls

To the west of the journey of Håkavika is the small swimming area Skjellsand with a deep bay called Fantebukta. In the area just south of Fantebukta, sits a tall and steep wooded hill. A trail snakes its way up to the top of the hill. From the top, you have a fantastic view over Eftanglandet, Sandefjord Fjord, and Skagerrak. If you continue along the path, you’ll follow the rest of the looped path back down to the starting point. Before you get that far, though, you’ll encounter a warning sign along the trail. The sign pictured with a troll tells you that there is a risk of encountering these creepy creatures. Just by the sign, the path continues into a ravine with three large stones wedged firmly between the walls of the narrow gorge. The trail is a wonderful and exciting experience for the whole family.



The neighboring bay, Svinevika, is just a few hundred meters south of the Fante Bay. Svinevika is a popular, beautiful sandy beach at the head of the bay. Here you’ll find shallow water and good conditions for children. The beach in Svinevika must be one of the bathing places in Vestfold with the most beautiful surroundings because it sits in the bay surrounded by hills and mountains interspersed with some trees and vacation homes here and there.


Kjerringfjell Mountain

A little south of Kjerringvik, about halfway between Ula and Kjerringvik, are the Kjerringfjellet mountains. Along the steep paved road that takes you almost to the top of Kjerringfjellet, you can choose from several roads and trails that run in many directions. If you’re looking for a place to train and work out, you’ve come to the right place. You can choose to ride your bike on bumpy trail down to the pebble beach and visit unknown gems you have all to yourself. If the goal is to pump blood, then a quick run up the steep steps in the mountain side will help with that. If you just exercise normally, a nice gravel road for both running and cycling in varied terrain and landscapes are available. Ifyou’d like a stunning 360 degree view over the Oslofjord and Vestfold, start an ascent on the steep, but paved road up to the site of the old signal station.