Asmaløy - Hvaler – island by island - The Hvaler Islands - Fredrikstad and Hvaler - Visit Østfold

Asmaløy

Asmaløy has an unusually fine coastal landscape and, with a rich birdlife and rare plants, is perfect for outdoor activities.

As we cross the bridge over Asmalsundet we can look north to Knatten, once the home of authors Johan and Annemarta Borgen, today owned by artist Eva Lange and author Erik Frisch who maintain its artistic renown. Straight ahead is Rød, where there is a supermarket. Rød has become one of the largest communities on Hvaler, with its own school and activities centre. To the south we glimpse Pikesten Beacon and Brattestø harbour with its wind-blown trees. At Brattestø there is a summer shop, marina and refreshments. On the east coast lies the old ferry quay at Skipstadsand, where Hvaler’s pilots are now stationed.  Before Hvaler Tunnel opened this was a busy harbour with ferries to Korshavn on Kirkøy. At the southern tip of the island is Vikerhavn, a sheltered harbour embracing many pleasure boats. The whole west of Asmaløy offers excellent walking terrain with marked trails from Åsebu in the north all the way down to Vikerhavn.

 

Birds, flowers and insects

Asmaløy is rich in biological diversity, as reported bird sightings regularly indicate. During migration there are often sightings of rare birds, and in winter even white-tailed and golden eagles visit. Orchids thrive on Asmaløy, in May thousands of beautiful early-purple orchids bloom on old grazing pastures around Huser. A little later the lesser butterfly-orchid blooms – a mysterious orchid that smells best at night for it is pollinated by nocturnal insects. The modest, pale but sweet-smelling musk orchid is only found in Norway here on Asmaløy. A rich flora is always accompanied by a rich insect fauna. Hundreds of different butterfly and moth species have been registered here, including the beautiful six-spot burnet. In areas that fall within the national park boundaries, steps have been taken to maintain the diversity, including grazing and protective burning to stunt the vegetation. A side-effect of this may be that at times we have to share the best bathing spots with relatively large animals.

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