Island hopping – all in one day? - Island hopping Hvaler - The Hvaler Islands - Fredrikstad and Hvaler - Visit Østfold

Island hopping – all in one day?

It is actually possible to visit all the eastern isles in one day – but you will have to get up early and plan carefully for your trip.

We use the following timetable:

 

Place

 

Departure

 

Place

 

Arrival

 

Skjærhalden

09:05

Herføl

09:20

Herføl

13:55

Nedgården

14:05

Nedgården

17:00

Nordre

17:10

Makø

19:40

Skjærhalden

20:10

 

 

Herføl – departure 09.05 from Skjærhalden

 

We board the car ferry MF Hvalerferga II, which serves the 09:05 departure from Skjærhalden. After 15 minutes on the fjord we go ashore on Herføl. We follow Henry A. Larsens vei out to Andholmen, the road named after the Canadian polar hero who was born here. We can stroll along the broad gravel road – with no cars. A few hundred metres before Andholmen we follow the sign for Katedralen, Langrøsset and Linnekleppen.  

Linneklepp og kjerka på Herføl
Linneklepp og kjerka
Photo: Stein Kristian Martinsen

 

Langrøssa is one of the country’s longest burial cairns, with a distinct stone coffin at its north end. Continuing on we come to the proud navigation marker at the highest point on Herføl. On the headland to the southeast we glimpse the mighty pothole Katedralen, created by the action of the sea. There are many fascinating geological formations along the coast. From Linnekleppen it is only a few hundred metres to the beach at Grønnbauen. Both here and at Kaffebukta a little further north you can take a refreshing swim and stretch out in the sun. Before returning to the ferry we must make a quick visit to Røsset, one of our most impressive burial cairns from the Bronze Age.

Our planned ferry departure is at 13:55 with MS Olava. We may just have time to grab a coffee and a bite to eat at PåPosten café. Or something stronger down on the quay.

 

From Herføl to Søndre Sandøy – departure 13:55

 

M/S Olava leaves Herføl at 13:55 and ten minutes later we go ashore at Nedgården on Søndre Sandøy. From the ferry berth we walk quickly inland (our chosen route on the south of the island brings us back to Nedgården later in the day). At the Løkkeberg crossroads we follow the Sanderødveien road south through beautiful countryside. Just before the road turns into a path we turn right down towards Kasa and Gjølertangen. Here we can stop for a while at the sheltered beach. It has shell sand and therefore a soft seabed. South from here is the Gjølertangen Nature Reserve with its yew tree wood. We will later stop at Stuevika, usually a much busier beach.

 

Back again on the path we continue north to Stuevika Camping Site. Faithful campers return here every year. The bay has shallow water and at low tides may be dry, but just north of Batteritangen there are shallows for those who like to paddle. We continue from Stuevika through the wood, meeting Stuvikveien which takes us back to Nedgården. We have to pop into Saltkroken, Tanja Kuiters’ ceramic workshop and fascinating gallery. If you have time before the ferry arrives, rest your feet at Café Oline, well worth a visit.    

Cafe Oline på Hvaler
Cafe Oline på Hvaler
Photo: Stein Kristian Martinsen

 

From Søndre to Nordre Sandøy – the tour continues at 17:00

 

MF Hvalerferga II picks us up at 17:00, delivering us ten minutes later to Nordre Sandøy. From Sanne syd we follow the road known as Under Signalen, also called Skippergata, east through an area of large old summer villas. The road swings north at Dalsberg, which was built by Lieutenant Colonel Dahll in the late nineteenth century. We make a little detour eastwards down to the sea to visit Anna’s Grove. Anna was the grandchild of the Lieutenant Colonel and planted a beech copse in a sheltered hollow. The beech has thrived, with oaks and yews for company.

 

Back again on the main track we follow a path going west through a formation known as the Bing Stones (Bingesteinene). These are impressive blocks of stone behind which it is said the naval commander Tordenskjold hid with 200 men. We meet the road to Makø just west of Tresvika. This a sheltered bay with a good sandy beach, but so late in the day it will be in shade. The time is perhaps better spent studying the lovely countryside here which is kept in check by grazing sheep. There are countless wild flowers and summer birds. Without the animals the aspens here would quickly choke the diversity of the undergrowth.

 

Makø sommercafe på Nordre Sandøy på Hvaler
Makø sommercafe på Nordre Sandøy på Hvaler
Photo: Stein Kristian Martinsen

We follow this idyllic gravel road to the open clearing directly west of Makø. If we have spare time we can continue on to Tordensjkoldbukta Bay in the north, with its magnificent oak trees, before doubling back to Makø. But it is also nice to relax with a bite to eat at Makø Summer Café. The last ferry from here is 19:40, and you have to give notification 45 minutes in advance. Back at Skjærhalden it is now 20:10 and we can look back on a day of discoveries on Hvaler’s eastern isles.  We had to rush at times, so we are already planning our next trip with the Hvaler ferry.

 

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