Island hopping to Hvaler´s secret places
Hvaler is equally attractive by land as from the water.
Vesterøy, connected by road bridge to the mainland, is a verdant island with three nature reserves.
If you come by boat you will experience a completely different Vesterøy,
along the coastline it is the powerful elements of wave and wind that
dominate. On Vesterøy you will find one of Norway´s largest fishing villages: Utgårdskilen. This idyllic place is also the most well preserved fishing
and pilot harbour on the Oslo Fjord.
Spjærøy is a rockier island than Vesterøy and is traditionally thought of as a boatbuilding centre. The traditional Hvaler Boat was built here, a vessel
that, together with the Koster schooner, inspired the famous boat builder
Colin Archer. Hvaler Coastal Museum is located on Spjærøy, here you
can learn fascinating stories of the people who have lived their lives out here near the fjord. There is a new exhibiton every summer.
A little to the south west is Akerøy, a favourite destination for pleasure
boats. Large parts of the island offer shelter from wind and waves, beautiful summer days can be enjoyed here on green picnic areas and sheltered bathing spots. Akerøy Fort, built in 1664, dominates the island.
Thankfully a shot was never fired in anger from the fort. It was abandoned in 1807, and became a ruin when it was chosen as a target for cannon practice during a military exercise in 1833! Restoration work has been going on since 1962 on a voluntary basis.
Asmaløy has a bridge connection back to Spjærøy and an underwater tunnel to Kirkøy. Asmaløy boasts an extraordinarily beautiful coastal landscape, a rich birdlife, rare plants and good camping possibilities. Sandholmen in the north east is regarded as a paradise for caravans.
The "capital" of Hvaler – with 700 permanent residents – is Skjærhalden on Kirkøy, the largest island. Here you will find the town hall and police
station, small shops, restaurants, quayside pubs and summer visitors
a-plenty. If you are looking for leisure activities or a lazy day in harbour,
Skjærhalden is the place. The island hopping cruise with M/S Hollungen
starts from here.