Jump from island to island in beautiful Hvaler archipelago. The eastern islands of Hvaler are the perfect place for recreation.
Try island hopping around Hvaler – from Skjærhalden on Kirkøy to the eastern isles! The local ferries offer you a round trip that can take an hour or several days. Depending on what you would like to see. Buy a round-trip ticket and you can get on and off the ferries all day.
The eastern islands of Hvaler are all special in their own way. The Lauer islands are forest-free with a lot of open landscape. On the saga island of Herføl you can take in spectacular nature, see burial mounds from the Bronze Age and cauldrons. Søndre and Nordre Sandøy are excellent to explore by bike, both have two stops with nice gravel roads in between and do not forget to pack your swimwear!
There are many beaches with sand and polished, sun-warmed rocks. There are quiet woods, eye-catching countryside, ancient monuments and strange geological formations. Study the map and timetable and consider whether you want to take a bike. Not to mention a tent and sleeping bag. Regional coastal authorities administer several communal areas where there are toilets and garbage containers. At Stuevika on Søndre Sandøy there is a basic standard camping site – you camp on the beach far from all traffic noise or uproar of nightlife. Make your own food or hike over to Café Oline at Nedgården.
A good place to start the round trip is on Herføl, it fits well in relation to the ferry's routes, and it will be a fresh and eventful start to the day. Continue to Søndre Sandøy and take a trip to Makø on Nordre Sandøy before returning to Skjærhalden. Note that for some departures you must inform the skipper which boat you want to be with from one island to another or when you want to go home to Skjærhalden again. It is done the same day either directly on the ferry, or over the phone.
The Saga Island of Herføl is the most southerly and second smallest of the eastern isles on the ferry route. The nature on Herføl is more open and rougher than on the other islands. Here you will find both Bronze Age burial cairns and many potholes, including the famous "Cathedral" which has the shape of a Gothic arch. The Bronze Age burial cairn "Herfølsåta", or "Røsset" is located approx. 10 minutes walking distance from Herføl Marina and south of the island is "Langrøyset", which is about 100 meters long. Before you continue from Herføl, it is recommended to visit Herfølrenna kro on the quay and bring a cinnamon bun from the café På Posten.
Søndre Sandøy is located northeast of Herføl and offers both forests, flower meadows and nice, child-friendly beaches. The island has two ferry stops - one at Nedgården in the west and Gravningsund at Buvika in the northeast. On the island, there are also opportunities for a bite to eat at Café Oline. For families with children, Søndre Sandøy is perfect. If you walk or cycle, follow the forest road down to Stuevika - a child-friendly swimming area and tent camping.
Nordre Sandøy has a wilder nature than the one found on Søndre and at the ferry stop on Makø is the idyllic Makø summer café.
Lauer is just a short ferry hop from Skjærhalden. The landscape of Lauer consists mostly of small knolls and naked rock. In earlier days, this little cluster of islands was home to a mackerel processing plant, but the buildings are now used by holidaying visitors.
If you plan to spend a few hours at Lauer bring food and drink, here there are no restaurants. And remember to inform the skipper which ferry you want to join next.
There is parking at Skjærhalden and there is a bus to Hvaler from Oslo.