Hvasser is an island in southern Norway, a couple of hours drive south of Oslo. It is part of the Vestfold archipelago, a group of islands in the Oslofjord, the seaward entrance to Oslo. The area is littered with small rocky islands, or ‘skerries’ which were shaped and polished by glacial ice most of which are too small to inhabit.
You can reach Hvasser either by car from Oslo, or there is a main train which takes you as far as Tønsberg, then you can take a bus to Hvasser. They journey should take just over two hours and there is a bridge to the island so you no longer need to get a ferry. There is also a regional airport at Sandefjord, which is less than an hour or the area is also well serviced by ferries which is a fun way to arrive!
Today Hvasser and the surrounding skerries are home to an important range of vegetation, and marine wildlife. The area is all part of the Færder National Park, one of two of Norway’s marine national parks covering 340 sq km of mainland, islands, skerries and sea. Its long coastline means there are plenty of marine activities to enjoy. The area also has a rich culture and history, and Vestfold was an important part of Viking history with many significant Viking remains in the area.
Hvasser in Summer
Hvasser really comes into its own over the summer months. The long summer days, the stunning coastlines and the proximity to Oslo make it a popular destination for those seeking beauty and tranquillity.
Hvasser has a whole host of summer activities. From water sports and boat trips, to fishing and bird watching there is something for everyone:
Hvasser Hiking and Cycling
The area is perfect for both hiking and cycling, with long coastal paths and well-marked trails. There are two Norwegian Tourist Trails in the area and these trails are always well maintained. There is also a 30km cycle path which runs from Tønsberg to the visitor centre at Verdens Ende. Verdens Ende, or World’s End is at the southern tip of Tjøme and has a Vippefyret (an early lighthouse or beacon) built out of stones.
Hvasser - 3.8 km round trip
Verdens Ende or ‘World’s End’ - 3.1 km round trip on Tjøme
Hvasser Watersports and Boat Trips
Kayaking is the perfect way to explore the Vestfold archipelago as you can really explore areas of the coastline that are inaccessible on foot. The seashore and shallow waters around the skerries is home to a fantastic array of flora and fauna.
There are also plenty of places you can catch a boat trip including charters, taxi boats and sailboat or rib tours.
If you are planning to go on a boat trip or to go kayaking do make sure you follow relevant water safety tips.
Hvasser has long been home to a fishing industry. There is still a working fishing terminal on the island which supplies Brødrene Berggren one of the oldest fishmongers in Norway as well as a network of other wholesalers.
Fish and seafood from the area include:
If you are planning on fishing / angling on Hvasser you must pay attention to the Norwegian regulations on recreational sea angling.
Hvasser Bird Watching
Hvasser is a popular bird watching area and a good place to catch migratory birds as they make the most of the seasons and feeding and breeding opportunities.
Hvasser Viking History
Hvasser and the Vestfold region has an extremely rich Viking history. Along the coastline you will find numerous burial grounds, and today the Viking culture is celebrated through museums, stories and both original and replica ships.
Hvasser in Winter
Hvasser is predominantly a summer location, but it still has plenty to offer in the winter months with many of the trails still open. The winter landscape is particularly beautiful and the low sun offers incredible light which is popular with photographers.