Larkollen – an idyllic place under development
Visit Fredrikstad and Hvaler – stay at Larkollen during your visit in Norway
45 minutes from downtown Oslo you’ll Larkollen in Rygge municipality. Larkollen, with its grand wooden villas and tightly packed beaches, is a favorite destination not only for tourists, but also for those who come here just for the day. With is combination of rocks, several recreational areas and shallow beaches, is this a typical summer resort.
Just a few years ago, Larkollen was a village where not a lot happened. The “Losen” very quickly became a meeting place where both locals and vacationers thrived. Støtvig Hotel opened in November 2013 with much to offer for both overnight guests and those who make use of the offerings on a day's visit.
Larkollen is a small village with about 1,500 residents, but during a few hectic summer months this number doubles. Larkollen is a nice and popular place to live, but perhaps even better to spend the vacation, whether it is in a caravan, tent or own cabin.
The name Larkollen does not appear until around 1650. The port of Larkollen is well suited for sailing ships, and was at that time the most popular port on the eastern side of the Oslo fjord. It was safe for large ships to anchor here, sheltered by the Kollen and Eløya islands. Larkollen was an important harbor for sailing ships in the 1700s, and pilots, captains, innkeepers and craftsmen happily settled here.
Images in the slideshow: Boydell's picturesque scenery of Larkollen - John William Edy.
John William Edy (1760 – 1820) was an English painter. He worked for the publisher John Boydell in London, often anonymously. In the summer of 1800 Edy visited Norway on an assignment for Boydell together with the landscape painter William Fearnside. They were in Norway from July 31 and until the end of September the same year. Edy made numerous drawings from the trip, among them drawings of Ny-Hellesund which was the place the two artists arrived at in Norway. In Norway he is also known for his drawings of Christiania (Oslo), Larkollen and Moss. Boydells Picturesque Scenerey of Norway was published in London in 1820.
It is easy to understand why this wonderful place began to attract vacationers in the late 1800s. In 1879, the railway between Christiania (Oslo) and Halden opened, with a stopover at Dilling, located 7 kilometers from Larkollen. Larkollen thus became an attractive and available area for bathers in the summertime. In the 1900s, holiday makers continued to visit the place in large numbers, and many rented rooms with permanent residents. Eventually cabins were built, too. Additionally, Larkollen got a steamship wharf, where fjord boats called en route from the capital and made it easy for even more people to spend their vacation here. In the summertime the Larkoll sound is heavily trafficked by boats, even today.
There are many places to visit around Larkollen, and the town itself is also nice for families on day trips. Here you can walk dryshod to Danmark! By this we don't mean the country Denmark, but the small peninsula located south of Larkollen. Via a several hundred meters long naturally built stone dam you can walk on dry land to the peninsula at low tide. Here you can relax, fish sea trout, enjoy the view and swim.
There is a pine forest with red and white wild roses on the peninsula. An ideal place for a picnic. If you get surprised by the high hide while you are here, we are happy to inform you that the water is only knee-deep.
Blomsterveien (The Flower Path)
Blomsterveien runs between Halmstad, Larkollen and Ekholt/Øreåsen. Blomsterveien is the name of a number of trails criss-crossing throughout the region. This system of various paths is aiming to pave the way for biking and hiking in Rygge municipality. There are several types of landscapes, sights and monuments around Blomsterveien. The route is marked with signs and markers decorated with a flower.
Kollen and Eldøya
The Kollen and Eldøya islands are located on the other side of the narrow strait across from Larkollen. The islands are situated within the Eldøya-Sletter conservation area. The most of this area consists of sea. On Kollen you'll find woods and thickets, while Eldøya offers a varied landscape with meadows, woods, thickets and a pond. Eldøya is no lonher inhabited. It is nice to go here for a day's visit, and there are several good tenting spots for those who wish to stay here overnight. It is easy to dock a boat on the beach, which is located on the northeast side of the island. As many as 380 plant species are registered on Eldøya. The vegetation is protected, but it is allowed to pick berries and collect mushrooms. Nice trails run to Eldøytjernet (pond) and Vardeberget in the southwest, where you can see burial mounds from the Bronze Age.
Balke gård (Balke Farm)
Visit Balke gård this summer. The farm is located a few hundred meters after the exit from Larkollveien road against Rygge church. The farm has horses, ponies, rabbits, pigs, goats and birds. Balke gård also has a café, and local artists often have art exhibitions here.
Kilometers of beaches
Larkollen has many shallow and sandy beaches where children can play and you can wade. With high reeds and dog roses around the swimming area, steep slopes where you can dive right into deep water, and rocks where you can sunbathe. Larkollen is often, and with good reason, associated with the joy of swimming. You'll find several of the county's best beaches in the Larkollen archipelago. Here are some for you to check out this summer:
Botnerbaugen is located northernmost in Larkollen near the Evjesund area. The popular beach area consists of both two sandy beaches and rocks. There is a lot of seaweeds and rocks in the water. The beach is therefore best suited for small children who don't go far out. A large bench is placed on the beach. A little further south are great rocks with diving board and swim ladder. The area has a good supply of water from the bay. An outdoor latrine is placed at the large car park, which is 400 meters from the beach.
Driving onto Tollbuveien road you'll arrive at Tollerstranda beach, a little south of Botnerbaugen. Tollerstranda is a small recreational area, secured by Oslofjordens Friluftsråd as early as 1935. Today Tollerhuset is a resort for employees of the Customs Service. Customs officers were stationed in Larkollen until 1960. The beach consists of a west-facing slope with rocks in the water and lots of seaweed, but a swim ladder provides easy access to the water. But be careful, the water is very deep. Best access to the water is from a small pier. There are toilets and a few benches at the site, as well as a large car park. The site is not very child friendly and therefore best suited for sunbathing.
Billmannsbakken beach is perhaps the finest and most child friendly beach at Larkollen. A lovely curved sandy beach and a long pier, which is nice to dive from. You can find the beach south of Tollerstranda. Drive onto Billmannsbakken and you'll see the beach, eventually.
Støtvig is a south-facing flat bay with a nice sandy beach suorrounded by jetties and breakwaters. Here is a floating dock and diving opportunities from a height of 1.5-2 meters from the pier. Here is a lot of traffic both at sea and on land. New Støtvig Hotel is next door to the beach.
Engholmstranda and Langstranda are two beaches to the west in the innermost part of Larkollneset in the area locally called "Paradise Bay". You’ll get here by turning off the road at the sign at Larkollveien, then drive approx. 1 km south through the forest. The parking is located on the right hand side inside an old gravel pit. The northern beach is named Engholmstranda and is a nice sandy beach of nearly 200 meters with a flat spacious level behind it. There are toilets on the west side of the level. Lanstranda is located south of Engholmstranda, and is separated from it by 4-5 cabins. The sandy beachis facing northeast, wide and nice with some pebbles and not very child friendly.There is a floating swim platform and kiosk at Larkollen Camping. Two car parks, a small one near the water and a large one approx. 500 meters from the beach.
The southwest facing Danmarksstranda at Larkollen Camping is considered by many to be the area’s finest sandy beach. There are also some rocks here, and a beach volleyball court. A large car park approx. 200 meters from the beach.
Islands that need to be explored and experienced
The three Sletter islands (Store Sletter, Midtre Sletter and Søndre Sletter) located southwest of Larkollneset, confirm their kinship with the other islands along the Østfold coast. A reddish, sharp and gnarled conglomerate of rhomb porphyry is sticking up in the day.
The islands are a collection of flat, grassy islands off Larkollen. They can only be reached by boat, but docking is easy on all islands. Store Sletter has an especially nice sandy beach. The islands got their names because of their appearance. There are not many traces of people on the islands, apart from tourists during the summer season. Store Sletter was inhabitated in the late 1800s. They grew potatoes and minded the livestock, own by the Tomb manor and placed here for grazing in the summer. On top of Store Sletter are three major Bronze Age cairns, bearing witness of ancient habitation. If you decide to visit here, your main purpose should be the experience. To perceive the special un-Norwegian landscape - in a positive sense.
Norway's biggest instance of the beautiful spring flowering Pasqueflower, Pulsatilla pratensis, can be seen on Store Sletter and Midtre Sletter. We must otherwise go to Eastern Europe's steppes to find a similar terrain with much Pasqueflower. May is the best month to observe these flowers. The flower is bell shaped and nodding with a brown-violet exterior and a dark blue violet inside. The northernmost growing place in the world for this plant is Hovedøya near Oslo.
The Swedish frigate "Venus" with a crew of 300 was borded outside Søndre Sletter by five ships from the Russian Baltic fleet after a short battle. "Venus" was taken as war booty and sailed in the tsar's service for many years after the crew were taken prisoners of war. Several shipwrecks have happened near the Sletter islands. The schooner "Waldemar" of 200 gross tons went down in 1880. Another schooner, "Vigil" of 120 gross tons and loaded with coke, decreased at Sletter in 1990 and the brig "Lina" was loaded with ice when she sank in 1906.
The islands have a total area of approx. 16 acres. There is a sea bird sanctuary on Store Sletter and Søndre Sletter, and both islands with adjoining sea areas are included in the Eldøya-Sletter conservation area. Store Sletter has a gangway pier, information board and toilet on the eastern side. The island is well suited for camping.
The Larkollen Week takes place in Mid-July each year, with activities for the whole family. This is a popular event among both residents and holiday makers. Over the years the week has included activities like Olakjerre (homemade "cars" by kids) races, sandcastle building competitions, concerts and local theatrical performances.