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Østfold awaits you this summer
10 highlights to explore in Østfold this summer!
Old Town Fredrikstad
Photo: House of Ikigai.
Østfold is steeped in exciting history. Visit Sarpsborg – the town built by Vikings – or the many elegant manor estates. The fortress of Halden and the unique fortress town of Fredrikstad are bursting with gripping stories of people and times past. And you are only a stone’s throw from the stunning islands of Hvaler and the serene Halden Canal. Everywhere you go in this beautiful landscape, there are local museums telling the region’s history – and how our vibrant modern society has grown out of the great deeds of the past.
Thanks to the short distances between Østfold’s attractions and cities, it is easy to combine urban life with magnificent nature. There is a ‘special place’ for everyone in the family: indoor and outdoor golf courses, beaches, waterparks, activity centers, and a multitude of great fishing spots along the polished coastal rocks or the beautiful rivers and lakes.
During the summer season, the breathtaking archipelago, as well as renowned music and arts festivals, attract both visitors and locals looking for a rich experience or simply a hidden gem among the coves and skerries.
If you want to know «What’s On» this summer, you can find everything here.
10 highlights to explore in Østfold this summer!
Fredrikstad & Hvaler
1. The Old Town – Gamlebyen in Fredrikstad is the best-preserved fortress town in Northern Europe. Although it surely takes you back in time, it is no museum: People still live and work here. The quarter is home to many galleries, artisans, and exciting shops, restaurants, and cafes. Children will enjoy meeting animals, looking at the trains at The Old Town Model Train Centre, learning about history at the Fredrikstad museum, and several other child-friendly activities.
2. Few places compare to the beautiful Hvaler islands, with their glittering waves and stunning archipelago. Not to mention wonderful beaches, coastal paths, charming shops, and cozy eateries.
Hvaler consists of 833 islands and skerries, and several of the islands are reachable by public ferry. Frequent departures make it easy to go island hopping, and you are free to choose how long you'd like to stay and what you'd like to experience along the way
Explore the Oslo Region
3. Above the idyllic town of Halden lies the mighty Fredriksten fortress. This large and magnificent fortress is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway. With 350 years of history - from being Norway's most important border fortress it is now one of the country's most spectacular cultural arenas. The fortress is a popular area for hiking and offers accommodation and dining.
4. Rød Herregård in Halden is a unique experience both inside and outside. The manor is something beyond a regular museum. This magnificent place has over 300 years of history and you can see interiors from when Rød was inhabited, with old period furniture and art.
The beautiful garden includes a large formal garden, with an English landscape garden surrounding it. It holds beautiful features including an octagonal pavilion and a linden tunnel, along with distinct reminders of the dramatic history with a hermitage, salute battery, and burial site.
5. Soli Brug in Sarpsborg is an art gallery in a historical place. The place is also the home of the family who owns the gallery. Here you can see art by well-known Norwegian artists in three different houses, buy art and have lunch at the restaurant by the pond.
After visiting the art-gallery drive back to Sarpsborg and end your day by taking a swim in Tunevannet – where you can rent a sauna and just relax. Remember to pre-book the sauna.
6. Borgarsyssel museum in Sarpsborg is the place to visit if you want to get to know the local history. Here you can visit historical houses from the area and get to know the life from that time. For children, there is also, during the school- holiday, the possibility to say hello to rabbits, or hens and sheep. There is also a tower, 32 meters, that will give you a good view of the city.
Interested in more history? Visit the Viking market by the lake Tunevannet on July 22-24.
7. Cycle the Union Trail (Unionsleden) through Indre Østfold. The Union Trail from Moss to Karlstad in Sweden is a newly opened 350 km signposted cycle path where nature and culture are important elements. The trail goes Moss - Våler - Spydeberg - Askim - Mysen - Ørje. And a northern link that goes Spydeberg - Askim - Trøgstad, past the southern end of Aurskog-Høland - Ørje. From Ørje it crosses the border to Töcksfors and on to Karlstad.
The trail goes through a rolling natural landscape with beautiful lakes and forest terrain, and when you cycle you have plenty of time to see the landscape and the small unique gems that appear along the route.
8. Canoeing in the Halden Canal Experience beautiful nature and quiet waters in Norway`s oldest canal – Haldenkanalen. The combination of beautiful nature and impressive locks makes a paddle trip through the canal a unique experience. In the Halden Canal, you can experience 3 lock locations and 8 lock chambers with Brekke Locks as the highest with a height of 27 meters.
9. In Moss at the beautiful Alby farm you find Galleri F15. The gallery is one of the oldest, most traditional institutions for contemporary art in Norway. The lush landscape around the gallery is excellent for walks. Gallery F 15 shows changing exhibitions focusing on Norwegian, Nordic, and international contemporary art.
10. Møllebyen (The Mill Town) in Moss is a unique historical part of the city. The area along the waterfall used to be a busy industry area from 1100-1970s. Today the area is a cultural district with a cinema, library, restaurants and cafes, literature house, artist studios, and an industrial museum.