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Norway´s National Parks are regulated by the laws of nature. Nature decides both how and when to do things. National Parks are established in order to protect large natural areas - from the coast to the mountains. This is done for our sake, for generations to come and for the benefit of nature itself.


Counties: Vestfold.

Municipal: Tønsberg, Nøtterøy and Tjøme.

Established: 2013

Size: 340 km2

No lack of things to do

Most of us associate the archipelago with sun and summer, but it may be at least as exotic on a freezing winter´s day or when autumn storms wipe out the distinction between rocky shores and the sea. All the year round, the area offers thrilling experiences shaped by Nature and Man. Apart perhaps from the holiday month of July you will always find spots where you can experience nature undisturbed, whether you come in your own boat, canoe or kayak, or by public transport. You can also cycle here; a cycle track goes all the way from Tønsberg to Verdens Ende.

The park has many places where you can spend the night, including several coastal trail cabins that can be rented, and you can also use your own tent, for instance on Vestre Bolæren, Ramsholmen and Ildverket. Just when and how you want to experience the park is reallyentirely up to you. There are plenty of thrills just waiting to be experienced.

The creation is exposed

Traces of Nature´s creation are obvious in Færder National Park, with its long, narrow islands and a multitude of gently rounded islets and skerries. Yet hardly anyone knows how this landscape was formed. It all began with deep-seated intrusions of molten volcanic rock nearly 300 million years ago. These formed the dominant rock types hereabouts, larvikite and its close relative tønsbergite. Later, during at least 40 ice ages, glaciers carved the rock and polished it to shape the whaleback formations we know today with their gentle northern slope and often a steep, south-facing slope where the icetore loose pieces of rock which it carried away as it moved ever further south.

In addition, mud-laden meltwater flowed between the ice and the bedrock, polishing the rock to create the many characteristic "plastic" surfaces, which land uplift in the past ten thousand years has left as the islands, islets and skerries we now see. The areas of sea in the national park vary greatly, from shallow water within the archipelago to deep water further out. The shallow-water areas have extensive kelp forests and lush eelgrass meadows, both valuable habitats for growing-up fish. The deeper water has an exciting seabed landscape with big, rocky clefts and soft-bottom flats right down to 340 metres. These areas have been little investigated, and we still do not know whether there are coral reefs here, like on the east side of Oslofjord.

Animal and plant life

Færder National Park is home to an unusually wide variety of plants and insects. As many as 309 Red Listed species have been recorded. These are either threatened by extinction or rare from the outset. Sandø, Bolærne, Østre Bustein and Moutmarka are particularly valuable. Red Listed plants like Melampyrum cristatum, yellow horned poppy, streambank sedge and strawberry clover can be found, as well as Eupithecia ochridata, a moth, and the Glanville fritillary butterfly, both of which are critically endangered. 907 species of butterflies and moths have been recorded on Østre Bolæren alone, many of them Red Listed.

The bird life is dominated by large numbers of passerines and seabirds, but there are also more unusual species like the nightingale, which nests on several islands and at Moutmarka. Birds of prey include peregrine falcons and kestrels, and white-tailed eagles have been observed on many occasions in recent years. Moutmarka and Store Færder are important staging sites for migrating birds. The ornithological station on Store Færder has recorded 272 bird species. Since many islets in the park are valuable nesting sites for seabirds, it is forbidden to go ashore there or sail closer than 50 meters between 15 April and 15 July.

This ban includes such activities as surfing, windsurfing, kiting, paragliding and diving. Gull (JPM) Lobster (YR) Small pasque flower (BA) Harbour seals have settled in the outer part of the archipelago. The park is also home to roe deer, hares, badgers and red foxes. Elk occur more sporadically, generally when ice conditions encourage them to cross between the islands and the mainland. The submarine wildlife is also rich and varied. Soft-bottom areas provide habitats for shrimps, Norway lobsters, bristle worms (polychaetes), starfish, cnidaria and molluscs. In shallower waters, the kelp forest and eelgrass meadows offer food and protection for fish, crabs, shellfish and various species of algae and anemones.

Cultivated landscape

People used to live on 26 of the islands in the national park, and domestic livestock grazed still more islands. This has created a special kind of coastal landscape with an extremely rich flora and fauna. Grazing and other forms of management are vital to maintain the centuries-old, open landscape and secure important habitats containing many rare and endangered species of plants and animals, like small pasque flower. Nowadays, sheep and cattle graze on 20 of the islands. Active management of the cultivated landscape takes place particularly on Søndre Årøy, Bjerkøy, Sandø, Hvaløy, Gåsøy and islands belonging to the Jarlsberg Estate.

The archipelago east of Nøtterøy and Tjøme is one of 22 cultivated landscapes selected for special agricultural funding, including subsidies to put livestock out to graze and for haymaking and scrub clearance. People lived on many of the islands in the 19th century and part of the 20th century, and they left traces behind them. In some places, such as Sandø and Froungen, their houses have been converted into holiday homes. On other islands, like Ildverket, only foundation walls, fruit trees and berry shrubs remain visible; the buildings themselves have disappeared. People have lived in the archipelago for the past 3000 - 4000 years. Some of the oldest remains can be found on Mellom Bolæren, where several well-preserved burial cairns date from the Bronze Age (ca.1800-500 BC).

Lighthouses have stood on Fulehuk, Store Færder and Tristein (Færder) for more than 300 years, and pilots have been stationed on Østre Bolæren and elsewhere. A compass carved into the rock on Østre Bolæren has been dated to the 16th century and is the only one known in Oslofjord. Such carvings are generally associated with the Agder coast, further southwest. The archipelago contains many buildings and forts dating from the last war, for instance at Verdens Ende and on Bolærne. Mellom Bolæren has a particularly tragic example in the shape of a Russian prisoner-of-war camp and cemetery.



Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella












Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella


Dovrefjell - Sunndalsfjella
Skarvan and Roltdalen


Skarvan and Roltdalen


Saltfjellet - Svartisen


Øvre Dividal


Øvre Anarjohka
Øvre Pasvik


Nordenskiøld Land
Nordre Isfjorden
Sassen-Bunsow Land