Stavkirker – Stave churches

Stavkirker – Stave churches

Stavkirker – Stave churches

Heddal Stave church Opening hours 2016
20.May  –  10.September  10.00-17.00 hrs.
Sundays when there is a service, the stave Church open about 12.15. The church may be closed during short periods (45 min) Saturdays due to weddings.
Please contact us for guiding when visiting off season.

Rates 2016
20th May-14th June, 1st September-10th September:

Single ticket: NOK 70,-
Student: NOK 25,-
Children u/16 years together with parent holding ticket are free of charge.
15th June- 31st August, includes stave church and open air museum:
Single ticket: NOK 80,-
Children u/16 years together with parent holding ticket are free of charge.
Guided tours in Norwegian and English are included in the entrance fee. Other languages e.g. German might be available upon request.
Reservations are not obligatory, but recommended.
Cash payment or payment by credit card in Kafé Olea.

Kafé Olea has the same opening hours as the stave church, but is open also during weddings and Sunday services. They serve both warm and cold meals, and do also sell souvenirs and local handcraft. The tickets for the stave church are sold in Kafé Olea

There is an exhibition in the basement of the “Ministers barn” (where Kafé Olea is) that explains the history of the stave church.

300 meters from Heddal stave church is Heddal open air museum. There you can see with or without a guided tour, 18th and 19th century buildings from the area. The museum is very interesting for children, as there are animals and some farming. The open air museum is open from 15th June – 31th August.

As marked on the map, there are a number of stave churches, from as early as the 12th century within easy reach of Vollen.  Perhaps Heddal and Uvdal are the finest, but all are well-worth a visit.

Heddal is on road E134 about 105 km from Vollen.
Uvdal is on road 40, about 166 km from Vollen.

Norsk bergverksmuseum – The Silver Mines at Kongsberg

Norsk bergverksmuseum – The Silver Mines at Kongsberg

Norsk bergverksmuseum – The Silver Mines at Kongsberg

Join a one and a half hour train ride that takes you 342 meters below the surface and 2,3 km into the mountain. Inside the King’s mine there is a guided tour through stopes, adits and shafts. A mine elevator built in 1881 (“Fahrkunst”), is just one of many things to see on this tour. The temperature is 6°C, so please dress warm! Children under 3 years are not permitted to enter the Silver mines.

Situated close to the entrance to the silver mines is the activity ground where children can learn and take part in the tasks of a traditional miner. Fire setting, an old mining technique, is demonstrated. You can make your own coin in the same technique as was used in Kongsberg 300 years ago. With a hammer and chisel you can “excavate” minerals that are yours to keep. You can also “wash” out silver. The area around the mines has a lot to offer, including a popular spot for bathing, a café and a museum shop in “Sakkerhusene”. Bring your own picnic basket and enjoy your lunch in beautiful surroundings.

SILVER MINES: Departures with the train in the Silver mines

02 January – 16 May Pre-booked tours only
18 May – 09 July Every day 10.00, 12.00 & 14.00
10 July. – 06 August Every day 10.00, 12.00, 14.00 & 16.00
07 August – 01 Sept. Every day 10.00, 12.00 & 14.00
02 Sept – 01 Oct. Sat and Sun 12.00 & 14.00
03 Oct – 08 Oct. Every day 12.00 (Autumn holidays).
17 Oct – 23 Dec. Pre-booked tours only

18.05. – 09.07. Every day 10.00 – 16.00
10.07. – 06.08. Every day 10.00 – 18.00
07.08. – 01.09. Every day 10.00 – 16.00
02.09. – 01.10. Sat and Sun 12.00 – 16.00
02.10. – 08.10. Every day 12.00 – 15.00



Adult kr 90,-
Student/Senior kr 70,-
Child kr 50,-


Adult kr 160,-
Student/Senior kr 120,-
Child kr 100,-
Family kr 480,-

Sølvgruvene, Malmveien 5, 3614 Kongsberg, Norway  Latitude: 59.63066 | Longitude: 9.60175  Altitude: 210 meters

Day trip to Sweden & ferry across the Oslo fjord to Sandefjord

Day trip to Sweden & ferry across the Oslo fjord to Sandefjord

Day trip to Sweden & ferry across the Oslo fjord to Sandefjord

You might like to take a day trip to Sweden and return by ferry across the Skaggerak.  In the holiday season, it is wise to pre-book your passage and car on the ferry.
The photo shows the ferry  arriving at the city of Sandefjord.


This needs a little organisation but is a rewarding trip.  We suggest that you drive to Strømstad, taking Slemmestadveien road south from Vollen, through Nærsnes to Sætre and then the sub-fjord tunnel to join the E6 in direction Gøteborg.  It will take you about 2 hours to drive to Strømstad.

From Strømstad you can take the Fjordline ferry Oslofjord or the Color Line ferry across to the city of Sandefjord.  The ferry takes two and a half hours to make the crossing so there is plenty of time for a meal or some tax free shopping.

From Sandefjord you drive north through Drammen and Asker to Vollen, again about 2 hours drive.

Fjordline ferry Oslofjord

Departure Sandefjord 08:30  Arrival Strømstad 11:00  Departure Strømstad 12:00  Arrival Sandefjord 14:30
Departure Sandefjord 15:20  Arrival Strømstad 17:50  Departure Strømstad 18:30  Arrival Sandefjord 21:00

Colour Line ferry

Departure Sandefjord 10:00  Arrival Strømstad 12:30 Departure Strømstad 13:40  Arrival Sandefjord 16:10
Departure Sandefjord 13:30  Arrival Strømstad 16:00 Departure Strømstad 17:00  Arrival Sandefjord 19:30

The Bear Park  (Bjørneparken) – the place to get close to bears, moose, lynx, reptiles as well as farm animals.

The Bear Park (Bjørneparken) – the place to get close to bears, moose, lynx, reptiles as well as farm animals.

The Bear Park (Bjørneparken) – the place to get close to bears, moose, lynx, reptiles as well as farm animals.

At the Bear Park at Flå, the animals are housed in large natural enclosures. You can watch the animals up close and learn about them from the park  presenters. In March of 2016, the park opened the largest crocodile exhibition in Norway, with 30 crocodiles, snakes and tortoises.
There is a lot for kids to explore and do in the play areas, such as an obstacle course, zip-line, outdoor and indoor playgrounds.  There are also several restaurants.

The park is open every day from Easter to the middle of October:
From March 19th 10 – 16:00; from May 1st 10 – 18:00 and from August 15th 10 – 17:00  Tickets can be purchased at the entrance and the park advises early as possible arrival.  Adult ticket NOK 290,-, child 240,-

Bear Park 3539 Flå, Norway  Latitude: 60.434673 | Longitude: 9.445649 Altitude: 203 meters

The Cobalt Mines

The Cobalt Mines

The Cobalt Mines

The Cobalt Mines lie in the hills above Åmot, and can be reached by a 2 hour car trip from Vollen.  We suggest you spend the whole day as there are lots of activities apart from the fascinating tours (for children or for adults) into the depths of the hills along the mine shafts.  Last time we were there it was a warm 26 degree Celsius summer day but both adults and children put on the woolen capes and helmets provided and were soon very glad we did for the temperature inside the mines is about 6 degrees.  The guides are excellent, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and at times amusing.

Apart from the history which fascinated the adults (maybe especially the essential difference between English and German mine engineers!!) the boys remember seeing the fossils in one of the caves. Afterwards they added to their own collections of stones and fossils, by purchasing well considered items in the excellent mine shop. They also remember that 100 years ago, young boys spent their days attending the Mine Primary School and also working hard at the mine every day!

In 2017 a new and spectacular attraction was added to the guided tour of the mines.  You can walk on to a glass floor in the middle of a 20 metres deep shaft – not for the faint-hearted, but definitely an experience to remember.

The tours begin in Mid- May and continue to the end of September.  Please consult the brochure in Sheeps Inn to read about the various tours, dates and times as well as the various prices.   For planning before arrival consult the Mines webpage

The cobalt was highly prized by the Royal Porcelain Factory in Copenhagen as the blue colour was essential for decoration.  You can buy porcelain and glass in the famous cobalt blue at the large store at Blaafarveværket, 8 km further down the valley on your way back to Vollen.

Cobalt Mines, Malmveien, 3370 Vikersund
Latitude: 59.968512 | Longitude: 9.873383 Altitude: 263 meters

I suggest that you drive to the Mines by the northern route, through Sylling and along the fjord to Vikersund where you can marvel at the world’s highest ski jump.  In summer you may see paragliders in this area. Take the southern route back, stopping at the

Blaafarveværket, Koboltveien, 3340 Åmot
Latitude: 59.911201 | Longitude: 9.88851 Altitude: 47 meters

Oscarsborg Fortress

Oscarsborg Fortress

Oscarsborg Fortress

Taken from a plane on the approach to Oslo airport from the south, the island on which the Oscarsborg fortress stands, is in the middle of the narrowest part of the Oslo fjord, between the town of Drøbak on the eastern shore and the big island of Håøya. The Norwegian Defence Estates Agency manages Oscarsborg fortress which has had the important function of defending the seaward approach to the capital. With its strategic location on an island, Oscarsborg Fortress is a very popular tourist destination, with its own marina and great biological diversity. The fortress area is open all year.
Oscarsborg is especially famous because at this most narrow part of the fjord approaching the capital, the first invading war-ship, the Blücher from Germany, was sunk by cannon and torpedo fire in 1940.

Oscarsborg is only accessible by boat. A ferry service runs every day all year from Drøbak to Oscarsborg Fortress. The crossing from Drøbak takes about 10 minutes. If the weather is good, we recommend sitting on the sun deck. Check the ferry timetable in advance since summer and winter schedules differ.

Oscarsborg Fort,
It is easiest to get from Vollen to Drøbak by car, although for some weeks in June and July there is a weekend ferry route.  Drive south past the villages of Nærsnes, Båtstø and Åros to Sætre and then take route 23 through the 7 km Oslofjord tunnel to Drøbak.  Follow signs for the Oscarsborg ferry which leaves from the harbour and arrives at the west of the island.