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A travel diary - Hidra island

The island with lovely white houses, peaks with mesmerizing views and only 600 inhabitants guarantee a wonderful day trip!

After spending the night in Lindesnes and its lighthouse, we packed our beloved van, and the trip continued west. We weren’t exactly sure where to go, but we found a small island not too far from us after checking the map.

Norway has a total of 239,057 islands. Out of them, only 2,000 are populated. Many of them you can reach with a ferry or a small boat however, some are only for pedestrians. Luckily our chosen island was reachable by car ferry.

Car ferry to the island

When driving through Norway, catching a car ferry can be an everyday thing due to all the fjords. Even though we have been on many ferry trips, I am fascinated by the views every time. I just can’t get enough of those dramatic sights of crazy big mountains disappearing in the sea. For most Norwegians, the ferry rides are part of their daily routine. It’s the way to school, to work, to the shop.

The island

Now a little bit more about this beautiful place, our chosen destination- Hidra island. The ferry trip didn’t take more than 20 minutes. If you look at the map, the island has only one big street, which connects the two harbors, and a few minor roads leading to houses.

A channel divides the island into two parts. On one side is the harbor of Rasvåg, and on the other Kirkehavn. The charming island has a total of 600 inhabitants on a land of 20.8 square kilometers. Only two stores, one accommodation place, and one restaurant can be found on the island. If you decide to stay there overnight, be careful as the stores close at 17 o’clock. Something we weren’t aware of and came pretty surprising, as we spontaneously decided to enjoy the island overnight. About this, I’ll tell you in a bit.

Kirkehavn & Hågåsen

We made our first stop in Kirkehavn- a lovely small village with a harbor, white houses, and a church. The view from the port is spectacular - a few small islands here and there spread around the ocean. Close by, we visited the open-air historical landmark of Hågåsen. You will find it on top of the mountain on the left side of Kirkehavn. With a big parking lot on the route and an easily accessible trail, you will enjoy a fantastic view and ruins dating back to WW2. They served as a coastal battery during the war. More than one hundred German soldiers were stationed there, during the Second World War.

An interesting fact that impressed me was that after the war, as everything was more or less destroyed, they decided to give the locals the remaining wood from the buildings. Some of the houses in the two villages are built with that same wood!

On the way up & down Hågåsen

Just follow the dirt road up, and it will lead you to small stairs on your right. You will find yourself surrounded by the ruins from there. All the ruins have an information board, telling their story and functions during the war.

As we like a little bit more adrenaline than just an easy walk, we chose just to go up the steep mountain, straight up from the parking, choosing the trail of the goats.

Oh my, one thing we weren’t prepared for was the wind. After an exhausting climb, the wind came very refreshingly, although I can assure you we were sure it would blow us away. As expected, we met some friendly goats who peacefully enjoyed the views. I am saying "as expected" because Norway is "flooded" by goats and sheep everywhere around.

On our way down, we chose the official track that curves around ruins, reminding us of the war.


You will find a nicely made shelter on the top, built in 2019. It was very helpful after a tiring hike. I could not imagine sitting down for a snack without protection from the crazy blowing wind.

Even though it almost blew us away, nothing else mattered the moment that we looked at the view. WOW, just WOW. The sight is indescribable. The ocean, the small islands, the forest, the harbor, and the beautiful white houses look like a drawing by a talented artist.

At this point, we knew we were staying on the island overnight. The plan was to enjoy the golden hour of the sunset and, afterward, the night sky showing off with its numerous stars. As it was still early, we continued exploring the island.


Rasvåg was the next place we checked. I fell In love with the island. I am not sure if it was the cute white houses (yup, I think actually every house was white, white and white only), the lush nature or the breathtaking coastal landscape that impressed me the most.

Another remarkable view, not only on the island but throughout Norway, were the small islands with only one house on top. What a dream, huh?

In Rasvåg, we visited a small beach with a place for a campfire. After a short stroll around the village, the sun was settling down, so we got back to the mountain top for some stunning pictures of the colorful sunset.

Stores are open until 17 o’clock

Our idea was to make a campfire and cook some dinner. Little did we know. As I already mentioned before, if you plan on staying overnight, be prepared, the shops close at 17 o’clock. Guess what, yup we didn’t know, yup, we weren’t prepared, yup, we had only noodles, one corn, and two potatoes in the van. Oh well, I guess not everything goes to plan. Despite that, as trouble, the night was more than excellent.

Hågåsen at night

On top of the hill, we enjoyed the vivid colors of the sunset, surrounded by the ocean and the island's mountain with the company of the two friendly goats. The shelter came usefully at night. The wind and cold were getting through our skin, finding shelter in our bones. I guess the weather can be very pleasant but we made our trip in March and it was pretty cold. At some point, I wasn’t sure if I would feel my fingers or toes ever again. Even though we were shivering the whole time, we were stargazing for at least 5 hours.

Watching stars on the top of a mountain cannot be compared to anything else. A lot of space plus no light pollution equals billions of stars.

After taking hundreds of pictures, we called it a night and went back to our van to heat up. The way back was a good adventure as we got lost around the ruins due to the darkness. Our time on the island finished in the morning, as we took the ferry back right after we woke up.

I can only recommend this island. There aren't any downsides, only mesmerizing views, and friendly locals. It is definitely worth the visit!

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