Clustered with whitewashed houses, Stavern is a coastal town overlooking a stunning stretch of coastline just south of Larvik. It’s home to the former base of the Royal Norwegian Navy, which is now occupied by art galleries and museums. Stavern comes to life during the summer months when tourists arrive to enjoy its natural wonders, cultural offerings and live concerts.
Things to do in Stavern
Stroll through the atmospheric pedestrian streets of Stavern, which are filled with cafes, art galleries and markets. Photograph the wooden boats lined up in the Sjektekanalen, then walk along the Bryggeslengen promenade to board the M/S Viksfjord. It offers scenic cruises to the islands of Malmøya and Svenner in the neighbouring archipelago.
An architectural highlight of the town is the Fredriksvern Verft, a mid-18th-century naval base named after Frederick V of Denmark-Norway. In addition to its storehouses, guardroom and commanding officer’s lodge, the complex features an ornate Rococo church that was the first garrison church ever built in Norway. Art galleries and small museums now occupy the base and cultural events are held here throughout the year.
Travelling with kids? Spend a day at the Foldvik Family Park where you can pet-friendly rabbits and goats, play miniature golf or cool off at the splash pad. The park also boasts a range of interactive games, a toboggan run and a jumping pad and offers wagon rides and simple farm pleasures like jumping in haystacks.
Getting around Stavern
Stavern is around 25 minutes’ drive from Sandefjord and Sandefjord Airport Torp, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular buses travel between Stavern and the Larvik railway station, which has connecting services to Oslo. The centre of Stavern is small enough to explore on foot.