«During our morning coffee, we were pondering on the big questions in life: Which beach should we choose today? It feels like the sun is always shining in Sandefjord, and life is just one long summers day. Later that day we went on a bike ride out to the sandy beach, Tallakshavn at Østerøya.»
Why travel to the south? Strandvika at Østerøya.
Skjellvika is one of Østfold´s best family beaches.
The many rocky shores, beaches and sheltered bays offers great possibilities for recreation. Sandefjord has a total of 116 islands and islets. The motive comes from the group of islands, Stauper, which is out in the Tønsberg Fjord between Sandefjord and Tjøme.
The island of Natholmen, or Knattholmen (a newer name that many use) is a small coastal paradise in Sandefjord. This place is idyllic, with only one road that winds between white and red wooden houses. A beautiful bridge in a nice coastal environment will lead you to the main land and to the island. Natholmen is to many a hidden and secret treasure - yes, even many of the residents in Sanefjord have never been here!
The island is relatively small, but you´ll find two bathing spots and forrest trails + the beautiful archipelago that surrounds the island. And it is not hard to find your wait to Natholmen. There are parking spots right next to the bridge that leads to the island, and there is a bus (route 163) that goes from Sandefjord that´ll take you to the same parking lot. There are 9 km between Sandefjord center and Natholmen, and this route is great for biking, if you like to use bicycles as your way of transport.
Midtåsen used to be the home of the famous shipowner Anders Jahre, and his wife Bess Jahre. The house was built in 1933 by Arnstein Arneberg. Today, Sandefjord county is responsible for maintaining the park area.
The house is surrounded by a 60 acres park which makes up the perfect place for outdoors events in summertime. You have a great view of the city and fjord from the garden.
Delicate tables are set to any event with 1800s candelabra and flowers of your own choice.
Indoors out in the nature. Midtåsen sculpture pavilion and park in Sandefjord makes up the frame of a selection from the artist Knut Steen´s sculptures in marble and bronze. Twelve marble sculptures is places within the pavillion, and four bronze sculptures are placed in the landscape outdoors.
The pavilion is made of light concrete, and the art is surrounded by exposed light concrete in both the walls and floor. A fancy roof construction of glass beams and glass plates let the sunlight in.
Sandefjord is a city and a county within Vestfold. The center of Sandefjord lies by the Sandefjordsfjord. Together with the half islands of Østerøya and Vesterøya, the county has a coast line of 146 km, which together with this beaches, and the cabin and camping tourists makes Sandefjord to a summer city.
The Whaleingship «Southern Actor» is a floating museum.
You get a nice view when almost a thousand boats meets at the Sandefjordsfjord at midsummer´s eve.
The Whaling museum in Sandefjord is Europa´s only special museum for whales and whaling. The museum is located in the center of the city.
The beach pearl of Vesterøya. The Langeby beach is one of Sandefjor´s most popular beaches. A long, shallow beach, 150 meters long. Many nice facilities at the Langeby beach like stores, toilets and a shower at the camping ground. A sand volleyball court, footbal court, and playground. You can easily spot the beach, as it is right next to the main road, to the right when you´re driving across Vesterøya.
The sea mark, Tønsberg barrel.
Magical Midsummer. Sandefjord is the perfect place for celebrating the midsummer´s eve. At the sandy beach by Vøra Camping.
Sandefjord, the summer city.
Sandefjord by night. Summertime in the whaling city is full of life and activities both day and night.
The summer city of Sandefjord lies by the edge of the Sandefjordsfjord. Sandefjord is a city of maritime and culture traditions. Sandefjord has a lot to offer to those interested in history, culture, outdoor activities and those who love the good life. The vikings left important traces here. Some great international people has visited the city´s spas, and the whalers had their golden age. The former whaling city can offer its own whaling museum and a bustling summer life.
The Whaling Monument in Sandefjord.
The golden water drops will remind you of sputtering, running gold, and is a symbol of Sandefjord´s growth and prosperity throughout the city´s whaling history.
Sandefjord is the city that comes to life in summer. The otherwise calm and quiet city comes to life when all the vacationers come to enjoy the long awaited summer days here. A big selection of shops and nice clubs, combines by rocky shores, many outdoor areas and long, shallow beaches, makes this places to a popular destination. We will give you a list of the things Sandefjord has to offer today, and what it once was.
Sandefjord has a lot to offer for those interested in history, culture, the outdoors, and for those who like the good life.
Sandefjord by Sea
Sandefjord is a maritime city with many traditions. Today, the Sandefjordsfjord is the main road for those visiting Sandefjord by boat. The pair of long, characteristic half islands east of the city center, the islands of Vesterøya and Østerøya, used to be two islands. In that way, the vikings could go straight from the place Sandefjord is located today and out to the Tønsbergfjord without having to sail the long way around the southern part of Østerøys, Holteskjær and Tønsberg Barrel. They removed the inner path of water in the 1600s.
Vestfold´s most populated county is a nice harbor to visit by boat, both if you´re planning on staying on one of the islets, or if you´re visiting the city. By the seafront, below the Rika Park Hotel, there is a great harbor for smaller boats with marked guest spaces. You can easily walk from the seafront to the city. The green and shallow waterpark is the nearest neighbor of the seafront, a natural place to wander through before you get to the more urban part of Sandefjord with all kinds of shops and eateries both inside and outside. You´ll find great restaurants both in the city and down by the dock. What about ending the night with a delicious whale beef dinner at one of the restaurants, or visiting the world champion in cooking, Geir Skeie´s restaurant in the inner dock, Harbor 11. From the harbor area, you´ll have a great view of the beautiful fjord, and you´ll often see the two competing ferry company´s ferries that goes from Strømstad to Sweden. Both of the companies has daily departures from Sandefjord.
For those interested in the outdoors, Sandefjord´s natural area is a paradise, and you don´t have to travel far from the city center to get to the beautiful nature. Sandefjord is lucky in that they have three close hills and outdoor areas like Preståsen, Mokollen and Virikskogen surrounding the city. Several parks close to the city center melts the green with the harmonic city life. In geographical sizing, Sandefjord is a relatively small county, but it has a great archipelago where the three fjords, the Sandefjordsfjord, the Mefjord and the Tønsbergfjord makes 146 kilometers of coastline.
In 2009, Sandefjord county was elected the outdoors county of the year in Norway. The award was given because of the long-term work in trying to save and show cultural memories and outdoor areas for the city´s population and visitors. The city has registered 2800 cultural memories that are accessible for everyone.
The southern tip of Østerøya in Sandefjord is the best of the archipelago in Vestfold. Yxney is today used as the name of the outermost part of Østerøya. The area consists of a natural reserve and Tønsberg Barrel. The Tønsberg Barrel is a beacon that you easily see when entering the Tønsbergfjord. As a beacon, this is a very old one, most likely the country´s oldest. This old beacon was mentioned as early as in the Sverre saga from the 1200s. The beacon may have been a barrel on a pole back then. The beacon has been replaced by a large stone painted black and white.
The waters outside of the Tønsberg Barrel are tough, even when there is not much wind. Many ships have gone down here, the last one in 1960 (the transport vessel Bjørgvin). The German transport vessel, Völkenburg, sunk in 1944. These two ships are very well preserved 20 meters under the surface.
If you use the parking lot by the beach in Trubervika, it is about a 30 minute walk out to the Barrel. The last bit of the walk up to the viewpoint is pretty rough, but with a little bit of patience, you´ll make it. You´ll pass two nice beaches on the way there. We recommend visiting in fall or spring, as the insects can be annoying during the mid summer. There are traces from the Second World War in the area, and they are well preserved. It is beautiful with all the flowers in spring time.
On the cape where the Tønsberg Barrel there is a barrack built into a ravine, and four observation/machine gun positions built into the mountain rocks. The fairway next to the Barrel was controlled from here. There are three machine gun positions built into the steep mountain, these were used as «swallow´s nests». A gorge goes across with a bridge above it, and down in the gorge is a soldier barrack. On the side of the mountain to the west are steps carved into the wall to help the soldiers easier get to their lookout point. From this post, you can see the open sea, the Vesterøya to the right, and Torås/The World´s End to the left. This post covered the inlet between Tjøme and the mainland. This probably was an important listening and observation post, as it is located far up and on its own. It is also very hard to get there, as there are steep gorges around the cape. In the mountain side to the west, there are stairs of steel inserter into the wall. Steady shoes and some courage is needed to get to this post. If you visit a calm summers day, or a stormy day in fall, you´ll get an amazing experience and a view from one of the German posts.
Idyllic White painted wooden houses
The streets of Bjerggat and Thaulowsgata is located in the old part of Sandefjord city. A short trip to this place is recommended. Only a few minutes walk from the center will lead you to white painted wooden houses from the beginning of the 1800s. The quiet and idyllic area is one of Sandefjord´s best preserved residential areas.
A popular health spa
There was not as much happening in Sandefjord before the place was made a health spa. There was some timber floating down from Kodal to the land, but much of the inner part of the fjord was uninhabited. But in 1837, dr. Heinrich A. Thaulow established a health spa. He had lived in the city since 1833. Short after, he discovered a sulfuric source that was used in the treatment. He also introduced the use of jellyfish. The so called thaulowsky method was a combination cure that led to the spas growth in popularity.
Even though being in the spa was a social thing, the spa was a medical institution that treated rheumatic disorders as its main focus. The cures included sulfur water by the sulfur well every morning.
Both the royal family, prime minister and cultural personalities came to visit the spa. It was still swampy in the area, and to get from the great Swiss villa to the buildings with the small pools, you had to walk across bars to get across the swamp. Pavillions for music was built in several places to entertain the people crossing the bars on the way to their refreshment. It is believed that about 50.000 people visited the spa between 1837 to 1939. The majority of the guests were Norwegians, but Danes, Swedes, Germans, Brits, Americans, and Russians also visited. They organized direct boats from Germany past Sweden that ended up in the fjord. The spa´s reputation made the whole district a popular destination.
Rich whaling history
Already in 1850, a good amount of ships were conducting sealing and whaling in the Arctic Ocean and the coast of Finnmark. But this was a a small business; the Norwegian whaling in the north was more than employment for the people living on the west coast. But, in 1905, the pelagic whaling began; Chr. Christensen sent the first whaling expedition from Sandefjord to the Southern Ocean. In the years between 1905 and 1914, 25 whaling companies was founded in Sandefjord. The city experienced a great upturn in its economy. By the end of the 1920s, Sandefjord had a fleet of 15 factories and 90 whaling ships. When the industry was on its peak in the 1950s, the harbor was a busy place during the summer when the whole fleet was home. In addition to mechanical workshops and production companies, the whole business community earned well form the returned whalers. Over 2800 men were hired in the whaling industry in 1954.
From mid 1950, the whaling industry was down-titrated. The whale occurrences at the Antarctic had dramatically decreased, and the conservation interests grew. A gradual transition to tankers suggested that even the industry itself knew that the whaling fairytale was coming to an end. During the 1960s the amount of expiditions to the south decreased, and the season of 1967/68 was the last for Sandefjord.
Today, the memory of this important period for the city´s history is kept alive through the whaling museum and the restored whaling ship, the «Southern Actor» at the museum´s dock.
Whaling boat museum
The whaling ship «Souther Actor» was build in 1950 by Smith´s Ltd. in Middlesbrough in England. It was used for whaling in the Southern Ocean until 1962, then it was used along the Norwegian coast and in Spain. Until 1962, it was used for whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, and then it was used for fishing along the Norwegian coast and in Spain. In 1989, the boat was discovered when it was dismantled in northern Spain, and quick action led to the old whale boat later being bought for Sandefjord later that year. By getting "Southern Actor,” Sandefjord got a whaling ship to use aspects a living museum and a tourist attraction. Thanks to grants and donations, not to mention close to 80,000 of voluteer hours conducted by former whalers, the old whaling boat with a lookout tower was excellently restored. "Southern Actor" is now part of the Whaling Museum, and it is located on a private pier museum in Sandefjord Harbour. The boat represents of the type of whale boats that were built mostly between 1945-55 and Sandefjord has been given a unique opportunity to convey important aspects of Vestfold whaling culture. "Southern Actor» is a museum and a whaling veterans iact as a crew that like to talk about "life on board." There are guided tours of the boat in the summer. If you would like to arrange a boat trip, you can rent the boat by appointment.
On a hill overlooking the bay is Midtåsen Mansion in Sandefjord. This was the home of shipowner Anders Jahre and his wife Bess Jahre for many years until he died in 1982. Widow Bess continued to live there until her death in summer 2006. After her death, the property was purchased by Sandefjord, Vestfold County and The Anders Jahre Humanitarian foundation through Midtåsen AS.
The main house of 1,200 square meters was designed by renowned architect Arnstein Arneberg in 1933. The house was finished by the end of the 1950s, after more additions. The architecture can be characterized as subdued functionalism. The house is on a hill along a terraced axis against Sandefjord. On the back of the house, you´ll ´find a stair system with sculptures, ancient oak trees and beautiful plants. The gardens comprise nearly 60 acres of parkland and beautiful scenery, and are open to the public. A unique venue for summer events. The main building and the park are protected.
The house has been renovated and preserved as it was when the couple Anders and Bess Jahre lived there, except for the kitchen which are refurbished in modern style. The house oozes quality. The rooms are relatively small, as Jahre wanted a homely house. The Jahre offices is still kept just as it was in its day, and perhaps the most famous part of the property. It is said that he burned accounting papers in the fireplace here to withhold them from the IRS. The most impressing room at Midtåsen is Arneberg Hall, which was finished in 1960. It has held celebrity dinners, among other known people such as the Swedish tenor Jussi Björling singer, as well as Norwegian and Swedish royalty. Large tapestries from the early 1700s adorn the walls. These are so old that they cannot be dismantled and cleaned. The trailer also has a number of paintings of Anders Jahre itself, as well as art that the couple collected through time. Glass paintings tell personal stories and wallpapers are specially designed. The beautiful old porcelain in the dining room is still being used. The suites in the house is designed in different colors. Including a room on the first floor called "the Onassis Suite". The room was named after Aristotle Onassis who stayed there. In the basement you can still smell the cigar and the old port wine. The vault is also where it was originally, but now it is empty of any valuables. Part of the house is currently furnished as conference facilities, and buildings to be used for both reception rooms, seminars and concerts.
In June 2009 Knut Steen opened the pavilion and sculpture park on Midtåsen. Here you´ll find 16 of the artist's works together. Twelve marble sculptures found inside the pavilion, while four bronze sculptures are placed around the landscape.
Wonderful midsummer celebration
Midsummer-evening´s largest and finest boat processions. Flowers and bonfires. Waves, friends, wine and barbecue. Such evenings are pure luxury for the soul. Few places celebrate Midsummer better than the people of Sandefjord. When night hours ebb away at dawn and the preceding hours seem like a magical dream, Sandefjorders can not go to bed safe in the knowledge that the Sandefjord public holidays are coming.
The unique Midsummer celebration in Sandefjord Midsummer Day, 24 June, was a general public holiday until 1771. Until recently, June 24th holiday has still been celebrated in some Norwegian municipalities, but now it is just Sandefjord, who cling to tradition. Larvik discontinued it as vestfold´s phenomenon 11 years ago. Since then, most municipalities in Vestfold done as Larvik, and, three years ago, Tønsberg remained closed for the last time. So now Sandefjord Municipality is the only municipality in the country where the offices are closed and employees have a free day.
Midsummer Eve. Midsummer celebration is particularly strong in Sandefjord. June 24th is the city's birthday. Boat processions from the anniversary year 1994 on the city's 150th birthday, were recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. Being free after Midsummer's Eve, the people of Sandfjord celebrate Midsummer on islets and rocks until late in the bright night hours. No wonder that there has been a baby boom around March 24 in the years after the war...
A long-standing tradition in Sandefjord has been the spectacular boat processions starting in Sandefjord's inner harbor which sail the entire Sandefjord fjord. Almost a thousand boats sail through the fjord. Here you can see all kinds of boats, from great cruisers to self-composed contraptions. Boats are decorated with flags, flowers and birch branches with the green leaves that are quite characteristic of this time period in the late spring. If you do not have the opportunity to experience the parade of boats from the gunwale, we recommend to watch it from
Thorøya, which is along the west side of the bay (Highway 303 towards Larvik). After Granholm watches the parade, boaters continue the party in their boats or make ashore on a beach or islet. On campgrounds and several public beaches in the archipelago, people like to grill and light a fire. In some places it is also pier dance that lasts into the wee hours.
Culture and summer show
Sandefjord´s dense cultural program during the summer offers concerts on several stages, three movie theaters, theater, cabaret, shows and dancing. There are many and varied facilities, ranging from theater and shows in backyards to summer shows at the Park Hotel. The Fjord festival has been held in the water park in the middle
August and every year it attracts many famous and beloved performers. It feels like the entire city's population is in concert at the same time. A cultural institution, Sandefjord Jazz, organizes concerts and Jazz Café throughout the year, roughly every 14 days. Definitely worth a visit.
From the hotel you have this view out to Oslo Fjord .....
The Park Spa. Here you can swim in the lovely heated saltwater pool. There is direct access from the bathing area into a relaxing garden with sun loungers and views of the bay. The Spa has a serving of lunch dishes and drinks.
The artwork in the environment with atmosphere
Park is well known for food, wine and service. But we are also proud of another element of the hotel experience: art. In our environment, you can become more familiar with old and new art. Lots of artwork has been purchased for the new wing, Parkfløyen.
Enjoy the food and the ambiance of our restaurant.
Reach out to European destinations
Sandefjord Vestfold´s communications hub, located just 10 minutes from the airport. From the airport, you can be, in a short time, out to European destinations and to Norway's main airports.
Take a break and enjoy life as a hotel guest.
SPA and Wellness
Everyone needs a little break from a busy day. The Park Spa is many opportunities to enjoy
Welcome to the hotel experiences at Scandic Park Hotel Sandefjord
Scandic Park Hotel Sandefjord is a hotel with a special atmosphere, rich traditions and pride in the walls. The hotel was established in 1959 and has since stood as a monument in the city. The initiator of the hotel was Sandefjord´s great son and shipowner, Anders Jahre. Drawn by the renowned architect Arnstein Arnberg, the hotel was already then a gem, and the newspapers wrote that the hotel was built of gold and marble. Today, the newly renovated Scandic Park Hotel is known as one of the nation's premier hotels with modern facilities. Comfortable rooms, culinary temptations, exclusive artwork, and amazing theaters. The magnificent halls used for a variety of occasions from weddings to gala and conferences and theater. In April 2013, the park opened the new wing with 118 rooms and the hotel now has a total capacity of 350 rooms and 680 beds. The hotel is now the largest between Oslo and Bergen.
Sandefjord has been known as a spa town for over a hundred years. At Scandic Park Hotel continues tradition of commitment to the Park Spa, which is open all summer. Here you can swim in the lovely heated saltwater pool. There is direct access from the spa into a relaxing garden with sun loungers and views of the bay. The spa has servings of lunch dishes and drinks. The fitness room is newly renovated with many new gyms. Park Spa can offer steam and dry saunas and solariums. And for many, it is tempting to take advantage of the gorgeous spa and wellness center in the hotel.
Noble lobby and reception area
It is important for us that during your work placement, you may perform work in comfortable surroundings.
South Norway´s course and conference hotel
Rica Park is Norway´s biggest conference hotel between Oslo and Bergen. We have all kinds of facilities that will meet the expectations of everyone, from small meetings to a large congress. The hotel is perfectly made for courses, conferences, seminars, meetings and kick-offs. Our extensive experience in this market will give you a safety, so you can concentrate about the academics, while we take care of the practical parts.
The Park Theatre´s great facilities will make a great frame for a concert or a night of entertainment.
Rica Park Hotel Sandefjord has a great location, next to the Waterpark and the harbor.
Park is a family friendly hotel. We put a lot of effort into making all generations have a good time among our facilities.
In addition to having beds that should be nice to wake up in, you´ll enjoy one of the country´s best hotel breakfasts.
Service in Vestfold´s most beautiful outdoor dining
What attracts people to us in summer time is with no doubt the environment, the food, and the service we offer in Parkhaven.
The library is close to the restaurant, and it´s nice if you want a little more suttle pary, or if you just want to enjoy the atmosphere.
Rica Park Hotel Sandefjord is Norway´s largest course and conference hotel between Oslo and Bergen.
Finally done for the day
I think we´ve all felt the fantastic feeling of finally being able to lock ourself in our hotel room after a long day of travelling or working. The room is tidy and pretty, everything you need to be comfortable is there. It´s time to calm down, maybe lay down in the tub and plan out the night, or not plan anything at all, just be yourself and let laziness rule the night.
Everything from national romanticism to contemporary art at the art hotel
Few hotels in Norway can offer as much art as Rica Park Hotel Sandefjord. The hotel is a piece of art itself with its special façade and its many halls and great decorations, paintings and wall hangings. The famous architect, Arnstein Arneberg drew the hotel which has a lot of art, beautiful rooms of gold and marble.
If you have yet to experience Park´s treasures of art, you should visit the hotel this summer. You´ll find unique pieces of art in basically all of the hotel´s environments. There are many treasures painted by the biggest artists throughout the times, large and majestic paintings from the times of the national romanticism to today´s temporary art decorate the hotel´s halls and rooms.
Take some time to wander among the masterpieces of Norwegian and international painters. Examples of all the beautiful art can be seen everywhere in the hotel are for example from Peder Balke, Tidemand and Gude, Christian Krogh, Mac Chagall, Anders Zorn, Jacob Weidemann, Per Krogh, Frans Widerberg, Hålen Bleken and more. There are also expensive tapestries a few places. The sculptur Knut Steens´sculptures can be seen in the wing that connects the old and new part of the hotel.
Rica Park Hotel is located right next to Sandefjord Art Assosiation, and the hotel and the art assosiaten has worked together with shows and events throughout the years. After last years expansion of the hotel, Rica Park Hotel is now the hotel with the largest art collection in Norway.