With its 90 miles of coastline and a rich whaling history, Sandefjord is perfect for a weekend trip to the sea.
Sandefjord occupies a fantastic location along the Oslo Fjord, and is particularly popular in the summer. The two peninsulas Østerøya and Vesterøya each offer coastal hiking paths and have a number of beautiful beaches for bathing that the whole family can enjoy. You can also hire a boat, canoe or kayak in Langeby, outside the centre of Sandefjord, if you're keen on having a more active holiday.
Whilst you're in Sandefjord, you will certainly notice how the whaling industry has shaped the character of the town and played a critical role in the development of the area. In the inner harbour you will find the Whaling Monument, and nearby you can see the Southern Actor, the world's only remaining fully operational whaling ship.
The Whaling Museum itself in Sandefjord is Europe's only museum dedicated entirely to the history of the whaling industry. The building dates back to 1917, and its main attraction is a full-scale model of a blue whale. The centre has an activity centre for children, who are also admitted for free.
Ship owner Anders Jahre's old house, Midtåsen, has now been made a cultural monument with a parking area, steps and fountains. The Midtåsen Sculpture Pavilion and sculpture park displays 16 works by Knut Steen in marble and bronze.
Preståsen is a hiking area above Sandefjord where you can enjoy the view of both the town and the harbour. Visitors used to come here to the former spa to exercise and paint the natural surroundings. Below Preståsen is Bjerggata, with its idyllic wooden buildings, which because of its location escaped the fires in the city. This is where whalers and craftsmen lived at the turn of the last century.
After the four fires that struck the city over the period 1892–1922, large sections of Sandefjord town centre were reconstructed, and many buildings therefore reflect the Art Nouveau style. Although the site no longer has a spa, Badeparken remains a part of the town's identity and is a relaxing spot for young and old alike right in the centre of town. Or, on a rainy day, you can take the family to the Metro Bowling and Lekeland Activity Centre.
Sandefjord is easily accessible by car, bus, train and even plane, as the Sandefjord airport, Torp, is located about 6 miles from the centre of town. If you'd like to experience an aerial view of the town, take a ride on Norway's oldest flightworthy passenger aircraft, a DC3 Dakota from 1942, which departs from Torp during the summer season.