Great family holidays are all about a combination of relaxation, adventure and fun and that’s what family friendly accommodation Haholmen Havstuer does so well. The tiny fishing village is a really memorable way to experience Norway with kids – from the minute you spot the transfer to the minuscule island via Viking ship you know this unusual holiday destination is going to be all about fishing, windswept walks and snuggling up around a stack of books as a family.
Haholmen Havstuer is a historical island village that dates back to the 1700s that has now been converted to a tourist island for locals to experience a quiet getaway. The whole feel of the island is very isolated and quaint – little red buildings dot the landscape which is a combination of grassy tussocks and rocky hills. And the scenery is simply magnificent – water so clear you can see tiny crabs walking in the waters metres beneath you and air so fresh it will make you want to stay forever.
[Think you'd prefer a husky snow transfer to a Viking ship? Then check out the suitcases&strollers story on Norway's family friendly accommodation Kirkenes Snowhotel.]
For an unusual family holiday destination that can be spent indoors or out, Haholmen Havstuer is one of the most memorable ways to enjoy the glorious natural beauty and unique history and culture of Norway with kids.
If you happen to be sailing with kids on your own yacht, Haholmen Havstuer is a nice place to stopover for a couple of days onshore before you continue your journey.
[For more travel tips on sailing with kids, see the interview with the suitcases&strollers family who sailed Southeast Asia with kids.]
For a little glimpse into what the island looked like in its fishing village hey day, check out this video below (the commentary is in Norwegian).
The Activities at Haholmen Havstuer
The fact that the island is only 50 acres large and that its heritage is so well preserved means this is not an island full of activities like extreme water sports or kids club-style modern playgrounds. Instead you can do short walks around the island, fish off the pier or just explore around the moss covered buildings.
The island does organise fishing excursions if there is enough common interest and the weather is fine. If not, you can hire a small dinghy and take yourself around the island to see what you can catch.
There is a small museum where there are a few historic artifacts on display and talks and movies about the island are periodically held.
Otherwise find a favourite nook and bring a board game or some books for quiet contemplation and to enjoy the rare break from hectic every day life.
The Practicalities of Haholmen Havstuer With Kids
Transfers to Haholmen Havstuer via Viking ship are from the wharf on the Geitoya Atlantic Road. There is free carparking where you can leave your car for the entirety of your stay. Bring everything you need with you as it is unlikely you will want to go back to the car once you reach the island. While it is possible to move around the island with suitcases, it is much easier if you have all your luggage in large backpacks or bags that are easily carried around rather than those that have wheels.
The weather on Haholmen Havstuer is extremely changeable and – like most of Norway – bears no relationship to the weather in any other part of the country! This can make it difficult to predict before you arrive so bring clothes for every occasion. Even in the height of summer it can be cold and raining, so wet weather clothes are definitely required. You can check out the weather via the Haholmen Havstuer website.
Since the island isn’t big and has not been much landscaped, it is possible to move around with a sturdy stroller, but easier if you just leave your stroller in the car on the mainland and use a baby carrier instead.
[For more travel tips on travel baby carriers, see the suitcases&strollers story here.]
There are only two eateries on the island both serving up homestyle local dishes with a heavy emphasis on seafood – both are open for lunch and only one is open for dinner. Dishes are very local and the menu choices for kids are quite limited. If your kids are fussy eaters, it’s worthwhile bringing your own food healthy food for kids with you as there are no shops to purchase additional snacks or provisions (or baby gear such as nappies or infant formula).
[For travel tips on introducing kids to foreign foods, see the suitcases&strollers interview with food guru Annabel Karmel.]
Rooms do not have televisions or telephones so you will need to bring your own screens with you. Wifi is available in the rooms. There are no minibar fridges where you can store baby’s milk. Rooms also come equipped with only showers, not baths.
For more travel tips on family friendly accommodation in Norway with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story about design hotel Juvet.