This is about the Ølberg hike, one of many hikes on the coast of Jæren, Norway. The hike on rocks, sand and grass is 3.5 km one way.
The hike runs southwest from Sola beach towards Ølberg. Here we can follow a trail on the dunes, over stones and rocks, and over marshes and fields. Ølberg has a lovely sandy beach, a nice little harbour and extensive WW2 fortifications.
There is a large parking lot at the southern end of Sola beach, at the Ræge beach and at Ølberg as well. So parking should pose no problems. Bus connections are less plentiful but exist at both ends. Cyclists, baby strollers and people with poor legs stand little chance of making this 3.5 km hike, apart from short stretches at both ends.
What to see
Start of the hike
Both ends of this hike have amazing sandy beaches. They are stunningly beautiful, but the sea is generally stunningly cold as well. Between the sandy beaches there is a marked path crossing sand, rock, grasslands, and a hill. Old fortifications (bunkers) from World War II follow us all the way. The first ones are encountered at the very start of this hike.
A few hundred metres along the Ræge beach we also find an allotment garden; Ølberg Strandhager is very different from the ones I described in an article about allotment gardens in Norway illustrated with videos and pictures from the four gardens in Stavanger. This allotment garden is only a hundred metres from our trail so be sure not to miss it. Here we find 47 plots of 300 m2 each with identical 30 m2 cabins. The oval plots are surrounded by bushes and looks kind of funny from the air. Take a look at this Google Maps view.
After the allotment garden we continue along the shoreline. From here on the easy trail becomes more rugged meandering between rocks and outcrops. A large portion of this hike crosses farming land, or more precisely grasslands for the livestock of the local farm(s). After the not so uncommon periods of rain, this grassland becomes a marsh. The soil gets muddy, sometimes with knee-deep mud holes, so sturdy shoes may not be sufficient. Rubber boots can be a necessity, according to complaints from my hiking companions over the years.
Ølberg beach and harbour
Ølberg has one of the best sandy beaches on Jæren. It is medium sized, the sand is fine grained, it has wonderful sand dunes and unlike most other beaches it has a kiosk. The kiosk is open during the summer when the campsite behind the dunes is full of caravans and holiday cottage guests. Many of my photos, and the included video, are from February, but there is no doubt that the Ølberg beach is at its best in summer, especially for families with children who can play behind, on top of, and in front of the dunes.
Besides the beach, we find two other attractions here at Ølberg.
The most noticable sight is the boats and boathouses inside the breakwater. The second point of interest is the highly-developed defense systems from WW2 on and around the hill above the harbour. From this hill we are also offered a panoramic view in the southwesterly direction of Vigdel. That hike is described in my next article.
Video from this hike
Video from the Sola – Ølberg hike
This article presents one of many hikes on the coast of Jæren, Norway. Get an overview here. The hikes and corresponding articles are sorted in a north to south order. The adjacent hikes are:
North: Sola beach (Sola): This beach is arguably the most visited and most famous of all sandy beaches on Jæren. The Sunday Times even named it the world’s sixth most beautiful beach. (2.8 km)
South: Vigdel beach – Ølberg beach (Sola): At Vigdel we find the smallest of the natural sandy beaches on the coast of Jæren. This hike mixes that with fascinating geology and WW2 memories. (2.1 km)
Read more in my special article about Jæren’s geology, flora, fauna, history, people and art: Jæren – The coastline explained.
More recent images from this hike than in the video are found here: