This is about the Vigdelneset hike, one of many hikes on the coast of Jæren, Norway. The hike on rugged land is about 5.4 km.
Vigdelneset (Sola): The trip around Vigdelneset between Vigdel and Hellestø is quite hilly and winding over rocks, wilderness and boulders between two beautiful sandy beaches. The hill of Vigdelveten offers a remarkable panoramic view.
There are many hikes on Jæren which run between two sandy beaches. Most people are satisfied with a Sunday visit to one of the beaches, summer and winter, and venture perhaps a couple of hundred metres on either side of the beach. The day I hiked around the promontory of Vigdelneset I met nobody, apart from on the beaches of Vigdel and Hellestø.
I decided to make this a round-trip to avoid backtracking the same way I came, and to have a closer look at the farms at Vigdel and Hellestø. I covered 5.4 km in a couple of hours. The start was at the large parking lot at the Vigdel beach. From here I hiked up the hill of Vigdelveten and down on the other side to the farms at Vigdel. I followed the road inland between the farms south until I reached the beach of Hellestø. I skipped that beach walk and turned back north along the rugged coastline around Vigdelneset to Vigdel beach. This coastline hike was 2.5 km.
What to see
The climb to Vigdelveten hill and down towards Hellestø beach
I described in my previous article the ancient historical significance of Vigdelveten, the hill above Vigdel beach. A thousand years after it had served a military purpose of being part of a chain of bonfire beacons, the occupying German forces in WW2 set about building fortified bunkers and positions up on this hill and on neighbouring sites. This was all part of their effort to establish a Festung Norwegen to stop an expected Allied invasion.
After the war the Norwegian military took over and extended the fort right up until modern times. Vigdel Fort was decommissioned a few years ago and the area was opened to the public. The military area covered Vigdelveten, Håfjell (see below) and Fårleberget. Zoom in on the Google map link above, or use this map service with a higher resolution showing gun positions more clearly. I did not climb those other hills.
Vigdelveten used to be overgrown with trees and shrubs, but the hill has now been cleared of all vegetation. With its 67 metres above sea level Vigdelveten is the highest peak in the Jæren conservation area. The panorama is impeccable.
From Vigdelveten I descended the quite steep hillside to the buildings shown on the picture above and turned left (southwards) to follow the road for a couple of kilometres until I reached Hellestø. That hike on asphalt road was kind of interesting for one reason only: I had never been there before.
From Hellestø back to Vigdel beach
The sandy beach of Hellestø is probably the second most popular on the coast of Jæren, after Sola beach. I stopped short of it and took these two pictures of the beach (south) and the direction of my hike along Vigdelneset (north).
From here and a few hundred metres further on there is no marked path. The clue is to follow the landscape to the left of the farm pictured above until you reach the small bay pictured below. From there on the path is quite easy to find. It is marked with small red painted dots every 15 metres or so. The path continues to the left of, and below Håfjellet, the hill with a radar tower on.
The terrain is quite hilly and varied. Some places you will have to balance across large rocks, like in the Buvika bay, other places is dominated by grassland. You are never far from the shore.
Out here on Vigdelneset we find some of the largest moorlands in the proteted landscape area of Jæren. They heather must be quite colourful when in bloom. On this grey day in March it was all but colourful. There is a rather marshy stretch to walk below Håfjell. After Buvika the scenery opens up and we are soon able to see the farms at Vigdel. We pass a couple of cottages on the way before turning into the bay of Vigdel, ending up on the beach.
Video from this 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: Ølberg beach – Vigdel 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 at Ølberg. (2.1 km)
South: Hellestø (Sola): At Hellestø we find one of Jæren’s most popular sandy beaches, summer and winter. It is quite wide and long, with great big sand dunes. The landscape behind the dunes is among the most comprehensive and exciting on the coast. (1.8 km)
Solaposten newspaper about a trip to Vigdel.
Read more in my special article about Jæren’s geology, flora, fauna, history, people and art: Jæren – The coastline explained.