The Viking Trail in Vestfold
Autumn 2010: Nowhere else in the world do we find as many significant Viking cultural monuments as here in Vestfold. This is where the most spectacular finds have been made. Vestfold County Council has recently promoted its Viking Age monuments as a candidate to UNESCO’s World heritage List.
The recently developed concept, The Viking Trail, is a central element. The trail is about 40 miles (60 km) long and passes through the county’s characteristic, coastal landscape.
You can start in the southern end of the trail, at the nature reserve of Mølen with its many small and large burial rock mounds. From there the trail winds its way via the Viking town of Kaupang to Istrehågan on the border between Larvik and Sandefjord. Istrehågan is a huge ship setting and one of Norway’s most spectacular ancient monuments, but not very well known.
The Viking Trail continues through Sandefjord with the replica of "Gaia”,
then on to the Gokstad mound. The way through Tønsberg passes by the Farmand mound at Jarlsberg,
Haugar in the middle of town with two large mounds and to the Slottsfjell Museum with its original Viking ship,
the Klåstad, as well as half a replica of Oseberg.
Climb to the top of Slottsfjellet to see the fantastic view of the surrounding landscape and the old fortress ruins. Then visit the building site for the new Oseberg Viking ship before seeing the huge mound in Slagendalen where the ship was found. The trail finishes in Borre with the fascinating Borre mounds and Midgard Historical Centre.
This is a great day out for a family that wants to experience history,” says Einar Chr. Erlingsen who took the initiative to the Viking Trail and is also chairman of the board for the foundation to build a new Oseberg ship.
Vestfold County Council has produced a handy brochure, Norwegian and English versions, describing the Viking trail through Vestfold. Contact the County Council, department for Kulturarv or the local tourist office. Work is in progress to have the monuments signposted with the special brown road signs.