Day Trip to Ørland
Getting to Ørland
TRAVEL TIME: 1 HR BY EXPRESS BOAT
Wind in your hair, sun in your face, close to the smells of salty sea and lush green pastures. It does not get more free – or more beautiful. Ørland’s many bicycle paths offer beautiful experiences close to nature; varied cultural landscape with large springs and lush fields on an island abundant with history. The trip across the fjord is magical in itself. Enjoy the scenic crossing on the top deck with a hot coffee, a juice and a “svele”, a soft Norwegian batter based cake that resembles the shape and consistency of an American pancake.
Start your experience on the other side of the fjord with a visit to Ørlandet Cultural Center at the harbour and take in the art exhibition. This summer’s exhibitor is Trondheim artist Therese Myran. If you want to explore the surroundings on two wheels, bikes can be rented at Ørland Kysthotell at Brekstad quay.
Cycling in the historic countryside around Austrått is highly recommended. Most of the landscape is flat and is easy to cycle. As you make your way around you can experience traces of the early Iron Age, and not least get an insight into Norwegian war history at Austrått fort and medieval history at Austråttborgen. At Ørland you can swim, play golf, barbecue on the shoreline, experience a rare and rich bird life – or just enjoy the silence of the scenery surrounding you. Either way, it is a ride packed with nature, culture, history and activities.
To start your bike ride, from Ørland Cultural Center you make your way through the town center via Yrjars gate. Then follow the cycle path from the end of the main street, and exit for Bruholmen after approx. 1.5 km.
In Bruholmen open air area and Hovsfjæra bird conservation area, there is a bike path with fixed / gravel decking along the sea that leads you straight to Austråttborgen.
Have a simple lunch in the café at Austråttborgen, before experiencing the manor house where one of the country’s most powerful women of all time, Inger Ottesdotter also called Lady Inger of Austrått, ruled in the years 1470-1555.
Austråttlunden is stunningly beautiful and the lush and fascinating manor landscape that meets the fjord is worth strolling through.
As an alternative to lunch in the café is a picnic on the green, but make sure to plan ahead.
Austrått Fort is not far away. Follow the signs for Skogporten, at the end of the dirt road. The coastal fort’s cannon battery is displayed at Lundahaugen in Austråttlunden and the triple towers from the German battle cruiser Gneisengnau is a part of the terrain. The tower consists of three cannons, and each cannon weighs over 50 metric tons. The revolving cannon tower weighs over 800 metric tons in total and it descends 15 meters and 5 floors down into the mountain. A guided tour of the mountain fort is an exciting journey into war history.
As you are returning to Brekstad, it is a great idea to visit the splendid and completely renovated Hovde Gård, the former housekeeping school. Have a glass of wine in the garden, or enjoy «husmorens kost» in the rustic Fjøset, Hovde Farm’s year-round restaurant in the old cowshed. Herring is a signature dish at Hovde Gård. World class marinated herring is delivered straight from neighbouring Grøntvedt Pelagic, the world’s largest producer of marinated herring.
Stay the night?
If you enjoy the serenity of Ørland and want to stay the night, a historical and cozy option would be to stay at Hovde Gård or if you want a more contemporary experience with a view of Trondheimsfjord, stay at Ørland Kysthotell.