Stay in Fredriksten castle
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On the Iddefjord, bordering Sweden. Or midway between Oslo and Gothenburg. Halden verges on being Norway’s most rural urban area.
Known as the ‘Empire town’, Halden boasts cobbled streets, riverside promenades and a laid-back guest harbour. The town centre bears witness to various periods of history but Empire style stands out, not forgetting the baroque Fredrikshald Theatre.
The 17th-century Fredriksten fortress naturally has a monument to Karl XII, who notoriously died here during the 1718 siege. Today, the fortress offers a journey of discovery over ramparts and bastions, between magazines and down into deep passages. Don’t forget your ‘ghost map’!
It’s a well-known fact that you can’t see the border under water. If you sail in the middle of the fjord, beneath the Svinesund Bridges towards Halden, the national border is directly beneath your keel, with your starboard side in Sweden and your port side in Norway.
Take a trip between Tistedal and Skulrud to experience Northern Europe’s largest lock system. Canal trips are popular here in summer. The Halden Canal is part of the Halden watercourse and a monument of technological and historical interest. The climbing park at Ekås gård has more than 100 platforms spread across many exciting circuits, zip lines, climbing walls and Låvehoppet, a family-friendly 13-metre base jump.
The border fjord leading in to Halden has often been described as the only real ‘Western Norwegian fjord in Eastern Norway’. Narrow and idyllic, the Iddefjord boasts precipitous and surprising scenery. So Western Norwegians can think what they like about just how Western Norwegian it really is.