Orre – Revtangen (Klepp): Great beach walk. Walk happily in the sand along the seashore one way and on the sand dunes on the rebound. This trip goes north to Revtangen, but can obviously be extended as far as you want. Have a cup of coffee at Friluftshuset and advance your learning from its permanent exhibition on the Jæren coast.
Some would make Orre their end stop on a hike from Bore in the north, or walk south on the Orre beach. We made it a nice trip from the recreation centre (Orre Friluftshus) north to Revtangen (2.5 km one way), and back (4.7 km in total). Parking is easy at the recreation centre, not at Revtangen. Forget coming here on public transportation.
This article presents one of many hikes on the coast of Jæren, Norway. Get an overview and browse the rest here. Check out the map details on this link.
What to see
The visitor centre (Friluftshuset) at the northern end of Orre beach is a fascinating building. The architect, Per Line, designed a hodgepodge wooden building using exterior materials resembling driftwood. It is low, fits well into the surrounding sand dunes and is well worth a visit. It opened in 1986, was extended in 1992 and burned down in 1999.
It was rebuilt in a few years and functions as a local cultural centre with temporary art exhibitions and concerts. Be sure not to miss the permanent exhibition on the Jæren conservation area – it is very informative. We had a cup of coffee on the way back. You can also bring your own food and sit down in the atrium behind large glass windows under a semi-roof.
Friluftshuset information centre at Orre
From the Friluftshuset there are several paths leading to the seashore, or alongside the beach behind the dunes. The Orre beach (Orrestranda or Orresanden in Norwegian), is said to be the longest sandy beach in Norway, stretching for 5 km. (That may not be the case, it is more a matter of definition – but who cares?) It is also very wide.
In other words: It is a magnificent beach.
View northwards on Orresanden
The sandy beaches of Jæren are like most beaches around the world set in a bay. This particular bay may seem quite wide, but still it has some of the same qualities: The bays offers more tranquil sea, and less powerful energy from waves and currents. The sand and the dunes behind the shore shift during the winter storms but the sand is rarely removed altogether. The contrast is found on the promontories.
On most of Jæren the promontories are quite low and small, not at all like the headlands or capes we see in other parts of the world. On our walk northwards we first pass the promontory of Søreneset and then Revtangen. (Nes, tange and odde are Norwegian words for promontory in English.)
Pebble and boulder beach at Søreneset
The Orre beach has over the years been building a reputation as the only nude beach in the Stavanger region. This title is very unofficial, there have been quite fierce debates in the local press and among locals, but it has become a de facto nude beach. Beware, this only applies to the northern end of Orre, at Søreneset.
Old rusty capsized boat on Søreneset
At Søreneset we also find a boatwreck. I have not been able to find out the history of it, but judging from the rust it is of no recent date. There are not many shipwrecks to be found on Jæren any more. Historically the locals have not been unfamiliar with the phenomenon. In fact both life saving and demolition of vessels was for many years a source of extra income for the people on the coast of Jæren.
The term “Jærens Rev” (meaning the “reef of Jæren”) still stirs anxiety among sailors. The reef is situated outside Revtangen. The beach around Revtangen is called Revesanden, and the rescue station at Reve was in operation from 1854 to 1993 saving 216 lives. Revtangen is the westernmost point on the coast of Jæren.
Cormorant birds and swell at Revtangen
There are actually two small, low and rocky promontories at Revtangen. In between we found in March a whole lot of seaweed washed onshore during the autumn and winter storms. In spring the seaweed gives life to insects, which in turn is perfect food for birds. We had a look at the funny looking dunes on the Revesanden northwards, at the fascinating day navigation mark, and decided to return on top of the dunes.
View north of Revesanden from Revtangen
Wide dunes and navigation mark inside Revtangen
Walking back on top of the sand dunes is highly recommended. The view is great, the trails are well trodden (and I don’t suspect the dunes are harmed as long as you follow the main paths). On top you well get a quite sensational feeling; the protected landscape area is in fact very narrow. The cultivated farming land is only a few metres away from the beach.
The narrow sand dunes on Orrestranda
Video from this pleasant hike at Orre.
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:Bore beach – Revtangen (Klepp): At Bore we find one of the widest beaches on Jæren. The surf is great here. You will be able to go for a walk in the sand and on grass the entire distance to Revtangen, the start of Orre beach. (6.8 km)
South:Orre – Skeie – Hå Old Vicarage (Klepp & Hå): Varied hike on grass, gravel roads, boulders and sandy beaches. There are some very fine sandy beaches, unknown to most. This is a tricky hike: Forget crossing the Orre river, watch out for the extensive use of barbed wire fences and electrified fences even inside the protected flora and fauna reserve, there are few fence climbers and attacking birds do hit your head.
Here is an article with information in Norwegian. Fottur.net has in the blog post Skeievika – Reve a number of pictures with comments in Norwegian covering the stretch in this article, and even more to the south.
Kalle Orstad (1919-1955) – Orre beach (Source: Antik.no)