Sola beach (Sola): This beach is arguably the most visited and most famous of all sandy beaches on Jæren. The Sunday Times even named it the world’s sixth most beautiful beach.
The beach is located right next to Stavanger Airport, Sola. The hike runs along the beach covering a distance of 2.8 km. At Ræge beach in the south there is a large parking lot. The same goes for several other places along the beach, including in the middle, at the hotel and at the northern end. There are bus connections on the road. Parking can become congested during the hottest days of summer, but there are not many of them.
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
On the land side of the dunes at Ræge beach there is a campsite and a golf course. The hike towards the next Jæren beach, Ølberg, starts here on the southern end of Sola beach (Solastranda in Norwegian). Ølberg is described in another article, because we are taking the easy and popular walk along the sandy Sola beach from south to north. It makes sense to walk one way in the sand, and the return in the dunes.
Sola beach is a lovely shallow beach. The Sunday Times named it the world’s sixth most beautiful in 2004. They wrote: “Believe it or not, southern Norway has some of the most beautiful beaches imaginable, plus lots of long, light days to enjoy them. Stay at the historic Sola Strand Hotel near Stavanger, bang on the sands, and explore the nearby fjords when you’re bored of bronzing.”
Blue sky over the sand dunes of Solastranda beach
Facing north on Solastranda
Wartime bunker at Solastranda
A peaceful beach walk at Solastranda
Beachgrass and sand dunes at Solastranda
The pictures were taken in February, and the beach does not look empty. As a matter of fact it is almost as popular to visit on the coldest and windiest of winter days, as in summer. But even in the summer it never gets very warm in the water. Be prepared for temperatures rarely above 16 degrees (C). The beach is wide open to the North Sea, making it susceptible to wind. Fortunately all the dunes will always make it possible to find a sheltered place.
A landmark for decades is the Sola Strand Hotel, a charming and rambling architectural hodgepodge. It is superbly located midway on the beach making it a perfect stop if you plan your hike well: Their Sunday day-time buffet table is highly recommended.
Sola Strand Hotel
Both in the south end and in the middle we find bunkers from the war. This is not unusual on this coastline as the occupying German forces were planning for the worst; an Allied invasion. The beaches near Sola must have been critical for them, as the airport is only metres away.
At the northern end of the beach are several cabins and houses, very close to the shore. Here we also find a Christian mission centre with a small chapel. If you make it this far, be sure to peek inside the chapel windows. The area behind the dunes at this end of the beach is not a place hikers frequent – which of course is a reason for you to have a look.
Conference centre and chapel at the northern end of Solastranda beach
Marram beachgrass on the sand dunes of Sola beach at sunset
Video from Sola beach
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:Risavika – Kolnes – Sola beach: At this point in the north to south coastal walk we are back in the conservation area again for the remaining distance to Ogna in the south. This is a hike of 3.1 km on grassland and sand. The need to cross barbed wire fences makes it a less easy walk though.
South:Sola beach – Ølberg beach (Sola): The hike runs southwest from Sola beach towards Ølberg. Here we can follow a trail on the dunes, over stones and rocks, and over marshes and fields. Ølberg has a lovely sandy beach, a nice little harbour and extensive WW2 fortifications. (3.5 km)
Fottur.net has a description of the hike from Regestranda to Kolnes. The website ut.no has a description of the hike from Sola Strand hotel to Ølberg. Both are in Norwegian only.
August Jacobsen (1868-1955) – Bathing at Sola beach (1927) (Source: Wendelboe)