Cruising Norway: Exploring Stavanger Bay and beyond

In our latest feature, Peter Cumberlidge explains why Stavanger Bay is the perfect starting point for boaters interested in cruising Norway

Exotic island gardens

Hidle Island (pictured below) is unique in the archipelago because 30 years ago a Stavanger family established three acres of luxuriant gardens on its mile of weathered granite.

They started by planting a windbreak of pines and then shipped in thousands of tons of soil for the flowers, shrubs and more delicate trees.

Hidle island viewsThe gardens flourished and now cover 15 acres, meandering across different layers past tranquil pools and trickling streams.

It’s worth visiting this extraordinary tropical oasis, either by ferry from Stavanger or with your own boat if you book in advance.

The tiny harbour is on the east shore, where a waterside restaurant faces the fjord and the mountains behind Tau.

For visitors, Hidle is really a restaurant with gardens, so you reserve for lunch or dinner and enjoy a guided tour of the gardens before you eat.

Chef André Mulder produces a sumptuous seven-dish buffet and the whole experience costs about £90 per person at current exchange rates, including the ferry trip.

You can visit the Stavanger Harbour booking office at Skagenkaien 35-37 or see:

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