Karljohansvern to Varnestangen Paddling

Paddling along Padleled Vestfold

  • Photo: Trond Glesaaen

Essential info

  • Destination: Padleled Vestfold
  • Season: May-September
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 22.5 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 0 meters
  • Duration: 4.5-5.5 hours

About Karljohansvern to Varnestangen

A safe kayaking route for beginners from Horten to the recreational area at Varnestangen. The route offers protected paddling along the shoreline without any open water crossings.

The adventure is part of Padleled Vestfold and the entry point for the adventure is Karljohansvern in Horten.

Getting there

From Oslo, follow E18 east towards Kristiansand for nearly 83 kilometers until you reach exit 33 “Kopstad Krysset” for Rv310 toward Rv310/Rv35/Horten/Svinevoll/Havn/Moss. Follow Rv310 toward Horten for 10 kilometers until you turn left onto Oregata. Continue for another few hundred meters until turning left onto Kommandørkaptein Klincks vei. You will find parking here. 

Trail description

Launch the kayak at Karljohansvern, and paddle westward along the shoreline in Indre havn, the “inner harbor”. Reverumpa recreational area is the first area worthy of stopping for a break before heading into Drasund bay. During the season it is recommended to take advantage of Løvøya Camping area, to either stretch your legs or to pitch a tent and camp for the night.

After Løvøya, paddle east along the shoreline towards Løvøysund. Here you will find the recreational area with the same name, popular for fishing and scuba diving. The coastal cabin at Løvøysund can be booked for overnight accommodation.

Further along, paddle under the bridge and westward around the shoreline towards a nice area in Jesusbukta / Vugbukta. Further, you will pass Mamre Lund recreational area with swimming beaches, small rocky islands, and beautiful grassy areas. During the summer, Mamre Lund is part of Løvøya Camping, but the northern peninsula, Stormodden, is open to all.

Further along the route, you will pass Falkensten Bruk, a large and historic property which dates as far back as 1319. Before you reach your destination, Varnestangen, you pass Selskjær, a nice and undisturbed swimming area.

At Varnestangen, you will find a nice picnic area which is only accessible by foot, bike, or boat. If you are interested in a small hike, there is a hill, Slettefjell (115 meters above sea level) which provides great views over the Oslo fjord and Sandebukta bay. Enjoy the late afternoon and evening sun at Varnestangen before returning back to Karljohansvern along the same route. 


At Karljohansvern you can find:

  • Grocery store(walking distance)
  • Parking

Where to stay


Questions or comments? Let us know.

Download trail descriptions, maps, and guides in the Outtt app.

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