Askøy is an island in Hordaland county, Norway. Located directly north-west of Bergen, parts of the island functions as a suburb of the city. However, particularly the northern and western parts of the 30 km long island have beautiful rural landscapes, culminating in the small island community of Herdla, linked to Askøy by a short bridge.
Askøy and its immediately surrounding islands are included in Askøy municipality. The municipality had approximately 23,000 inhabitants in 2007, and is growing quickly. The main population centres are all located in the southern half of the island, with Kleppestø and surroundings being the most important. Since the opening of the Askøy bridge in 1992, the island has become very accessible from the Bergen; in fact, the distance between some areas on Askøy, such as Kleppestø and Strusshamn, and Bergen's city centre, is shorter than between the city centre and some parts of Bergen. Many Bergen citizens own cabins on Askøy, both historically and today.
Much of Askøy, especially the southern parts, serve as suburbs to Bergen and is served by reasonably extensive public transport. Indeed, Kleppestø is considered to be within the "Bergen" fare zone. The only road connection between Bergen and Askøy is via the Askøy bridge, which is now toll free.
Tide has regular bus service to Kleppestø from the Bergen bus terminal, with departures every 30 minutes most of the time, journey time is about 25-27 minutes. Further north, the lines spread out and service is less frequent. The bus schedules are available at Skyss. Another option for travel to Askøy is by boat, BNR runs a limited boat service Mondays to Fridays from the pier at Nøstet in Bergen (schedule [dead link]), journey time is 10 minutes.
- Hiking possibilities are plentiful on Askøy. Although you should look elsewhere than this relatively small and flat island for high-altitude/mountain hiking, or long hikes, the varied landscapes and nature on Askøy is perfect for one-day or shorter hikes. Some of the most popular hikes:
- Bergheim-Kolbeinsvarden. Kolbeinsvarden is at 231 m above sea level the highest point on the island, and is occasionally - although rarely nowadays - considered one of the "Seven Mountains" surrounding Bergen's city centre. The most common path to the summit starts just above Kleppestø, near a football field.
- Hiking is the best way to explore Herdla, the small island just north of Askøy. The nature reserve on Herdla has over 220 different bird species, and hikers have to follow the established paths. Herdla was the site of a German airbase during World War II, parts of which remain. Bathing possibilities.
- Sjøhuset, Bakarvågen 20 5305 Florvåg (Approximately 4 kilometers north-east of the Askøy bridge.), ☎ . Maritime food.
- Florvåg Pizzeria, Florvågbakken 1 5305 Florvåg (Florvåg shopping mall), ☎ .
- The Kleppestø shopping mall, just east of the bridge, has various fast food restaurants.
Although most visitors stay in Bergen, there are a number of places to stay on Askøy itself. Most are rental cabins that are booked some time in advance.
- The Annex in Hanevik, Hanevik (Near the north end of the main ring road in eastern Askøy (RV 563)), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A rental cabin in north-eastern Askøy.
- Parken Hytteutleie, Hanøy, Hanøy (After crossing the Askøy bridge, follow the road straight ahead through the tunnel. When you reach the coast, continue for yet another short while.), ☎ . Cabins for rent; south-eastern Askøy.
- Novasol, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The Danish holiday cabin company Novasol owns three rental cabins on Askøy; one in the south-western part of the island, one in the north-east, and the third in the north-west.
- Norgesbooking, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Another cabin rental company, Norgesbooking owns two cabins in Askøy; both located in Hauglandshella in the south-west.
- Bøketun overnatting, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A small B&B (two rooms) situated in Ask (north-east). NOK 350 for the single room per night; kr 275 per person for the family/double room (kr 150 for children under 12 years of age; kr 100 for children under 3 years); kr 50 added if staying for one night only..
- Herdla Fjordhytter Laxeneset, ☎ , fax: . Cottages for rent on Herdla, a small island just north of Askøy. Prices vary.