Kirkehamn, Hidra

58°13’57.139”N 6°32’7.308”E

Kirkehamn, Hidra 

Harbour town, mining site, WW2 historical site in Flekkefjord

How to get there

Hidra is situated in Flekkefjord municipality in Vest-Agder county. To get here, you have to take the ferry from mainland Kvellandstranda. About 700 have Hidra as their home, but during summer season the island hosts even more people from all nations.

Special conditions:

  • Park at the parking place and show respect for private land.
  • Show respect to animals along the trail.
  • Don’t forget to close gates behind you so that animals would not get away.
  • Dogs have to be on leash.
  • Leave nothing but footprints!

Geology and nature

Hidra is the largest island in Magma Geopark and offers picturesque southern villages and breathtaking scenery.  Hidra was covered by ice under several ice ages. The last ice melted about 12.000 years ago. The island is dominated by granite with some moraine deposits in the mountains.

There are several traces of mining industry at Hidra. It was mainly feldspar and quartz that was recovered from the mines but we find traces of many other minerals. The most accessible mine is situated just above the museum Fedrenes Minne. You find the entrance to the mine nearby the parking lot.

Culture and history

People have lived at Hidra for thousands of years. The sea has always been the most important industry at the island. Still fish is delivered at the landing site in Kirkehamn, and farmed salmon make a significant industry.

During the World War II, German soldiers built the Hitterøy fortress and about 100 soldiers were located here. If you follow the trail you will still find traces of the fortress. In idyllic Kirkehamn you can enjoy the view of the harbor from Kongshamn Bryggerestaurant who serves local food.

Hågåsen gives a spectacular view of the ocean. Just months before the invasion of the Germans April 9th 1940, Norwegian marines were stationed here to guard the neutrality. They had a perfect view of the coastline from Lista to Sokndal. After the invasion German soldiers built Hitterøy fortress. A whole town were growing at Hågåsen during the war with headquarter, underground passages and artillery posts. Following the trail at Hågåsen, you still find traces of the fortress.

There are two villages at Hidra; Kirkehamn and Rasvåg. Kirkehamn is named after the big white church (1854) that dominates the sheltered harbor. You can enjoy the view from Kongshamn Bryggerestaurant who offer local food.

About Urstad mines

The mines are part of a pegmatite passage. Pegmatite is a very coarse-grained rock that is usually formed by crystallization of residual solutions of magma. This residual solution may contain some water and many different exciting minerals may be formed. In pegmatites one can find meter-sized crystals.
On Hidra, feldspar and quartz were completely visible in several places during the day in coarse-grained passages called pegmatite passages. Mining at Hidra started in the 1850s and the last mine closed down approx. 1930.
In the Urstad mine, in addition to feldspar and quartz, several other minerals can be seen, such as biotite and muscovite (crow silver), magnetite (magnetic), ilmenite (white pigment), grenades (various types) and the radioactive mineral aeshynite.
Now the Urstad mine has finally been made available to the public. The mines have been cleared and parking area has been established. Welcome to an exciting, and for many unknown, journey in the history of Magma Geopark!

Pictures from Kirkehamn, Hidra

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