"Skagerak frontier island" Jomfruland by Rusket

Jomfruland Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 26 photos

58.52N 9.36E

Jomfruland means "land of virgins" :-) The island is 7,5 km long and 1 km wide, with an area of 3,3 square km.

Origin of the name

A source claims that Jomfruland was owned by the convent Gimsoy in Skien. Gimsoy Convent was built before 1100 by Dag Eilivsson, one of king Magnus Berrfott's men. Dag went on a Crusade with Sigurd Jorsalfar, and built the convent on his return. Baugeid, by one source mentioned as Dag's sister, by another source as his oldest daughter, was the first abbess. After the Reformation Gimsoy Convent lost its impact, and the buildings burned down in 1546. The nuns used to go to Jomfruland for recreational puposes, and they might even have had a hospital there.

Sigrid Undset might have used some of this in one of her novels, of that I am not sure

The following text is copied from page13 of this pdf document:

"On the outer side of the archipelago facing Skagerak lies Jomfruland. It was originially called Aur meaning sand and gravel mixed with rocks, a name mentioned in sagas from 1207. Jomfruland first appeared in writing in 1513 and the island is part of a moraine stretching from the Baltic, through Sweden and along the Norwegian coast.

On the outside, rocks and boulders, on the inside sandy beaches, a varied flora and a rich bird life characterise the island where between 60 and 70 different species can be found nesting. A visit is a special experience at all times of the year, but particularly in the spring when the wood anemones carpet the ground in the oak forests typical for this island.

Well known landmarks are the two lighthouses in the middle of Jomfruland. The elder is 22 metres high, built in brick and has been the first light seen by ships approaching Kragerø and Telemark since it was lit in 1839. The first mechanical fog horn in Norway was installed in 1874. The new lighthouse which is 37 metres high is an iron construction built 100 years later. In the summer the old tower is used as a museum, the lighthous keeper's house as an art gallery and the area around as a concert arena."

Additional information and beautiful pictures are found here:

Djupodden fyrlykt

This little lighthouse was built in 1910 and was run with paraffine until 1970. It is still active, but automated, and forms a leading line with the tall cast iron lighthouse.


A lot of people travel to Jomfruland to enjoy the sandy beaches, but there are several other possibilities. There are nice walking and biking paths and a lot of interesting sights. This sight is more common in the large forests inland than out here on this flat island close to the ocean.

There used to be a large forest on the island, but drought and engraver beatles destroyed much of it in the 1970-ies. The harsh climate is not ideal for conifer forests. There is however an old oak forest, which is rather uncommon for Norway, and hazel, spruce, fir and larch.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Flora, fauna, geology, museums, concerts and beaches on 3,3 km2
  • Last visit to Jomfruland: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated Jul 15, 2005
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Reviews (10)

Comments (4)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2009 at 3:31 AM

    Very interesting trip. Thanks for the tour.

  • TheView's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2007 at 3:22 PM

    Jomfruland ...det lyder jo tiltrækkende ;-)

  • NC_Ziggy's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2005 at 1:55 PM

    Very interesting tips and location... You're doing good! Just remember- Build it, and they will come! You'll have a number soon too! ;-)

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2005 at 3:40 PM

    Can you give us an update on how the name came about? Maybe I read about this in an Undset novel? ;-]



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