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Lindesnes lighthouse at the tip of Norway

Welcome toSouthern Norway

the Norwegian riviera

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People anywhere hear the word “south” and probably think of sunshine, sand, summer and such. Well, it’s no different here in Norway. The sunny southern part of the country is most Norwegians’ dream summertime getaway … and can be yours, too!

Kick things off in Kristiansand, a bustling seaport and Norway’s sunniest city, where —like Miami and Rio — the beach is big business. Bystandra, in the city center, is one of Kristiansand’s most popular beaches and hosts the annual Palmesus festival — Scandinavia’s biggest beach party, attracting some 60,000 each summer. 

Steps away, you’ll find year-round urban delights like museums and galleries, world-class shopping and dining, and historical and family attractions. Crave more coast? Set out for the myriad islands of the archipelago just offshore. Ports like tiny Ny-Hellesund, home to just 12 people, and charming Bragdøya, a mere ferry ride away, beckon.

Appetite for summer fun whetted, you’ll want to head up the coast to unique seaside spots like Tvedestrand, to trawl secondhand bookshops; Risør, home to skilled jewelers and handicrafts artisans; Flekkefjord and its street art; and Grimstad, for a bike ride or two along your pick of scenic cycling routes. Head as far south as you can in Norway with a day — or night — at Lindesnes Lighthouse, the country’s southern most point and now also an accommodation option.

Natural wonders more your thing? Check out the “horizontal potholes” that Ice Age waves punched into coastal mountains at Brufjell millennia ago. Animal lovers can meet moose at Elgtun nature park, and action junkies can raft or SUP at TrollAktiv Waterpark in Evje.

All that activity and you’ll be working up an appetite. Southern Norway is a seafood lover’s paradise. Take dining to new depths with a meal at Europe’s first underwater restaurant, or the countless other quality eateries the region serves up.

For your summertime fun fix, there’s no place like Southern Norway!

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Adventures in Setesdal Valley

Tips and Inspiration

Kilden theater and concert hall in Kristiansand

Credit: Jon Petter Thorsen

Lindesnes lighthouse at the tip of Norway

Credit: Peder Austrud

Bare feets walking on Rauland beach in Kristiansand

Credit: Mona B Kasin

MS Henrik Ibsen canal boat saling on the Telemark Canal

Credit: Kåre Pedersen

Bystranda beach promenade

Credit: Jorunn Jensen

M/S Henrik Ibsen cruising on the Telemark Canal

Credit: Kåre Pedersen

Zip lining at the high ropes park at Evje

Credit: TrollAktiv