Experience the Norwegian Riviera

Text: Anne Bloksgaard Nielsen Published 15.02.2022

Southern Norway is understandably called the Norwegian Riviera with its series of charming coastal towns with their characteristic white wooden houses and an impressive archipelago filled with inviting islets that tempt you with the promise of summertime adventures. For several years, this area has been one of the Norwegians’ favourite destinations, but it’s only recently that international tourists have begun to take note of the Southern Norway’s charms.

Kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches

The southern part of Norway boasts a string of delightful sandy beaches, where you can take a lovely dip in surroundings that are very different to ones we’re familiar with on the Danish west coast or at North Zealand’s beaches. For example, one of Norway’s most famous and best-loved beaches, Sjøsanden, is situated near Mandal on Norway’s southern tip, and close to Kristiansand, you’ll find the child-friendly beach Hamresanden, which is 3 km long.

The white coastal towns

From Risør between Langesund and Kristiansand on the east coast to Flekkefjord towards the southwest lies a series of small idyllic coastal towns, all characterised by large numbers of white wooden houses, often with colourful flowers in balcony boxes or planted along elaborate picket fences.The houses give the small towns a very special charm, inviting you to take a leisurely stroll and really wind down and enjoy your holiday.

Exceptional archipelago charm

The landscape along the southern Norwegian coastline is very special indeed. There are lots of islets and skerries, offering the perfect location for fishing trips, swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding, or walking and cycling on land with views over the spectacular landscape.

Of course, one of the best ways to experience the archipelago is from the water. At Blindleia – one of Norway’s prettiest stretches of coastline between Lillesand and Kristiansand – you can take a boat trip on the sightseeing vessel M/B Øya. The trip takes you through the stunning southern Norwegian archipelago with its array of small islands, isolated farms, beautiful islets and rugged skerries.

The jewel of the coastline: Kristiansand

Kristiansand is one of the coast’s absolute gems. It’s often called the “Children’s City”, but also has lots of activities for the whole family. For example, you can relax on Bystranden’s white sand surrounded by palm trees or in Ravnedalen’s impressive natural setting, which also offers captivating summer concerts.

Of course, Kristiansand has its own quarter dominated by the traditional white wooden houses, known as Posebyen, which is actually more than 300 years old and constitutes Northern Europe’s longest unbroken wooden house settlement.