In the summertime, Norwegians take their holidays on the south coast, rambling within the forests, strolling up hills, swimming in tiny lakes and exploring the islands.
In the beginning of October, it’s nonetheless heat, however there’s no site visitors on the roads and I’ve the place to myself. I arrive on a direct flight from London Stansted in Kristiansand, Norway’s fifth largest metropolis, and I’m quickly on the highway heading west.
On the most southerly level of mainland Norway is Lindesnes Fyr, the primary lighthouse within the nation, constructed by the King of Denmark in 1656. It’s the place the North Sea meets the Baltic and, as you may count on, it’s a rugged spot.
For lots of of years, the keepers needed to drag coal all the best way as much as hold the lamp shining. In 1915 it was changed by an iron construction and an electrical mild. It’s nonetheless functioning immediately and there’s a museum and a very good restaurant. You’ll be able to even spend the night time within the lighthouse keeper’s cottage.
Round 20 minutes’ drive east within the village of Lindesnes is the engineering marvel of Restaurant Underneath. Because the identify implies it’s the world’s largest underwater restaurant and opened in April 2019.
It was constructed on land after which lowered to sit down on the ocean backside, 5.5 metres beneath the floor. One wall is obvious glass so that you watch the fish, even hear them consuming, and the design is wooden and woven textiles. It’s like a residing cinema, with sea life because the film, and the menu displays the underwater seasons. You’ll need to guide because the restaurant has solely 40 covers with one sitting. Keep subsequent door at Lindesnes Havhotell so that you don’t need to drive.
Heading again east, simply outdoors Kristiansand, is Boen Manor, located on the banks of the Tovdalselva River. There’s salmon fishing right here and that’s one of many most important points of interest.
The primary home was inbuilt 1813 and has been fully restored. Visitors can keep right here or in new lodging proper by the river, the place you see the salmon soar out of your window.
The meals within the restaurant is native and seasonal – Chef Tomasz Rochon makes use of the greens, apples, berries, herbs, and honey from the grounds, the salmon comes from the river and the lamb grazes within the surrounding meadows.
In any case this consuming, I’m eager to pattern a few of the out of doors actions, so I drive additional east to Canvas Hove, located proper on the ocean.
You’ll be able to convey your personal tent however much better to remain in one of many luxurious Mongolian Yurts, full with copper bathtub, king-size beds, wood-fired oven and insulated partitions and ceilings.
The seashore is shut and I discover the Raet Nationwide Park by electrical bike, biking by way of the forest on Arendal’s greatest trails. Later I climb right into a two-person Kayak and paddle across the islands.
Round 40 km northeast is the island of Sandøya which has no roads and no connection to the mainland. I go away my automotive at Hagefjorden brygge, take a brief ferry experience after which decide up a rusty previous bike. The island is tiny, simply 1.5 sq. miles, so it’s not far to my lodge, Inni Granskogen, fantastically located on the banks of a small lake. Solely round 200 individuals reside right here, most of them artisans or boat builders however there’s nonetheless some fishing.
It’s the primary day of the lobster season so I courageous the weather and set out on a small boat to see what’s within the pots. Disappointingly the lobsters are feminine with eggs so we’ve to throw them again.
This might be my final cease, one other 40km north, and it doesn’t disappoint. Risør remains to be a fishing port, its white picket homes huddling across the harbour with pine forests behind. It dates from 1723, making it one of many oldest cities alongside the southern coast and thrived on timber and shipbuilding.
When these died on the market was no cash for redevelopment so the gorgeous previous homes survived. The 16 suites of the Det Lille Resort are situated in historic buildings all through the city and are exquisitely furnished with antiques. A meal of recent lobster, crab, shrimps and mussels is an ideal method to finish my go to.
FLY: Widerøe flies direct from London Stansted to Kristiansand.
PACKAGE: Up Norway’s five-day Coastal Immersion in Southern Norway presents 4 nights full board lodging and contains automotive rent, Boen Manor, Risør, a free diving tour in Raet Nationwide Park or sea trout fishing off Sandøya Island and a guided tour of Lindesnes Lighthouse. Costs from £2,174 primarily based on two sharing.
Kotenull arranges a variety of water associated actions, together with fishing, kayaking and free diving, round Sandøya Island and in Raet Nationwide Park.
MORE INFO: Go to Norway has extra details about Southern Norway.