THE U.N. HAS RATED NORWAY THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
VISIT THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY AND SEE WHY
STUNNING SCENERY GOOD INFRASTUCTURE LOW CRIME WORLD'S HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING FRIENDLY PEOPLE
Because there is so much to see in Norway and because we know the country very well we have divided it into three sections. This section covers Southern Norway with its spectacular coastline of white towns, islands and skerries. This area is not frequented by a lot of foreign visitors, they all go to the West Coast with the big fjords. This is the area with the best summer climate and the place where the Norwegians go for their summer holidays.
All along the more than 200Km. coastline known as the Norwegian Riveria the annual sunshine total exceeds 2000 hours. Compare this with the sunniest place in England, Bognor Regis, 1855 hours, Biarritz in France 1887 hours and Bordeaux 2035 hours. Not only is it sunny but summer days are very long with 19 or 20 hours of daylight.
The seawater temperature is usually between 20-23 degrees compared with a maximum of 16 or 17 around the South coast of England. Boating and swimming are very popular pastimes. There are thousands of islands along the coast and Norwegians love taking their boat out to these islands where they can swim and cook over a barbeque. Many islands have barbeque facilities and toilets on them.
There is no equivalent to brash English seaside resorts. The towns along the coast are very pretty, civilized and, during the summer, often alive with music festivals, boat gatherings and cultural events. Peak time is, like everywhere else, the school holidays but these are different to England. School holidays are mid-June to mid-August. The last two weeks of August usually have good weather but everywhere is quieter. A good time to take kids from England who are still on holiday.
SEE WHAT THE WEATHER IS LIKE IN SOUTHERN NORWAY NOW: CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE A WEBCAM INSTALLED BY GEIR EGELAND IN LUSSEVIKA NEAR SPANGEREID IN LINDESNES KOMMUNE SOUTHERN NORWAY. THANK YOU FOR THE LINK GEIR. GREAT SITE.
The location is Lussevika near Spangereid in Lindesnes Kommune which is the Southernmost Kommune in Norway.
You can expand the map to see greater detail.
Summer idyll at Risor one of the "white towns" on the Norwegian Riveria. In August the population of this little town swells from 7,000 up to 20,000 for the wooden boat festival held here every year. Boats, the sea, islands and long summer days are features of this glorious coastline. Hire a boat and join the fun.
Swimming in the fjord near Kristiansand. There are many swimming holes like this all along the coast. You can swim from little beaches like this or off the rocks. The water is warm and clean. There are even small boats that call at the jetty selling ice cream. Wander where you want, there is no law of trespass. Everyone can use the Norwegian countryside.
DO YOU LIKE COUNTRY MUSIC? IF SO YOU WILL LOVE LISTENING TO HEIDI HAUGE NORWAY'S FAVOURITE FEMALE COUNTRY SINGER WHO COMES FROM SKIEN IN SOUTHERN NORWAY. CLICK HERE TO FIND HER ON U-TUBE.
This is central Kristiansand with the Christmas decorations up. Kristiansand is the only Norwegian city that has the centre laid out in a grid pattern like American cities. The main roads (E18 and E39) effectively by-pass the central city (10 minutes from one side to the other) leaving the city centre relatively uncongested with traffic. The ferry from Denmark comes in near the train station not far from the town centre.
Norway has been voted by the UN as the best country in the world to live. Some Norwegian surveys show Kristiansand as the best place in Norway to live. Is Kristiansand thus the best place in the world to live? It certainly has what must be the most elaborate McDonald's in the world. This is near the city centre. Kristiansand is compact and is a joy to discover by foot.
TIP: What is the most popular sport in Norway? If you said skiing you would be wrong. It is swimming. Sure the Norwegians ski a lot but in summer life revolves around the sea, boats, fishing and swimming. Most towns have good indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Worried about changing into your bathing costume on the beach? There is no law forbidding nude bathing but a general consensus that you should be discreet. Many beaches have toilet facilites which can double as changing rooms.
An excellent photo showing the old and the new bridge leading out of Kristiansand towards Kjevik Airport. Nowadays each bridge carries traffic in a different direction. As well as the Airport you go over these bridges to get to the famous Kristiansand Dyrepark ( a huge zoo set in natural surroundings) which has recently had a water park area added to it. This is a favourite for kids from 2 to 82. The dyrepark is not that expensive to visit and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway for the Norwegians. Tourists do not really know much about it. Well worth a visit but allow a whole day. There is a lot there. It is well signposted off the main E18 road.
This is the small guest harbour (short stay) by the fish market in Kristiansand. The area has many excellent restaurants and is a hub of night life. Kristiansand has one of the most pleasant climates in Norway with many long sunny summer days. If you are staying in Kristiansand this is a nice place to have a meal on a summer evening. There is parking nearby and it is within easy walking distance of most of the hotels in the lower part of the town.
Kristiansand also has larger harbours, an old fortress, a beach (right in the town) with palm trees and some floating restaurants.
TIP: Most European countries require you to have an I.C.C. (International certificate of competence) before you can hire a boat. In Norway you don't need a certificate unless you were born after 1980. Even then it is only required if the boat has an engine larger than about 25HP, so it is not difficult to get on the water. Please do make sure that your boat is large enough for the sea conditions you are likely to encounter and that you have lifejackets and a sea chart. The tides along the Norwegian South Coast are minimal (only a few ft.) and, unlike England, do not restruct the times that you can take a boat out. Most moorings are not tide dependent.
The Southernmost town in Norway is Mandal, population 15,000, about 30 Km. South of Kristiansand. This delightful little town has a river running through it and at the bottom end of the town, where the river meets the sea, is a large area of woodlands with a series of beaches, many facing different directions so that it is always possible to get out of the wind. This beach is a shallow one with a number of adventure toys for kids. Walking and cycling here are very popular and the cost of cycle hire (about 15 pounds per day) from the tourist office, next to the police station at the bottom end of town, is a bargain. Christian Salvesen's former home is in the woodlands and now operates as a summer cafe.
Mandal is a lovely little town that each August hosts the skaldyrfest (shellfish festival). It has Sjosanden (the largest sandy beach in Norway) and is a Summer idyl.
Here in Southern Norway on a long Summer day you take your boat out to the islands and skerries and find somewhere to tie up, usually to a spike driven into a rock (there are a lot of moorings like this). You then picnic or have a barbie while sunbathing on the rocks and swimming in the sea. That;s what you do if you are Norwegian! In the summer the sea is usually around 20C but we have known it get up to 23C. Much warmer than the U.K. Want to join the Norwegians? There are many places to hire boats and you are always welcome.
This picture was taken off the coast from Spangereid a few miles from Lindesnes fyr lighthouse which is the Southernmost point in Norway.
TIP: Out in a boat? Make sure that you know where the rocks are. Sandbanks like we encounter around the English coast are rare except near river estuaries but there are many rocks. These are marked on sea charts. Take particular care near the islands and skerries. These can often slope down and continue for a way under water. It is always best to ask at the place where you hire a boat if there are any special areas to avoid.
YOU MUST VISIT LINDESNES KOMMUNE.
This is the Southernmost kommune in Norway taking in the villages of Vigeland and Spangereid and many small hamlets. It includes Lindesnes fyr which is the lighthouse at the very bottom of Norway 2580 Km. from the Nordkapp at the top of Norway. That distance makes Lindesnes as far away from the Nordkapp as it is from North Africa.
In Spangereid there is the new canal (Spangereidkanalen) opened on July 5, 2007 which was the day after Queen Sonia's 70th birthday and the opening formed part of the birthday celebrations. It is 930M. long and links two fjords enabling small boats to bypass the sometimes dangerous passage around Lindesnes fyr lighthouse. For the opening the Norwegian Royal Yacht (which was built in the U.K.) and the Danish Royal Yacht carried about 30 European Royals from 9 countries and moored just outside of the new canal entrance. There was no representative from the British Royal Family. All the royals were taken in a small boat to the opening ceremoney podium halfway along the canal.
The only British representation was my wife and I along with some of our family, aboard our hired boat, VIP1, who took part in the grand opening boat parade, along with our Norwegian neighbours. We flew both the Norwegian flag and the Union Jack along with a big banner, in Norwegian, giving congratulations from the U.K. Notable during the ceremony was that the leader of Lindesnes Trekkkspillklub, a world famous and very good local accordian band, actually got the queen up to dance. The photos were shown in all the Norwegian newspapers and it was filmed for Norwegian TV.
Spangereid is a delightful little town with about 600 inhabitants. It has Vikingland (a viking theme park), the barnas dyrpark (childrens zoo), a lovely white church with the legend of King Spang and a thriving harbour with a fresh fish shop (the boat docks outside). There is also a great souvenir shop run by Lindesnes hytteservice which also offers holiday cottages and boat hire. Nearby is Njervesanden the most southerly beach in Norway with free car parking (it never gets that crowded to worry), toilet facilities, a boardwalk down to the beach, clean, gently sloping sea water with amazing buoyancy and, at last count, two picnic benches.
The pictures below are all of the area around the lighthouse. All the photos of the lighthouse have been taken by one of the lighhouse keepers, Rolf Dybvik who has very kindly given us his permission to reproduce them.. Rolf is an excellent photographer and artist.
Lindesnes fyr at night. The light works automatically. It gives a quick white flash every 20 seconds and is visible for 19.4 nautical miles. To the right is a map showing walks from the lighthouse. These are not long in distance but because of the clambering over the rocks required, they can be quite strenuous and sufficient time should be allowed to complete them. The map was drawn by lighthouse keeper, Rolf Dybvik, and is for sale for only NOK 10 from the lighthouse shop. The cafe and theatre built into the rock can be seen to the extreme right of this photo.
Lindesnes fyr is the oldest lighthouse station in Norway dating back to 1655. During the second world war it was taken over by the Germans and used as a fortress. There are a number of tunnels running under and around the lighthouse area. You are free to explore these when you visit. There is a modern theatre built into the rock below the lighthouse along with a cafeteria and exhibition rooms. The lighthouse itself is made of cast iron and visitors can climb inside up to the viewing platform at the top. It is also possible to hire cottages by the lighthouse as holiday accommodation. There is adaquate free car parking, good toilet facilities and a souvenir shop on the site. During the year there are numerous events held on the site from car exhibitions to foghorn demonstrations and live band performances. It is certainly a place worth a visit and, indeed, many visits. The entrance fee is about NOK 50 (six pounds) so it is excellent value.
A video taken some years ago by the lighthouse keeper, Rolf Dybvik showing a foolish German fisherman risking his life by going out on the rocks with big waves nearby.
Video showing the views around Lindesnes Fyr Lighthouse at the Southern tip of Norway
Look at this great film about Lindesnes Kommune. Please Click Here
The magnificent sailing ship Sorlandet . This is the oldest full rigged ship in the world that is still operating. It is 64.15M. long with a beam of 6.87M.and can do 17 Knots under sail or 14 Knots under power. Built in Kristiansand in 1927 this 891 tonne ship is the pride of the Norwegian South Coast (Sorlandet). There is an active Sorlandet appreciation club.
Lindesnes Fyr on a September day with the little harbour in the foreground. The cafe, theatre and exhibition hall are not visible but they are located to the right of the photo.
Also to the right of this photo is a small shop where it is possible to buy many interesting nautical and art items including a great print of the Sorlandet (see left), fully rigged sailing past the lighthouse.
TIP: There is so much to see and do in this lovely part of Norway that we would need many websites to describe the attractions. You can, however, click the Lonely Planet banner below and obtain much more information. You do not have to buy complete guidebooks. You can purchase just the chapter (s) that you want which makes it a very economical way of obtaining first class information.
PARK YOUR BOAT ON AN ISLAND AND RELAX. THIS IS IN THE SKERRIES OFF ARVIK IN LINDESNES KOMMUNE. ON THIS ISLAND IS THE "LOVE GARDEN" BUILT BY AN ENGLISH SEA CAPTAIN FOR THE NORWEGIAN LADY WHO RAN THE CUSTOMS HOUSE. UNFORTUNATELY THE SEA CAPTAIN DROWNED ON A VOYAGE TO ENGLAND AND THE GARDEN WAS NEVER COMPLETED AND THEIR LOVE WAS UNFULFILLED. SAD?
CHANNEL BETWEEN THE MAINLAND AND AN ISLAND ALSO IN LINDESNES KOMMUNE. HERE WE ARE ABOUT FIVE MILES SOUTH OF VIGELAND NEAR UNDEROY. THIS AREA HAS AN AMAZING ARRAY OF ISLANDS AND IS A BOATERS PARADISE. THE TIDE HERE IS MINIMAL SO YOU CAN GO BOATING AT ANY TIME OF THE DAY. THE CLEAR CLOUDLESS SKY IS A NORWEGIAN SUMMER BONUS. BOATS CAN BE HIRED FROM LINDESNES HYTTESERVICE AT BOULY HARBOUR ABOUT 8 KM. FROM HERE.
Below is a link to Radio Lyngdal. Not the largest radio station in the world but it often plays Country and Western music and has a loyal following among the residents of Lyngdal, Farsund and the rest of Lister kommune. If you are driving in that area you can tune in on 105.5FM.
THE FAMOUS OLD DALEN HOTEL IN TELEMARK. THE GARDENS OF THIS BEAUTIFUL BUILDING RUN DOWN TO THE FJORDSIDE. IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA IT IS WORTH JUST CALLING IN FOR LUNCH OR, BETTER YET, STAY FOR A FEW NIGHTS.
WHERE ELSE WILL YOU FIND SCENERY LIKE THIS.
PICTURE TAKEN FROM THE ROAD ABOVE DALEN IN TELEMARK.
TIP: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BUILD A WEBSITE LIKE THIS (OR BETTER) PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW AND YOU WILL FIND THAT IT IS NOT THAT DIFFICULT OR EXPENSIVE.