Sørlandet Blogg

Arkiv - September 2016

Hiking to Grillhytta Sletteheia Ålefjær Kristiansand

Barbeque cabin Ålefjær Norway

The barbeque cabin at Sletteheia in Ålefjær Norway

There are hiking trails all over Norway – literally all over. Norwegians love the outdoors and really appreciate nature. Outside of winter, if they are not out on the boat or doing some sort of sport, they are hiking. Southern Norway has its fair share of trails that are usually marked and mapped.

A friend told me about one hiking trail that has a little footbridge high above a little valley and a cabin with great views in Ålefjær just outside Kristiansand. So I took the family out and decided to give it a try. His directions were a little vague but we tried our best. I looked at Google maps and found a road that would lead to the starting point. After driving down this road, I soon realised that it was a private road with a few farms on it. This was obviously not the place so after some exploring, we found the carpark.

Photo: Adam Read

Hiking to the barbeque cabin in Ålefjær (Grillhytta)

We took both of our dogs on leads and headed up the trail. On a beautiful sunday in autumn in Kristiansand, it was the perfect day for it. Looks like many others had the same idea, so we met a lot of people on the way up.

The hike up takes about an hour going at a good pace. My youngest boy who is five, did it very easily and I was trying to keep up with him.

There are three signs on the way up. One leads to Sletteheia with a high tower and the other leads to a Grillhytta (barbeque cabin). We decided to go to the cabin. About 50 metres before it, there is a 50 metre long hanging foot bridge that towers above a little valley. It is quite high but not scary for the kids who did not even notice the height.

Photo: Adam Read

Hanging foot bridge in Ålefjær (Grillhytta)

Once at the cabin, we relaxed and enjoyed the views. The cabin looks to be run by the local scout group.

Photo: Adam Read

The barbeque cabin in Ålefjær (Grillhytta)

It has a open fireplace and a chimney in it and a table with chairs. It is possible to stay overnight in it if you bring your sleeping bag.

Photo: Adam Read

The barbeque cabin in Ålefjær (Grillhytta)

Next time, we will try the other route to the tower.

Directions

Ålefjær is a little area just outside Kristiansand. The carpark is not that easy to find but if you search for Ålefjærvegen 301, Kristiansand in your gps, you will find it. Please note that there is a private road before and after the carpark, so do not use these because there will be no where to park. The carpark is next to the road so you will notice it when you see it. Here are some maps to help you.

map1

Google Map with directions

 

map4

Goolge Map of carpark

map3

Google streetview showing carpark

Here you will find out more information about the location on the Den Norske Turistforening (Norwegian tourist organisation).  It has a detailed map of the journey.

Hiking to Skrelia in Lyngdal

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Skrelia Lyngdal Norway

The mountain of Skrelia is located close to the heart of Lyngdal. The brings two very good benefits. The first is that you get a great view over the fjords, mountains and the city, but also it is a very short trip. (Here is a video from the trip)

From the parking lot, you walk about 100 metres before the trail to Skrelia starts. There is a signpost there to let you know that you are going in the right direction.

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Skrelia signpost Lyngdal Norway

You will pass a small fence near a stone plateau. Follow the blue painted marks for about 500 metres and you will find an opening.

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Boulders Skrelia Lyngdal Norway

There is a stream that crosses this opening and there are large stones laid across it so it is easy to get past.

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Stream Skrelia Lyngdal Norway

Then turn slightly left (basically follow the stream down) and you will see the viewpoint.

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

View from Skrelia

There is a table with chairs there to enjoy some food and relax.

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Relax at the table and chairs at Skrelia

The terrain is not difficult and anyone can do it. I took my three sons with me and they did it very easily. The drop from the mountain is not steep but caution should still be maintained at all times. Make sure you take your camera with you because the view is fantastic. The whole journey from the heart of Lyngdal to the viewpoint took about 45 minutes.

How to get to Skrelia in Lyngdal

As you can see on the map, it is very easy to find your way there by car. However one thing to note is that the road can be quite slippery and dangerous in the winter, so it is not advised to go there then. Also if you own a campervan or have a trailer, do not use the road. It is very narrow and easy to get stuck. It is also very difficult to get past traffic that is coming the other way.

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Google Maps

 

You can also read more about Skrelia here.

Island Hidra in Flekkefjord

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The island of Hidra

Hidra is located in Flekkefjord southern Norway which is about a 2 hour drive from Kristiansand. The island has a wealth of history dating back to the viking times (viking artifacts can still be found on the island today). Around 700 people live there who regularly go to and from the mainland by ferry which operates all year round. There are several ports on the island, beaches, accommodation, food stores a football field and a school.

Photo: Adam Read @ Viist Sørlandet

Starfish in Kirkehamn Hidra Flekkefjord Norway

Worth a visit all year round

I have been to Hidra in the summer, autumn and the spring. The autumn colours are just beautiful and the summer is lots of fun.  Here are some pictures from the autumn:

Summer fun in Hidra

This summer, I took a trip to Hidra with the kids. It is a 2 hourt drive from Kristiansand to Hidra, so I promised my oldest son that we could play a little football before going to the beach. He is absolutely crazy about football and plays it everyday of ther week. So we stopped off at the local football field.

Photo: Adam Read @ Viist Sørlandet

Football field Hidra Norway

Then we took a trip to Kirkehamn to try and find some crabs. Took a while, but they both found something under the rocks.

Photo: Adam Read @ Viist Sørlandet

Finding crabs in Hidra Flekkefjord Norway

We then met up with some friends and did some kayaking/canoeing after getting an ice cream.

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Canoeing in Hidra Flekkefjord Norway

Of course my boys had to show off for the girls, so it was time to jump off the rocks into the water.

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Swimming at Hidra Flekkefjord Norway

A little boat trip around the church harbour was in order

Photo: Adam Read @ Viist Sørlandet

Wooden boat Hidra Flekkefjord Norway

with a spot of fishing.

Photo: Adam Read @ Viist Sørlandet

Fishing Hidra Flekkefjord Norway

Before ending the day with a beautiful sunset.

Photo: Adam Read @ Viist Sørlandet

Sunset Hidra Flekkefjord Norway

Accommodation and food

We stayed at a friend’s house while there, but there are options for accommodation at Skipperhuset and some other apartments with options found here. There are two food stores that close relatively early each day. When we were there, the Matkroken store in Kirkehamn closed at 5pm. So make sure you get some food on the mainland before going there if you will arrive after 5pm. There is also a fantastic restaurant with first class chefs at Kongshamn called Kongshamn Bryggerestaurant. Check their website for opening times.

Hidra Ferry

As stated, the Hidra ferry operates alø year round and the timetable can be found here – Hidra ferry timetable

Adam Read @ Visit Sørlandet

Hidra Ferry Flekkefjord Norway

Rafting in Evje with Troll Aktiv

Fotograf Claus Lillevang - http://Event-fotograf.dk

White water rafting in the river Otra

Rafting at TrollAktiv - Evje - Photo TrollAktiv

Rafting at TrollAktiv – Evje – Photo TrollAktiv

The river Otra is the longest river in southern Norway stretching 245 kilometres from Stesedal to Kristiansand. It gets a ton of water from the mountains creating perfect river rafting conditions. Tim Davis is an ex British soldier who once toured Norway with the forces. He instantly saw the possibility of creating rafting activities in the river Otra and so after becoming a resident, he started the outdoor adventure company Troll Aktiv in 1994.

When nature provides you with the perfect sports facilities for free, you need to take advantage of it and that is exactly what Tim did. The luxurious problem is, the Norwegian landscape also provides the adventurer with an abundance of other activities, so Tim also brought these to the forefront – climbing, zip lines, mountain baiking trails, bmx pump track, archery, canoeing, SUP, fishing, battlefield with laser guns and even an escape room. There is so much to write about, I can take the other activities another time. So lets focus on rafting.

Trip with the kids

I took two of my sons with me to go on the “family rafting tour“. The river offers both difficult and hard rafting and naturally the family version is the nice and easy one with a little of bit action for the kids. A child needs to be over 6 years and 110cm tall to be able to do it. My boys are 8 and 10 and they were very eager to try it out. (That is a video from our trip. )

Rafting TrollAktiv

Rafting at TrollAktiv – Evje – Photo TrollAktiv

We started with a briefing from an instructor followed by getting our kit for the trip. We each got a wetsuit, dry top, booties, helmet and a life vest. Tim then drove us in a minibus up the river to the starting point. We were with a family from Germany who also had two children.

It was a 25 degree sunny day with little wind, so the conditions were perfect. Our instructor was from South America and she was very clear in her instructions and very friendly.

The “Bum Bum Team”

When she asked what our team should be called, my son said “Bum Bum” – so we were called the “Bum Bum Team”.  After each instruction out in the water, we had to say “Yeah we are the Bum Bum Team”. Ok enough of that.

“That was so cool Dad. Next time I want to do the adult rafting. I do not want to wait 4 years for that!”

The family rafting trip takes a total of two hours. In the beginning eveyerone gets used to the raft and practises falling off and getting back on. Then there is, of course, water fights and play time before going down the rapids. I tell you, these instructors have the best job in the world. One guy was on a small kayak to ensure we were safe and he was also having a great time.

The rapids

My kids were smiling from ear to ear going down the rapids. I took a video with my GoPro and you can hear them laughing the whole time. After going down several rapids, we were instructed to start paddling upstream towards a little stone wall. We did this so that the boat would fill with water! That was fun.

Rafting at TrollAktiv – Evje – Photo TrollAktiv

In one section of the rapids, we needed to stop and let the kids off who walked with one of the instructors a little further down the river and waited for us. Then we adults returned and finished that part of the river. After the kids hopped on board again, we headed further down river before stopping off at a little rock face and jumping into the river.

Summary

This trip was absolutely fantastic. The kids loved it and really want to go back to try the adult rafting!

For more information about rafting in Evje, contact:

troll-aktiv-logo1

TrollAktiv AS
4735 Evje, Norway | T +47 37 93 11 77 | post@trollaktiv.no | www.trollaktiv.no
GPS: N=58.636289 E7.807905 TrollAktiv Facebook