Sørlandet Blogg

Arkiv - April 2016

The old coastal town of Risør

Wooden boat festival in Risør Norway

Risør is a beautiful old coastal town in southern Norway.

Risør has narrow streets with shops and old white wooden houses. During the summer months, the town is packed with people eager to spend some time checking out all of the wooden boats and eating some local foods.

Old wooden boats and old wooden houses in the town of Risør Norway

Town of Risør Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

The Risør Trebåtfestival

This is a wooden boat festival that takes place once a year in the summer. People travel here from all over Europe to see the magnificent old wooden boats restored to perfect condition. There are so many boats in the water that there is almost always a traffic jam 🙂

French boat at Risør trebåtfestival Norway

French boat at Risør trebåtfestival Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

During the festival the boats have a race around the archipelago and past the Stangholen light house. There are activities for the whole family and concerts at night.

The town also hosts a number of festivals, has plenty of options for accommodation and niche stores that sell anything from small model boats to the latest fashion accessories.

Wooden houses in Risør Southern Norway

Risør Southern Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

Risørflekken is a look out point near the town centre of Risør. It is located on white rock which was easy for the sailers to see when coming into the harbour. It acted as a kind of beacon in conditions with bad visibility. It is a great spot for a picture.

Risørflekken viewpoint

Risørflekken viewpoint Photo: Peder Austrud

Being a short drive from both Kristiansand or Oslo, Risør is definitely a place to visit.

West of Kristiansand

Rosfjord Strandhotell Pier Lyngdal Norway

Lyngdal

Lyngdal is an ideal location to base yourself whilst visiting the Lister region in southern Norway, as local attractions are within easy reach. “Lister” is a local term used to describe this area west of Kristiansand in southern Norway.

In the centre of Lyngdal, is Sørlandsbadet which is the region’s only dedicated swimming pool complex that has both indoor and outdoor pools, treatment rooms and a gym. Just down the road is the Lucky Strike Bowling Centre that has six indoor bowling lanes, food and a billiard room. The kids can also enjoy the play room with a hockey table. Or maybe try camping at Epledalen where you can fish, go hiking or swimming.

Epledalen Lyngdal Norway

Epledalen Lyngdal Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

There are an abundance of shopping stores with a large variety ranging from electronics to baby clothing. Lyngdal is famous for its shopping, so people travel for long distances to buy things there.
If the family wants to be a little more adventurous, there is a salmon staircase at Kvåsfossen where you can see the salmon swim up the river through specially made glass viewing windows.
Why not rent a canoe or try your hand at fishing along the Lygna river where the staircase is located.

Farsund and Lista

A twenty minute drive from Lyngdal is the Farsund and Lista region. Farsund is a scenic coastal city with long beaches in the area popular for swimming and surfing. In the heart of the city is Varbak that has panoramic views over the city. Flipside, Scandinavia’s largest indoor skatepark is located in Lista which also has paint balling and go kart riding.

Wooden boats in Farsund Norway

Wooden boats in Farsund Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

Kvinesdal

Kvinesdal is a little town thirty minutes from Lyngdal that sits in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains and a large fjord. There are many hiking tours in the area for the whole family as well as golf at Utsikten for Dad.

Utsikten Hotel Kvinesdal Norway

Utsikten Hotel Kvinesdal Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

Solli jaktgård “hunting farm” and Torvløbakkan Gård are two farms that offer hunting, local food and activities for the kids.

Flekkefjord

In Flekkefjord, the family can try dresinsykling “rail biking” on old railway lines. It is both great exercise and a great day out for the family. Dad and Mum can ride the rail bikes and the kids can sit down and enjoy the trip. Afterwards check out the old town of Hollanderbyen (The Holland town) with narrow streets and old white houses. Or if you are in the mood for a long hike with amazing views, check out Brufjell potholes.

Rail biking Flekkefjord Norway

Rail biking Flekkefjord Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

Lindesnes

From Kristiansand towards Lister, one of the first areas in the Lister region is Lindesnes. There is a little lighthouse in the middle of the roundabout on the main E39 highway to inform visitors of the most important and well known attraction in the area. It is of course the Lindesnes lighthouse.

Lindesnes Lighthouse Norway

Lindesnes Lighthouse Norway – Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

The lighthouse has the last remaining full time watchman in Norway, so the premises is kept in very good condition with opportunites for accommodation. There is an auditorium, cafe and is open all year.

En route to the lighthouse from the main highway, there is an anmial park called Barnas Dyrepark. Here visitors can play and feed the animals ranging from alpacas to minks.
The park is open during the summer months and by appointment thereafter.

Electric car charging stations Norway

Electric car Norway

Electric car usage in Southern Norway

Norway is one of the world leaders in “going green” to help protect the environment. Their waste management and general concerns for “The Green House affects” on the environment are always high on the agenda.

Green Norway

It is therefore no surprise that Norway has the world’s largest amount of plug-in electrical cars per capita. These cars use electricity generated from hydropower which is also one of the cleanest forms of electricity. Now, one in every 100 cars on Norwegian roads are electric and the country is the largest European market for the Tesla S and Nissan Leaf models.

Electric car charging Norway

Electric car charging Norway

The first electric car charging stations were introduced in Norway in 2011 and as from March 2016, there are 7,632 electric recharge points spread throughout the country.

Benefits to visitors to Southern Norway

If you are thinking of hiring an electric car or plan on using your own in southern Norway, you can have peace of mind in knowing that there are 400 charging stations.

Electric car charging station in Setesdal

Electric car charging station in Setesdal

These are located at:
Kristiansand, Arendal, Lyngdal, Flekkefjord, Mandal, Evje, Grimstad, Lillesand

If you are taking a trip to Hovden to go skiing from Kristiansand then there are many stations on the way: Evje, Bygland, Hylestad, Bykle, Valle , Hovden

An up to date website in English with a map can be found on http://www.evnorway.no/

Car Parking and Tolls

As from March 2016, electric vehicles do not have to pay for public parking, road toll (at automatic toll stations), yearly road tax and they can also use bus lanes. Please note however that the time limit for parking varies at different locations. This will change in 2017 or sooner, so check the Norwegian Road and traffic authority Vegvesen for latest information. http://www.vegvesen.no/en/Home

This is just another reason to visit beautiful southern Norway 🙂

Knaben mining town

Knaben Norway

Mining history in Knaben

The Knaben mining town is located in Kvinesdal Municipality in Southern Norway. The site has evolved from being a purely industrial site to a tourist haven.

A mineral called Molybdenite was found there which can be used in the production of alloy which contributed to weapon production.
The location is about 600 meters above sea level, while the surrounding mountains range from 800 to up to 1000 meters providing good skiing in the winter months and hiking at other times. Knaben’s extensive history can be seen in the old restored buildings and left over German defensive positions from World War 2.

There are currently no permanent residents in the area but for visitors, there are facilities for school camps, a general store and museum.

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The top of the tower

Knaben During the Wars

Different companies used the plant and so there was an influx of people. Stores and other facilities were built and school classes were establshed for the many children that lived there. There was no physical school so students studied in various buildings. When the First World War started, a British company bought the rights for all minerals found on the site. This annoyed the Germans who also wanted the rights to the minerals. When the war finished in 1918, production ceased.

Knaben being bombed March 1943

Knaben being bombed March 1943 – Source: Wikipedia

In World War 2 when Germany occupied Norway, the plant was vital for the Germans because at that time, it was the only molybdenum mine in Europe still in operation. As a result German forces had around 1,000 men stationed in the immediate area. When they first arrived on motorcycles, they encircled the site before reinforcements arrived.

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The tower

Later, anti-aircraft guns and other defensive positions were positioned at various strategic points on the site which was bombed by Allied Forces twice in 1943. In March of that year, the British bombed the site killing fifteen Norwegians and one German.

Later in November of the same year, the Americans also bombed the facility killing a number of the occupying forces and no Norwegians. Today there is a plaque with the names of the Norwegians that were killed in the first raid.

During the occupation, the teacher providing the classes was taken prisoner and so the classes stopped. However after the war, mining re commenced and the first school was built in 1954. In 1973, operations were ceased and the mine was closed and the settlement was more or less abandoned.

Attractions

The Knaben Museum was opened in the old administration building, a general store was opened and today tourism is the main activity at Knaben. There is an alpine ski resort in operation, and several mountain cabins in the area. There is still a large sand landfill which was used in the production of the allow as well as the tower which hoisted up the ore.

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Inside the tunnels in the mining building

Maps and information on Knaben are available from the Kvinesdal tourist office.

 

Bragdøya island Kristiansand

Bragdøya island Kristiansand

The southern coastal town of Kristiansand has dozens of little islands in its archipelago. So boating is a bit part of the local culture. Apart from the winter months where the water can freeze in many areas, the locals use their boats all the time.

For me personally, I like to use mine to get to Bragdøya on a nice summers day. Take a tent and camp the night with the kids.

I took a trip there with a nice family in the middle of the summer to check out. We took the “badebåten” ferry to Bragdøya from Kristiansand. This ferry goes at regular intervals during the summer months and can hold a maximum of 28 passengers.

Bragdøya island Kristiansand Norway

Bragdøya island Kristiansand Norway | Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

When you visit the island by ferry, you are dropped off at some docks where there is a souvenir store with food and drinks and a cultural centre nearby.

We happened to visit the island when there was a large group gathering there in their tents. They planned on being there for two days to enjoy the summer sun.

Bragdøya island Kristiansand Norway

Camping at Bragdøya island Kristiansand Norway | Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

The island is not large, so it is quite easy to find your way around. On the south west side there are fantastic views out to the sea.

There is a beach behind the docks where you can use a rowing boat to have some fun or simply take a swim and relax on the beach.

Bragdøya island Kristiansand Norway

Rowing boats at Bragdøya island Kristiansand Norway | Photo: Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

It is a beautiful little island just a stone’s throw away from the mainland. Well worth a visit.