The North Sea Road - Drive the Viking path
Follow the North Sea Road along the coast of Norway between Kristiansand in the south to Stavanger in the west, for the chance to experience skerries and fjords, and both villages and cities.
There are activities available along the way, like deep-sea fishing, rafting, hiking and swimming. And why not stop somewhere when there's a festival going on, see a good concert or ballet performance, or indulge in a bit of shopping?
The culinary adventures are part of the experience, whether you eat in high-quality restaurants or eat fresh shrimp sitting on a rock or a pier overlooking the sea.
Stop along the way, and stay for as long as you like. Rent a boat or a bike, explore the nature, meet the people, check out the architecture and marvel at the sky. A tour along the North Sea Road can be done in a day, a week or a month.
The Suleskar Road - Coast, mountain, fjord
The Suleskar Road in Southern Norway is your chance to see the coast, the mountains and the fjords all in one trip. Starting in Kristiansand, you will head north to Valle, across to Suleskar, then follow the North Sea Road and back to Kristiansand.
Drive on rv. 9 north towards the Setesdal Valley, see how the coast and the woods slowly transform into moors and mountains. In Evje in lower Setesdal you will find a mineral park, a high wire adventure park, an activity centre with rafting, a wide range of other outdoor sports, and a go-kart track.
On your way towards Setesdal, you pass Byglandsfjord, where there are boat trips between May-September. The headquarters to the Setesdal Museum are in Rysstad and Valle, and the art of the silversmith is strong in this area. High mountains and valleys form the landscape, as well as the River Otra, which runs from Bykle down to Kristiansand. Climbing and hiking are popular outdoor activities in Valle.
Change from rv. 9 to Suleskarvegen on fv. 45. The road between Brokke and Suleskar is open from the end of May to 1 November. Suleskarvegen runs from Telemark in the east, across the mountain, to Rogaland in the west. When reaching the Suleskarvegen, you can choose a western, northern or eastern route, but we recommend the western route on this round trip.
Fv. 45 leads to Suleskar. Take the road towards Lysebotn where the ferry carries you on the Lysefjord past the Pulpit Rock towards Lauvvik and Oltedal, where the road continues to Ålgård. If you drive on fv. 45 all the way, you pass Kvæven and Byrkjedal, until you reach Ålgård and E39.
The North Sea Road is the coastal road between Haugesund, Stavanger and Kristiansand, and from Bryne you go on fv. 44 south, via Kvinesdal, then to Lista, and continue on fv. 43 towards Lyngdal, Lindesnes via Mandal, and end up in Kristiansand once again.
Southern culture trail – Valley, villages and water
The holiday spot for thousands of Norwegians has for decades been Sørlandet, Southern Norway. Drive through this friendly part and explore the villages, the local cuisine, and enjoy some activities at sea and in the woods.
From Kristiansand, the tour goes north-east on rv. 41 towards Åmli. The road follows the Tovdalselva River and Herefossfjorden, where there are fishing possibilities for salmon, trout, perch and more. At Dølemo, we recommend a detour to Hillestad, where there is a gallery, a holiday centre, and marked hiking trails to both Lindeknuten and Rjukanfossen Waterfall in the Tovdal Valley.
Near Åmli, drive south-east towards the coast on fv. 415. A detour to Kilsloftet by Lake Vegår is recommended. Kilsloftet produce and sell their own handicraft, they serve local delicacies in their café, and offer cabin rental and fishing licence for the lake.
Follow fv. 414 and then fv. 416 to Risør, the first of many small villages along the Sørlandet coast with clapboard houses by the water’s edge, atmospheric cafés and restaurants and quaint shops. On the way to Tvedestrand on fv. 411, stop by Gjeving and take the ferry to Lyngør, a group of islands recognised as one of the best preserved communities in Europe. Lyngør boasts a car-free environment with scenic harbours, narrow walking paths and charming white-painted wooden houses, and a lighthouse that is available for accommodation.
Tvedestrand is a Book Town with numerous used book and antiquarian book stores, and in Gjeving you will find Norway's first book hotel. A ferry ride to Merdø is recommended, and guided tours in the Merdøgaard Museum are available in the high season.
Grimstad is the next town along the southern coast, and this is where the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen started writing. Visit the Ibsen Museum, before continuing towards Lillesand and Kristiansand. There is a scenic sightseeing boat trip in summer between Lillesand and Kristiansand, through the area called Blindleia, where you get to see up close the skerries, inlets, islands and small clapboard houses that more than anything equals Sørlandet.