Norway's oldest lighthouse was first lit in 1655. Lindesnes Lighthouse is still in use, and today houses a museum where you can get a glimpse into the area's long maritime history. There is also a café on site, selling local specialities cooked or baked with sea water, and a shop. You will also find a number of marked hiking trails nearby.
The white-painted towns
The small, picturesque villages of Southern Norway are located by the seaside. Risør, Tvedestrand, Grimstad, Lillesand, Mandal, Farsund and Flekkefjord are all characterised by their white-painted clapboard houses, which are built into the terrain, forming narrow alleys often paved with cobblestones, and quaint little shops often completing the picture. Larger towns like Kristiansand and Arendal, meanwhile, have a more varied architecture, with part of the town kept as it was a few centuries ago.
The islands, islets and bays along the coast between Lillesand and Kristiansand create the 20-kilometre long sheltered waterway called Blindleia. There is a sightseeing boat departing every day in high season, and visitors coming with their own private boat (or those renting one) can enjoy swimming and sunbathing from the skerries along the coast.
Four islands with smooth coastal rocks, white-painted cabins and small houses constitute Lyngør, a village in the sea. The clapboard houses are built in the style common during sailing ages, and there are narrow paths crossing the islands that invite to short walks. Lyngør is car free - a ferry transports people to and from the mainland all year. The inhabitants and the holiday visitors usually have a small boat to travel between the island restaurant and grocery shop, their house, and the mainland.
Merdø is an old outpost known in Europe already in the 1400s. Its history is told through the guided tour of Merdøgaard Museum in high season. The museum is an old captain's house from 1736. Camping is possible on the island, there are beaches, a café and narrow paths taking you around the island, from the sandy beach to the boulders and rocks on the outside, overlooking the two lighthouses.
Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park
The Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park is one of Norway's most popular attractions, located merely 10 minutes out of the Kristiansand centre. The zoo includes the Nordic wild, where you get to see elk and wolves, among other Nordic animals. Other animals include a number of African animals, among them lions and tigers, as well as monkeys and reptiles. There is a separate waterworld as well, open from Easter to October. Many guests spend two days or more in the The Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park to make the most of what's on offer – various accommodation options are available.
Kristiansand is the largest city in Sørlandet, and the fifth largest in Norway. In this southern destination, you find the picturesque clapboard houses in Posebyen, in addition to the urban feel with shops, restaurants, bars and cafés closer to the harbour. Kristiansand has a town beach called Bystranda, and close to town there are hiking paths in the Baneheia area.