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Cultural vibes by the sea

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Listen to the gentle sound of the waves lapping the shore and let the sun paint freckles on your nose as you stroll along the harbour.

It’s time to explore the laidback vibes of Risør. Famous not only for its quaint white-painted wooden houses and for fostering a vibrant creative scene, the town is located just over an hour from Kristiansand in Southern Norway.

Ahoy there!

It's a familiar refrain as you approach the guest harbour.

You can stay in your boat in the marina, or you can rent a cosy summer house in one of the alleys that overlooks the archipelago. Just remember to book well in advance.

Strandgata is home to some of Norway's most beautiful outdoor restaurants, right by the sea.

Risør is a compact city that is easy to cover on foot. Explore narrow streets decorated with flowers and browse for something special to take home in the city's niche shops.

Enjoy panoramic views from Risørflekken, and sign up for a historic walk with a traditional watchman.

You’ll want to go back to the marina eventually, though – because the white-painted houses are not the only wooden handicraft Risør is known for. They’re pretty good at boat building, too.

They even host an annual wooden boat festival: Risør trebåtfestival.

Old and new vessels lined up next to each other,the freshest seafood out there, and a sailing regatta – this is what maritime dreams are made of!

Risør is known as an art and culture city. Risør Kunstpark has two galleries and studio space where artists actively work.

At The Risør Chamber Music Festival in the last week of June, some of the best musicians in the world perform in various venues across the city venues – some are even hosted in private homes.

To experience lock rock and pop by a variety of up and coming bands, head the lighthouse music festival FyrJam by boarding the Agnes ferry to Stangholmen island.

While you’re there, you must try the chef's renowned seafood soup at the gourmet restaurant at Stangholmen lighthouse – Stangholmen bouillabaisse!

The idyllic island is also the perfect base to go kayaking through the Risør archipelago.

And you’ll have no trouble finding a perfect, secluded swimming spot.

Or do you want to go for a swim in this little saltwater pool?

The potholes at Sild provide a unique seawater dip.

You don’t need your own boat to explore the archipelago.

Go old-school! The family-friendly Lille Danmark beach at Risøya is just a short trip from Risør aboard the M/F Øisang, the oldest wooden car ferry in Norway that is still in operation.

The ferry was built at the local Moen boatyard, which is also home to the Risør Coastal Heritage Centre. Here, you can learn more about boat building, and let your kids build their own boat and fish for tiny crabs from the pier.

And speaking of shellfish …

... there is plenty of delicious fresh seafood in Risør!

The popular outdoor restaurant Risørfiskemottak doesn’t even have a set menu – just thecatch of the day! It's also a fishmonger, so you can bring home a snack for supper or Sunday brunch if you're staying in the area. Can’t say no to that, can you?

At the award-winning and historic Det lille hotel, you’ll find just what you need to recharge after a day of seaside fun.

The hotel is a member of "De Historiske", a collection of Norway's most charming historic hotels and restaurants.

The treetop cabins in Gjerstad are also a must! Kids will love it.

Get up close to the creatures of the sea and explore over 500 different species at Risør Aquarium

Not ready to go home just yet?

Explore more of the quaint coast at nearby villages like Lyngør, or in the maritime national parks Jomfruland in Kragerø and Raet that runs through Arendal, Grimstad, and Tvedestrand.

Are you dreaming of a charming small-town Christmas?

Christmas lights twinkling in the narrow streets, traditional decorations, and activities for the whole family – December in Risør is magical!

Get ready for coastal bliss!

Plan your trip to Risør today

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