Dynamic Variation:
Offers
x

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
Dynamic Variation:
Search
or search all of Norway
Two children by the sea at Bragdøya in Kristiansand
Children at Bragdøya island.
Photo: Adam Read / Visit Sørlandet
Campaign
Course
Event
Partner
Media
Meetings
Travel Trade
Ad

You don’t have to travel to the Mediterranean to go island hopping. In the southernmost parts of Norway, thousands of islands are waiting for you.

Text: Petter Løken

Waves, laughter, and seagulls yelling. The salty smell of the ocean and seaweed. Feel the pulse drop even a few notches further when you hear the soft, steady beat from the engine of the typically Norwegian “snekke”, or small wooden boat.

The Southern Norwegian “skjærgård”, an archipelago consisting of thousands of small islands and islets along the coastline, is the Norwegians’ own summer paradise. Here you can enjoy lazy days and let the hectic everyday life become distant memories.

Summer, bathing, bare rocks in the sea, boat life, small white-painted wooden houses, and the calm temperament of the region. That’s the real Southern Norway, head of sales and marketing in USUS Elisabeth Høibo sums up.

“Southern Norway is suitable for everyone, and maybe families with children in particular. The distances are short wherever you want to go, and it’s easy to get around”, she says.

The Southern Norway expert has no doubt when it comes to what foreign tourists should see.

“Every Norwegian, including the crown prince and princess, travel to the archipelago to spend their summer holiday here”, Høibo says.

Sunny islands

The southernmost parts of Norway tempt with a comfortable climate and many sunny days. In the archipelago, you can amongst other things typically enjoy small white-painted wooden houses.

Whether you have your own boat or are renting a kayak, you can go ashore on almost every islet or island you find.

The right of access

As in other parts of the country, the right to roam includes the archipelago in Southern Norway. This means that everyone has the unrestricted right of free access in the outlying fields, regardless of who owns the land.

“The municipalities are actively working against privatisation and development in the coastal zone. Still, you’ll find private properties in some places, and they should be respected”, Høibo clarifies.

Nevertheless, with thousands of islands, islets, rocks, and reefs, you have free access almost everywhere.

    Island hopping in Southern Norway

    With such a multitude of exciting islands, it can be helpful to get some good advice about where to go. Here are Elisabeth Høibos tips of which islands to visit. They can easily be combined as a varied and rewarding round trip.

  • Sandøya

  • Sandøya close to the town Tvedestrand provides beautiful bays and bare rocks in the sea for bathing, surrounded by cosy white wooden houses. Other things to do include a visit to the local craftsman, enjoying a cinnamon bun at the bakery Brød og Vind, and tasting the delicious fish soup at Cafe Bastehaven. You can get to the island by ferry.

  • Merdø

  • Merdø is located furthest out on the archipelago near the city of Arendal. Here, you’ll again find the typical white-painted wooden houses with flowering gardens, long beaches, and great ocean views. Throughout the summer there’s a cafe at Merdøhus Museum worth visiting. Bring your bathing suit, a packed lunch, and money for ice cream or soda. If you want to stay the night, you have to bring a tent.

    The island is easily accessible by ferry, departing from Pollen in Arendal city centre. In the high season, the ferry runs every half hour.

  • Bragdøya

  • Located just outside of Kristiansand city centre you’ll find the beautiful Bragdøya, with the county’s finest beach and most shallow water. If you want, you can rent a boat or go hiking on one of the islands great trails. Tenting is allowed. In the summer the “bathing boat” runs daily.

  • Ny-Hellesund

  • In Søgne not far from Kristiansand, you’ll find the old harbour Ny-Hellesund. The island has one of Southern Norway’s finest examples of a building environment typical of this area. Spend the night in nice and modern apartments at the guesthouse Verftet at the waterside and eat at the restaurant Bølgen & Moi with its breathtaking view.

    In Ny-Hellesund you can also walk the coastal path from Verfet to Olavsundet. The trip is suitable for all ages. You can pitch your tent at Olavsundet, and don’t forget to visit the exciting coastal fort from the Second World War.

    A liner runs all year round, and you can debark at Monsøya, Helgeøya, and Kapelløya.

    Ny-Hellesund
    Ny-Hellesund.
    Photo: Morten Teinum / Visit Sørlandet
  • Ryvingen

  • Ryvingen lighthouse is situated outside the city of Mandal, which makes it the southernmost lighthouse in Norway. And, it’s not too expensive to stay the night. On the mainland, Tregde Ferie offers ocean rafting, which is a fun and exhilarating ride.

    The tourist office in Mandal provides information about boat rentals with or without a skipper.

  • Hidra

  • At Hidra, the largest island in the county of Vest-Agder, situated just outside of the small town Flekkefjord, people have lived for thousands of years. 600 people live on the idyllic island today.

    Spend the night in the cosy guesthouse Skipperhuset, and visit the exciting gift and interior store Fruenes Hus in Kirkehamn. Here you can also taste some typical Norwegian cakes. Kongshamn pier restaurant, a restored ice-house and fish-landing facility from 1886, contains a bar, a restaurant, and art made by the famous Hidra artist Olav Omland.

    The ferry to Hidra runs from Kvellandsstrand, a ten-minute drive from the centre of Flekkefjord. It’s also possible to take a bus from Flekkefjord to Hidra.

Explore the coastline of Southern Norway
Sandøya close to Tvedestrand has beautiful bays and bare rocks in the sea for bathing. Read more
Sandøya
Take a short hike along southern wooden houses and narrow paths, walk on sandy beaches and the pebbled beach, and see the view towards the… Read more
Merdø
The Bragdøya is an island with a public recreation area, situated in Byfjorden right outside of Kristiansand. Read more
Bragdøya
In Søgne not far from Kristiansand, you’ll find the old harbour Ny-Hellesund. Read more
Ny-Hellesund
Tregde Ferie is located in an idyllic setting with views of the Tregde archipelago just east of Mandal. Read more
Tregde Ferie
In summer the Ryvingens Venner association is responsible for accommodation at the lighthouse Read more
Ryvingen Lighthouse
Hidra is an island located outside Flekkefjord in Southern Norway. Read more
Hidra
Destinations in Southern Norway
Visit Southern Norway and experience Norwegian culture with hiking, skiing, fishing, museums, and events. The southernmost part of Norway is also known for the amazing…
More about Southern Norway
Hotels, restaurants and things to do in Arendal, Southern Norway. Read more
Arendal
Visit the Farsund and Lista region in Southern Norway and experience hiking, Lista lighthouse, American festival and other attractions. Read more
Farsund and Lista
Experience Flekkefjord: Ride a rail bike through 17 tunnels, visit Hidra or the Dutch Quarter, go hiking or shopping or just relax by the fjords. Read more
Flekkefjord
Think of Grimstad, and you think of skerries, white-painted wooden houses, festivals, good food, and summer atmosphere. Enjoy lazy days in the sun, a… Read more
Grimstad
In 2015, Lyngør was number one on the list "top ten 'lesser known' European islands to visit by British newspaper The… Read more
Island paradise of Lyngør
Kristiansand is the southernmost city in Norway. Kristiansand is also declared the children's city, because of all the funny activities… Read more
Kristiansand
Visit Kvinesdal in Southern Norway. Go hiking, fishing or golfing. Learn about american heritage and Norwegian ancestors. Read more
Kvinesdal
Lillesand is the town of the sailing ships and white painted wooden houses, situated just 20 minutes east of Kristiansand. Read more
Lillesand
Visit Lyngdal in Southern Norway and go fishing, shopping, hiking or swimming at Sorlandsbadet and find accommodation at Rosfjord Strandhotell. Read more
Lyngdal
Risør is a small town along the coastline of Southern Norway, 1,5 hours east of Kristiansand. Risør is known as "the wooden house… Read more
Risør
The Setesdal valley is centrally located in Southern Norway and easily accessible from continental Europe. In the winter you can choose between… Read more
Setesdal
The official webpage for the southern most part of Norway, the Lindesnes region. Find out what to do, what to see, where to stay, what's… Read more
The Lindesnes region
In Tvedestrand you can stroll between white wooden houses on narrow cobbled streets with a bookshop on every corner. Read more
Tvedestrand
Click to activate
Select
    Show Details
    Click to activate
    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    Explore Southern Norway

    Filter your search and check out the offers below.

    ×
    Your Recently Viewed Pages

    Back to top

    Ad
    Ad
    Ad