Thursday, 26 May 2016

We have a new blog

We have a new Visit Southern Norway blog. If information needs to be updated on this current blog, we will do that, but please check out our new blog. We think it looks a lot better and hope that you will agree. You can leave comments on each blog post, so please feel free to do that :)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Tveit Skisenter Kristiansand

Kristiansand is a coastal town in Southern Norway that has its very own ski center. During the winter months kids and adults alike flock to the centre to get in some downhill skiing. The nearest ski resort is Hovden which is a 3.5 hour drive from Kristiansand. So it is perfect for an after work ski or some weekend fun.

My eight year old son waiting for the lift.
The hill has one lift that is a "pommer lift". This is easy for both adults and children to use. Tickets can be purchased in the kiosk along with food and drinks. They have a bank terminal for those wishing to pay via card.

Enjoying a break
I personally love going to the hill because it is a short distance from home and my 3 young children all love it. They all started slalom skiing when they were two years old, so they are fast becoming experts.

My 10 year old starting snowboarding two years ago.
The hill itself is about a 500 metre distance with both steep and easy sections. The volunteers usually put up jumps for the experts as well as rails etc. There are always people helping and they have a snow scooter for emergencies. 

View of the main part of the hill.
Unfortunately for this old man (me) I have to wait a little while before putting on the skis again. I injured my knee skiing at Hovden over Christmas.

Father teaching his son how to ski.
The Tveit Skisenter is located approximately 15 minutes drive from the Kristiansand city centre. If you arrive in Kristiansand via plane, you will see it on the left hand side shortly after you leave the Kristiansand Kjevik airport (traveling towards the city). There is a bus stop 30 metres from the hill and buses 35, 36 and 37 will stop there.

My five year old can go up and down the hill himself.
The skisenter has a facebook page with up to date information on ski conditions. That is the best place to find out if it is open and what times.

Waiting for the lift.
Website :
During the summer months, the skisenter is used as a off road cycling track.

Adam Read  - Visit Sørlandet

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Fishing in Norway

Ryan is an avid fisherman. After arriving in Norway from the UK, he now calls it home. Here are a couple of pictures of his fishing adventures and a little description about them....

What I love about Southern Norway are the defined seasons. Coming from the UK the seasons often melted into one another, but here you get the fresh greens of spring, the blazing sun and blue skies of summer, a kaleidoscope of autumn colours and winter with it’s crisp snowy veil that decks the landscape.

This picture was taken on one of those kaleidoscope autumn days. I was actually on my way home from a friend's cabin and as an avid fisherman the obligatory couple of casts just had to happen. There wasn’t a breath of wind and the water mirror like reflected the tree's greens, browns and yellows.

The sea trout and mackerel rose freely in Lenefjorden, Lyngdal as I in a panther pose crawled into position. A few gentle casts with my fly rod sent my handtied fly out to the awaiting fish. Fish on the bank was soon a fact and dinner that evening secured.

This picture is a reminder of those cherished moments in one’s life.

In August I had the pleasure of entertaining Visit Sørlandet’s Ambassadors from Well known for their coverage and news on their website from the great salmon fishing in Mandalselva. They had experienced what Mandalselva had to offer in zones 1,2 and 3 but zone 4 remained yet a stranger. This I had to change.

After the drive up through untouched and rustic Marnardal valley, they were dumb founded over that both they and many others hadn’t found the way further north than ‘Laksesenteret’ in Laudal (the northerly boundary of zone 3). I guided them during the day and this picture taken not too long after Harry here had landed an atlantic salmon. Here he underhand casts his fly out to waiting salmon at the neck of the pool. This place one of the best in zone 4. In the distance you see north towards Bjelland and yet another ‘hot-spot’.

If you are interested in taking a fishing adventure in Southern Norway, contact Ryan:

Ryan Marchese / CEO AnglerPilot - IFFF and EFFA certified Flyfishing Guide / +47 90915846


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Winter at Hovden

Hovden is a snow skiing hill about 3 hours drive out of Kristiansand in southern Norway. You could call it a mini Kristiansand because all locals go there in the winter months. From an Australian perspective, it is roughly the size of Mt Buller - which is a 3 hour drive from Melbourne.

View from the top of Hovden (taken with mobile).
During the peak season, it can get very busy but there are runs for both advanced and novices.

Panoramic view from the restaurant on the mountain (taken with mobile).
I have three small children. The 5 year old can go to the top of the largest run and ski down with me without any problems. It can be a little steep in parts, but we take it slowly. That being said, there are also some very steep runs (black runs) where the more advanced can strutt their stuff.

Waiting in the queue for the kids run.
One of the things I really enjoy about going to Hovden, is the drive there from Kristiansand. The scenery is breathtaking. Quite often I stop the car to take a picture of the waterfalls or mountains.

One of the many amazing view from the drive to Hovden in Norway.
It is a little far for a day trip to Hovden from Kristiansand, but there are many that do that. Visitors also tend to come from Stavanger, Bergen, the UK, Denmark and Germany.

Another view from the restaurant (mobile phone).
Everything in Hovden is within easy reach. There is a restaurant on the mountain, food stores in town, a petrol station, pool, ski sales and a bar which plays sports on a big screen.

My five year old on the smallest run.
All the information you need about Hovden can be found here. Updated information (in Norwegian) can be found on their Facebook page. This includes accommodation, activities, information on ski hire at Hovden. It is also a popular place to visit during the summer months with the regions largest bike race called the "The Colorline Setesdal bicycle race".

Colorline Setesdal bicycle race
Here are some videos taken at Hovden.

Adam Read - Visit Sørlandet

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

SS Christiansand

There is a boat in Kristiansand called the SS Christiansand. It is a large ship that is 82 feet long and can accommodate up to 100 guests.
SS Christiansand outside Kilden in Kristiansand
It is the perfect place to have a party or gathering out on the sea. Although it appears to be an old ship in design, it is actually quite modern with a relatively new engine and equipment.

Visit Sørlandet arranged an end of summer party on the boat for all of those involved in the tourism industry in the region. (By the way, Visit Sørlandet always organises the coolest Digital Travel industry events and parties :)
The start of the journey on SS Christiansand
The weather was perfect for a trip. There was little wind and the sun was shining. 
Hildegunn near the bow of the SS Christiansand
The boat has a bar and a banquet room where people can eat if it is raining outside. Luckily, we spent the whole evening out on deck.
Evening sun and fun on the SS Christiansand
The captain of the ship Kai, gave us all a bit of history about the boat and his company.
A rib boat next to the SS CHristiansand
I spoke to him for quite some time and he has certainly lived a full life. Not only is he the captain of the SS Christiansand, but he is also a commercial pilot and has been all over the world. He said:
Kai - the captain of the SS Christiansand
"You only live once, so why not enjoy it and get the most out of it. When I eventually retire, I can look back on all of the fond memories I have from my experiences in this life".
SS Christiansand passing Odderøya lighthouse
The food for the evening was shrimps which was fitting for the atmosphere on the day. Some of the guests had wine and others a beer. 
Shrimps on SS Christiansand
It was a lot of fun and a fantastic way to see the beautiful archipelago in and around Kristiansand.
Enjoying a meal on the SS Christiansand
The SS Christiansand is available for company events, weddings, confirmation, theme parties, school camps - even Christmas dinners. If you could like to rent a boat in Kristiansand, contact these guys! Kai is very friendly and have some great stories to tell.
The stern of the SS Christiansand
If you would like to find out more about the SS Christiansand and Skjærgårdsopplevelser AS, here is their contact information.
Phone: (+47) 417 99995 
Sunset on the SS Christiansand
Information on what to do in and around Kristiansand can also be found here.

Adam Read Visit Sørlandet

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Ny Hellesund

Ny Hellesund is an island just outside of Kristiansand in Southern Norway. It is accessibile by boat and there is a ferry that leaves from the mainland at regular intervals and arrives at Verftet at Ny Hellesund.

Taking the Høllen boat out to Ny Hellesund.
From Kristiansand, you drive on the E39 south towards Søgne and then Høllen. (Google maps has clear directions for this). There is a car park at Høllen where you have to pay to stay there. There is also a petrol station with food if you need to take something with you.
Approaching Verftet Ny Hellesund
The area is a fantastic archipelago with little islands, wooden houses and boats everywhere. (Great opportunities for pictures).

We were three families that took a trip out there, so we got some pictures along the way.
Kids on the Høllen boat.
Once there, we hung out at the nice beach hunting for little crabs in the water.
Relaxing by the beach at Ny Hellesund.
The kids played on the beach.
Searching for crabs Ny Hellesund.
Us adults chilled out.
Boat trip Ny Hellesund.

Afterwards I took a little walk to the small "lighthouse" with my son.
Tour to the "beacon" Ny Hellesund.
Then it was time for some dinner at the Bælgen and Moi restaurant.
Bølgen and Moi restaurant Ny Hellesund.
And then a wine afterwards before going to sleep ion the fantastic and spacious apartments there. 
Having a wine at Ny Hellesund.
These have all modern facilities, TV with cable and wireless internet. No expense has been spared making these and the quality is superb.
The unique cabin at Ny Hellesund available to rent.
If you enjoy a boat trip, good food and fun with the kids, then Ny Hellesund should be on the places to visit!
Sunset approaching Ny Hellesund.

More information about Ny Hellesund can be found here.

Adam @ Visit Sørlandet

Friday, 14 August 2015

Lyngør and Sandøya

The coastline in Southern Norway is very beautiful and the locals certainly make the most of this. There are "summer houses" everywhere. Some have their own private beaches, boat wharf and terraces with breath taking views over the sea. There is also an abundance of beaches where visitors can swim, hunt for crabs or do some fishing. 

Bokhotellet is a great place to base yourself.
Accommodation is available from locals that rent out their cabins in and around Tvedestrand as well as the scenic hotel in Lyngør called Bokhotellet. It is located directly next to the water with its own wharf.
These little wooden houses are what you will see in Lnygør and Sandøya.
One such place is Lyngør and its close neighbour Sandøya.
Kids playing at the beach in Sandøya.
We were three families that took a trip there to check it out which was the perfect day out. We drove up from Kristiansand which takes about an hour and a half. If you drive there from Oslo, it takes about 3 hours.

We were met by a taxi boat which drove us around the islands. You can find boat times and the route here. On that page you will also find information about hiring a boat taxi.

The Sørlandet Maritime taxi boat approaching the Hagefjorden Kiosk.
We stopped off and had some fruit.
Fresh strawberries in Lyngør.
Chilled at the Sandøya beach.
Kids playing in the crystal clear water at Sandøya.
Had some great pizza at a restaurant in Sandøya called Loss Bryggos Sandøya which is on the Northern part of the island..
Great pizzas at Loss Bryggos Sandøya
Had some champagne at a romantic little bar called Basthavn in Sandøya.
Great place for food or a drink - Basthavn Sandøya.
Stopped and had some ice cream at Hagefjorden Kiosk which has a restaurant, a large fish tank for the kids to see and petrol for the boat if needed :) 
Ice cream at Hagefjorden Kiosk
Checked out some great artwork at Staubø Kultursenter It was originally an old trading place with a bakery, confectionery, food and clothing but today it is a private residence and cultural center run by a local artist named Eldrup A. Hansen. He is a very nice man that loves to have a chat and talk about his artwork.

Artwork at Staubø Kultursenter available to purchase.
It is possible to buy his visual arts and crafts or visit and listen to some live music. There is a cafe open for food and refreshments and the location can be rented out for events and parties.

It is open from Thursday-Sunday 1200-1900 (check the website for updated times).
Had some delicious home baked bread from Brød og Vin. This little bakery is run by a family and you need to get there quickly as the bread is always sold out. The bakery is located at Klåholmen. 
Home baked bread at Brød og Vin in Klåholmen.
Øyspinn is a wool shop at the top of the island with lovely views over the sea. The owners hand sow clothing from their own goats wool.
Øyspinn shop where you can buy hand made items.

The owner in action.
Down the road, there is also a little shop that sells hand made textiles.

Pillows, clothing can be purchased here.
And chilled out at the beach.
Relaxing at the Sandøya beach
Kids hunting for crabs. 
Kids hunting for crabs at the Brød og vin bakery.

If you would like to find a rental cabin, you can search for one here in Sandøya. The links on this page go to websites and facebook groups for the various locations, so you can contact them directly for directions, opening times etc.

If you are interested in visiting the area, leave a comment and I can give you some tips.

Adam Read Visit Sørlandet