Merdø is a charming island on the seaward approach to Arendal, with family-friendly beaches, pebbled beaches and smooth, coastal rocks.
The two sandy beaches at Merdø are like made for children. They are shallow and great to build sandcastles in.
You can spend your day at the beach, have lunch and icecream at the little café nearby. Walk the narrow paths past the charming wooden houses up to the highest point of Merdø where the pilots had their lookout for sailships in distress in stormy weather as far back as the 15th century. If you look for it, you can see an old compass rose engraved in the stony ground near the pilots cabin. A pilot carved it into the hard stone in 1654.
The Merdøgaard Skjærgårdsmuseum (coastal museum) is open in the school holidays, hourly guided tours in Norwegian. In addition, there is a kiosk/café and toilets nearby.
The island can be reached by ferry in the summer season, and private boats as well.