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Children kayaking at Hidra
Photo: Adam Read/Visit Sørlandet
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What to do in Southern Norway

Go hiking or biking along one of many coastal trails or check out one of the many food or music festivals. Visit one of the many museums. Golfing, climbing, skiing and fishing are popular too.

Cycling in Southern Norway

Grimstad and Mandal have a special focus on providing good local cycling routes, as well as welcoming cyclists and taking their needs seriously. The North Sea Cycle Route (Norwegian National cycle route number 1) follows the coast. National cycle route no. 3 takes you from the sea to the high mountains between Kristiansand and Hovden in Setesdal.

Hiking in Southern Norway

One of the most accessible activities in Southern Norway is hiking. The seaside trails are beautiful and easy to do, while the mountain summits in Sirdal, Åmli and Hovden provide a variety of difficult levels with their marked hiking trails.

Read more about hiking in Southern Norway.

Fishing in Southern Norway

Angling is a sport and a way of life for many people, and Southern Norway offers deep-sea fishing and fishing in rivers and lakes. Anglers come from Norway and abroad to the various fishing resorts along the coast, or to the quiet cabins in the inland area.

Kayaking in Southern Norway

Get up close and personal with the coastline of Southern Norway. Rent kayaks or a canoe and explore on your own or use one of the adventure companies for guided trips.


Are you an adventure-seeker? Or are you looking for a fun activity for the entire family? Rafting may be just the thing for you, and the rivers in Southern Norway are perfect for safe and fun water sport. TrollAktiv in Evje and Adventure Norway in Marnadal offer both family rafting and regular rafting activities.

Climbing in Southern Norway

There are several areas in Southern Norway where rock climbing is possible. The area around Valle in Setesdal is particularly known among climbers all over the world. The climbing parks in Evje and Kristiansand all offer activities several metres above ground, with adapted courses for children.


Lista Lighthouse offers stunning coastal scenery and magnificent cultural landscapes, miles of beautiful sand dunes and spectacular pebbly beaches. It is also a birdwatcher’s paradise: Nowhere else in Norway have so many different bird species been sighted in one place – no fewer than 341 species.

Arts and culture in Southern Norway

You will find many museums in Southern Norway, both cultural heritage and art museums and galleries. Vest-Agder-museum is a union of eleven museums, located close to each other in the southern part of Norway. SKMU - Sørlandets Kunstmuseum in Kristiansand is the largest art museum in the southern part of Norway.

Summer is the season for numerous festivals in Southern Norway. The most famous are Risør Wooden boat festival, Palmesus Beach festival, Mandal Seafood Festival and the electronic Punkt Festival in Kristiansand. You will also find many more music and food festivals. See full list over festivals in Southern Norway.


Skiing is a winter activity in Southern Norway. The season starts in December, and ends in April. Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding are all available, and the lit up trails along the coast are popular in winter. The mountainous areas in Hovden, Sirdal and Åseral are the winter destinations of Sørlandet.