NATURE & WILDLIFE
“Take only memories, leave only footprints”
ARCHAEOLOGY SUMMIT AT PENNE
Petroglyphs, cup-marks and burial mounds
At Penne, not far from the windy and rugged coastline of Southern Norway, you can see unique proof that the region has been farmed and inhabited for over 6000 years. First stop is Nordberg Fort, a WW2 German installation currently currently housing a WW2 history and an art exhibition. A guide will take you on a marked pathway to prehistoric turfs and burial mounds in Penne site. Continue to the charming local ecological herb and garden centre at the edge of the barren landscape, for a short rest and refreshments.
TIMBER SLIDE ADVENTURE AT THE POWER STATION
Kringsjå power station
Arrive at Kvernhusdalen to the sight of Kringsjå power station, the first of its kind in Southern Norway. This adventure combines nature walks with facts about life in Norway when electricity was a new-fangled thing. Also included are visits to a farm, two power stations and an optional walk in the timber slide. through the forest. Time for a short stop and presentation at Steinsfossen hydroelectric power plant, built into the mountain.
A MARITIME WALK
Odderøya Maritime Museum
Kristiansand’s small maritime boat museum lets you in on the city’s never-ending bond with the sea. Your guide welcomes you for a maritime walk, and gives you glimpses of how the sea and the small boats shaped daily life in the region, through photographs, exhibited boats and the beautiful surroundings. At the museum, you may borrow a rowing boat, and if you dare, dip your toes in the sea and feel the summer breeze!
MEET THE MOOSE
Elgtun Park in Setesdal
Native to Scandinavia, the majestic moose is the largest animal of the deer family. Drive through the forested landscape, natural habitat of the moose, before arriving at Elgtun Park in Setesdal. All moose were born in captivity, and though naturally shy, they are used to people, and you may even get to feed them Combine the visit with a tour on the lake on board an old steamboat and / or a visit to the historical buildings and peace exhibition at Landeskogen Peace Centre.
STEAMBOAT ON THE LAKE
D/S Bjoren in Setesdal
Only 150 years ago, people in Setesdal lived in simple log houses, and spoke a language traceable to the old Vikings. By then, the steamer "Bjoren" provided the most convenient way to travel. Nowadays, the steady beat of the steam engine accompanies you on a quiet tour on the lake of Byglandsfjorden, surrounded by high mountains. Nearby, Bygland Museum authentic buildings will make you sense the ambiance of former times when the flames of the fireplace cast bewitching shadows on the log walls.
NORWEGIAN FOREST HIKE
Banheia to Ravnedalen
This trek is ideal for the keen hiker and nature lover. Choose between a walk through the city or a short coach ride to access Baneheia, a forested area located on the outskirts of the city. Trek through the forest along lakes popular for swimming in summer and ice skating in winter and descend to the quaint park of Ravnedalen. This tranquil haven was beautifully landscaped by soldiers in the 1870s. The former gardener’s residence is today a popular café and restaurant, serving traditional waffles.
GIMLE MANOR BOTANICAL GARDENS
Gimle Gård Manor House
Five generations spent their lives at this fine manor house, their stories reflect the history of Kristiansand. A tour through the well-preserved ballroom and lounges of Gimle Gård is like a journey through time, from the late 1700s until the death of the last owner in 1982. After the guided walk you may stroll under the massive beech trees, take in the peaceful atmosphere, and listen to birds singing. You will by then understand the reason why townspeople built country residences away from the smells and noise of the city.
The Kristiansand Zoo
The number one attraction for families in Norway – Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park – is located east of the city centre. At this marvellous park, you will wander through a water park, a pirate hotel and Cardamom town. More than 140 different species of animals, from wolves, wolverines, lynxes, otters, and owls live here in their natural environment. Refreshments, ranging from a full sit-down-meal or a typical Norwegian snack, are available inside a lavvo, a typical Sami tent like a tipi.
ESCAPE INTO THE IDYLL
Through Blindleia and Lillesand
On board the sightseeing boat you explore a narrow 20 km (12 mile) passage known as Blindleia, protected from the open sea by several islands and skerries. You pass old outports, smaller ports where once sailing ships sought refuge and thriving communities evolved. Today, most of the local houses have been turned into idyllic summer houses, kept in the traditional style. You will disembark in the charming town of Lillesand for a pleasant and informative walk in this bustling summer paradise.
Scenic Setesdal Valley
Setesdal Valley is known for its well-preserved traditional culture, listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The valley was relatively secluded until the mid-1900s and was therefore able to preserve its traditional heritage. Drive past farms, lakes and woodlands to the Elgtun Moose Park, and the Landeskogen Peace Center, situated at a former recreational centre for tuberculosis victims. At Byglandsfjord you embark on the vintage steamboat Bjoren for a scenic tour and a delicious lunch at the Revsnes Hotel garden on the lakeside.
This archipelago boat tour includes a visit to an old out harbour, a coach journey along a scenic coastal road, and city sightseeing in Kristiansand. The boat sails westwards from the cruise pier to Ny-Hellesund, in its days an important hub for sea traffic. It had its own pilot station, customs office, and a guest house able to accommodate as many as a hundred sail ships. Then the boat takes us to the small village of Høllen, resplendent with white painted houses and beautiful gardens.