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Southern Norway's archipelago is made up of islets, small islands and sheltered coves. A distinctive feature of Southern Norway's coastal strip are the characteristic little white towns and villages like Risør, Tvedestrand, Arendal, Grimstad, Lillesand, Mandal, Farsund and Flekkefjord. The towns are very distinctive with their white-painted timber houses, and photogenic cobbled streets and alleyways. Kristiansand is the biggest town in Southern Norway and unofficial capital of the region. It also has the same characteristic white timber houses. The district of Posebyen in the centre of Kristiansand is a clear example that Kristiansand is also typical of the villages and towns of Southern Norway, despite its size.
But Southern Norway is more than sun, islands and picture-postcard villages. In the land between sea and mountains, you will also find long valleys and fertile uplands. A tidy cultural landscape and extensive forest and heathland areas are the 'hidden secrets' of Southern Norway.
This is where you can find some of the country's best salmon rivers, calm mountain lakes perfect for kayaking trips, mountain hikes with stunning views, and a huge variety of activities to choose from. This part of Southern Norway provides an interesting contrast to the holiday atmosphere of the coast. All you have to do is decide how active you want your holiday to be. High-adrenaline waterfall adventures on steep mountains with exciting rapids? Or quiet as a mouse in your quest for the ultimate encounter with a beaver? A variety of companies in Southern Norway offer activities ranging from elk and beaver safaris, to rafting, mountain climbing, canoeing and kayaking. Both beside the coast and in the mountains are a number of excellent golf courses.
World-famous authors and artists like Henrik Ibsen, Knut Hamsun and Gustav Vigeland had connections with Southern Norway. Every year, several theatre and music festivals are held in the region. The Risør Chamber Music Festival has received international acclaim, and is a showcase for world-class musicians. In the galleries and arts and crafts outlets you can find everything from kitsch to provocative contemporary art. Many renowned artists live and work in the region.
Southern Norway is the perfect region for children. It has Kristiansand Zoo, where you can find a forest climbing park, aqua park, playgrounds, rafting, heaps of hay for jumping in, and not least exotic animals - enough to keep the kids entertained throughout their holiday. Kristiansand Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Norway, but Southern Norway also has numerous other theme parks and activity parks. Southern Norway is the perfect region for children, and you don't have far to go between all its numerous highlights. Sun and sand in the summer - although as we all know, the sun doesn't always cooperate. So if the sun goes in or if you're visiting Southern Norway outside the swimming season, there still are plenty of activities to enjoy, no matter what the weather is doing.
Outside the towns and villages, there tend to be excellent, well-marked trails in stunning natural surroundings. If you're looking for a bigger challenge, there is a huge variety of hiking routes in the forests and mountains. Kristiansand and Oppland Tourist Association have cabins and way-marked trails throughout the mountain region. Many of the trails and paths are also ideal for bikes. Cycle route no. 3, from Kristiansand to Hovden, is suitable for the entire family. It takes you into beautiful natural scenery, with sights and activities all along the way. Cycle route no. 1 runs from Flekkefjord to Risør - 1 past white-painted Southern Norwegian villages and areas of natural beauty. The cycle routes are well signposted and shown on special maps.
All along the coast, there is no charge for fishing, and the waters are rich in cod, coalfish, mackerel and many other species. You can fish independently or with local boatmen who know the area.
The mountains and downhill ski resorts are much closer than most people think. Only one hour's drive from the centre of Kristiansand, you can find ski slopes. After a longer drive up into Setesdal valley, you arrive in Hovden, one of the country's most popular winter sports centres, around 800 metres above sea level. We also have the famous downhill ski resort of Sirdal, which is a short drive from Egersund or Stavanger. Åseral is the closest winter destination if you're travelling from Kristiansand, only an hour and a half by car, surrounded by spectacular natural scenery - and Brokke is on the way to Hovden. All of the resorts have skiing instructors and ski equipment for hire.
If you were to fold Norway down the way from its southern tip the North Cape would fall somewhere between Rome and Naples. The most southern, western, northern and eastern points in Norway, despite the long land borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia, all lie on the sea. Better than that even is that the east of Finnmark shares a line of longitude with Istanbul, while the west coast in Bergen shares one with Marseille. If you travel from Norway's south coast to the arctic circle, you have to travel all the way to Kirkenes and then the same distance again. If you'd like to set off along the whole coastline, including fjords and islands, you should plan time and luggage for around 57,000 kilometres of travel.
Norway's exoticism comes from its geographical and topographical profile, from its fascinating nature, which only seems to come in XXL format. The longest and deepest fjord in Europe, Sognefjord, or the largest plateau on the continent, the Hardangervidda. The endless summer days under the midnight sun and the magic of the dancing Northern Lights on the northern winter sky.
The fact that you immediately feel at ease in this completely different "world" is also down to Norwegian society. An environment that is focused on the future but glorifies the past with fervour . Mental gymnastics aren't necessary to understand "Sentrum", "Tradisjon" or "Velkommen". There is already a sense of familiarity when you arrive: If you don't opt for anonymous air travel and instead take one of the ferries through the Kattegat or across the Skagerrak, you will experience an atmostpheric overture: The first signs of land point towards prosperity and civic care: well maintained holiday homes in bright colours; marinas round every corner and in every bay; in the
busy harbour quarters of Oslo, Larvik, Langesund, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Bergen, it's all about the incoming ferries. The signs towards the car exit are as pleasant as the considerate driving. Let the journey to your "hut", the holiday home, begin:
Norwegians love their great nature and freedom beyond all measure. It's no wonder that holidaying in your own holiday home is more than a way of living – it's a way of life. In the most beautiful locations on the banks of the fjords, on the open sea or in the vast mountains, there are several hundred thousand of the most beautiful holiday homes, which the Norwegians, very modestly, call "hytte", a hut. Most are located just a few steps from a hiking trail, a cross-country skiing trail or their own jetty. The main thing is that you are very quickly immersed in nature. The Norwegian magic formula for activities and relaxation in nature is called "friluftsliv", which more or less means life in fresh air. And it is contagious, we promise.
Winter offers up varied and challenging skiing for adults and children, beginners or advanced skiers alike. Even the historical sights and cultural events that have long stood in the shadow of experiences in nature are now attractions for many tourists.
Norway has so much to offer tourists all year round that you may be left wishing you had more time to explore everything.
Norway is known for its impressive fjords, deep canyons that project up to 200 km inland. The largest fjords in Norway are Hardangerfjord, Sognefjord and Nordfjord. The ice age left its mark here . On the banks of the fjords, impressive mountain chains tower into the heavens. Holiday homes in this location have views that you can only dream of. A holiday in the fjords is certainly an unforgettable experience. Even UNESCO have certified the unique natural beauty of Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord. Seeing fjords on holiday in Norway, exploring them, walking along their banks and visiting the tiny places at the end of many fjords is almost imperative when on holiday in Norway.
You could say that Norway is unique from head to toe and full of places that anyone would love to visit at least once. In any travel guide, you can learn all about the absolute highlights, such as Geirangerfjord, Trolltunga, Preikestolen, cities like Bergen and Trondheim, Lofoten and, of course, North Cape. We have a few extra special Norway holiday tips:
• Among Norway's fjords, you can visit Urnes Stave Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, take a mini-cruise on the ferry from Gudvangen to Kaupanger and take in the summit panorama from Moldes' own mountain.
• In South and East Norway, the Maihaugen open-air museum is certainly worth a visit. You don't want to miss the Peer Gynt Festival in Vinstra either if you are interested in culture, and visit the Forest and Hunting Museum in Elversum if you are a fan of nature.
• In Central and Northern Norway, you can take a mine tour in Røros, travel along Coastal Route 17 and take the cable car in Tromsø up the local mountain to take in the panoramic views across the polar region. And you wouldn't want to miss out on going on a Red King Crab safari either, do you?
Our fishing houses are perfect for a fishing holiday in Norway, complete with high-quality equipment, such as a filleting bench, freezer (min. 60 litres) and boat (included or for hire). What's more, we also offer so called fishing houses+. They're never more than 2 km away from fishing waters, the freezer has at least 200 litres volume and the boat (included or for hire) on site is at least 17 feed long and has 25 hp, with chartplotter, echo sounder and GPS. Fishing on holiday in Norway, that sounds about right! If you think about the beautiful clear water of the sea and the fjords, you can imagine just how many fish feel at home here. Holiday in Norway is varied and can even mean that you get to spend your evening preparing fish that you've caught yourself – the typical Norwegian lifestyle!
Norway is a holiday destination for nature lovers. And they'll of course want to share that with their children too. Who needs amusement parks, hotel entertainment and water parks when you have a huge adventure playground to explore and discover right on the doorstep of your holiday home ? You can go fishing with your children, take kayak tours through the frjords, hike through the fantastic mountain landscape, make campfires with twist bread, go swimming every day, watch animals and so much more! You can make yourself comfortable in your holiday home and live according to your own rhythm, just the way you and your children are used to. A holiday in Norway with children is great – for adults and children!
A holiday home break is potentially the best solution that there is for families with a dog. Take your four-legged friend with you on holiday and there's no need to worry about getting a dog sitter or finding a kennel. In Norway, DanCenter has approx. 230 holiday homes available where dogs are most welcome. It's not just you who will love Norway, your dog will too! It's almost as though the unspoilt nature was designed for a holiday with your dog. If you are planning a Norway holiday with your dog, we have the perfect holiday home for you, as well as all the information that you'll need for travelling with your dog.
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Norway has a comparatively mild climate for its latitude. Even so, you can experience all 4 seasons in one day in Norway. In short – the weather in Norway varies. In spring, the country springs to life again and the days quickly get much longer. While the plants are blooming in the south, it can still be wintry and cold in the north . Nevertheless, the light entices the inhabitants and visitors back out into nature. In Summer, the sun hardly sets, especially in the North, where there is no sunset for weeks at a time. The weather in Norway at this time of year is mild, warm and comparatively dry. In autumn, the huge forested areas plunge into vibrant colours, the days get shorter again, mushrooms and berries are ready for harvest and it's a great season for lots of outdoor activities, such as hiking. In winter, the weather in Norway brings with it a magical winter wonderland. Many regions can rely on snow, so there are lots of opportunities to take part in winter sports in Norway. In the north, there are a few weeks where the sun doesn't come up, which gives you a good chance of setting your eyes on the Northern Lights . A holiday home break in Norway is worth it at any time of the year, since every season offers something special. Take a look at the weather in Norway here !
Norway is perfect for an unforgettable holiday home break. Choose your favourite from over 700 holiday homes in Norway with whirlpools, saunas or swimming pools. If you're looking for rest and relaxation, our holiday homes with fjord views are perfect for you! There you can enjoy a unique view of the fjord landscape.
We can even book your journey there for you. You can find an overview of all transport connections here.
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Shortly after having booked your holiday accommodation through DanCenter, you will receive your booking confirmation. This confirmation is your voucher and contains all necessary information. On the first page you will find the address of the holiday home and the place for key collection. In the middle of the page you will find the driving directions explaining where to collect the key. At the bottom there is a detachable card for ordering miscellaneous extras, which may be useful during your holiday. On the following pages you will find the invoice for the stay as well as an in-payment form stating due date.
On arrival at the key collection place you must present your voucher, and you will receive your key for the holiday home. Often consumption related costs such as electricity, water and the like are included in the rental amount. Otherwise you will also receive a utility sheet/envelope where to state the meter readings for above mentions consumptions at arrival as well as at departure.
If you wish to rent a boat or engine, you must order it min. one month before arrival.
Arrival can take place from 4 p.m. on the day the arrival day. If you expect to arrive at another time of day, please make arrangements with the key collection place/person. Contact information will be found on the voucher.
On the detachable card at the bottom of the voucher you can order extras. Please notice that only extras mentioned in the house description can only be ordered. All holiday homes are equipped with the tableware and kitchen utensils necessary for the number of persons for which the house is meant. You can bring your own bed linen, tea towels, table cloths etc. or you can order it, if mentioned in the house description.
You can also order a final cleaning if this is mentioned in the house description.
The arrival message and extras must be sent/ordered min. 14 days before arrival. However, boat and engine must be ordered at least one month before arrival.
If you have rented a holiday home in which pets are permitted, please remember that it is a lengthy and quite difficult process to obtain all necessary permits for bringing pets into Norway. Therefore, please contact the Norwegian Tourist Board or Embassy well in advance.
If you have booked a holiday home in Norway, you may need to book a ferry crossing. Please remember to order your tickets well in advance. Further information concerning ferry connections, please see VisitNorway.
Many Norwegian holiday homes are located on small islands, but regardless of where a house is located, the easiest way to reach the holiday home will often be to go by the ferry. Consequently it is a good idea to check the various ferry possibilities. On VisitNorway you will find a list of all the ferries in Norway.
In some cities such as Oslo and Bergen a toll fee must be paid when entering/leaving the city. There are also many rather small roads privately administrated in Norway. Also here you will have to pay.
If you wish to be updated on the road and traffic situation, please check on VisitNorway.
If you wish to keep up to date with regards to weather conditions, visit: www.yr.no.