A road trip on the south coast offers a unique possibility to combine coast, culture and stunning nature. Eat fresh seafood, visit idyllic cities and enjoy the mildest climate you’ll find in Norway. The south coast of Norway offers a lot of unique experiences. Here are some of the highlights along the way.
Starting point: Stavanger
Founded in 1125 Stavanger has a long and interesting history. It’s also said to be the largest wooden city in Europe. The city is centered around a pretty harbour, and the town towers up from the waterfront.
Have a stroll in the idyllic old parts of Stavanger which consist of 173 wooden houses built in the 18th century. This area also gives an opportunity to visit the top rated Canning museum, which displays a typical canning factory from the 1920’s. Being Norway’s fourth biggest city, Stavanger also has a lot to offer on the cultural side, notably being the home of almost two-dozen museums.
Or why not learn about the Norwegian Sea history at the Maritime museum? Located in an old sea house warehouse you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee with an amazing view over the water. After a long day of sightseeing you can enjoy yourself and relax in the luxury spa in the highly ranked Clarion hotel Stavanger.
The harbour in Stavanger is definitely worth a stroll, especially on a sunny day. Photo: Shutterstock
From Stavanger to Kristiansand
- Driving time: 3 hr. 22 min
- Distance: 233 km
- Google Map
Kristiansand is one of the most visited destinations in Norway and there is a good reason for that. It combines nature, good food and culture in a wonderful package!
If you want to get close to the Scandinavian nature and wildlife then this is the place! Explore Dyreparken, Norways largest zoo by species, or take a romantic walk around the hidden Nature park Ravnedal.
Nature offers you its all here with trees, lakes, swans, wild mushrooms, neat flowers and magical colors on the steep mountain sides. Kristiansand is also home to a great fish marked called Fiskebrygga. Why not enjoy the amazing atmosphere while you enjoy some fresh seafood? In walking distance from Fiskebrygga you’ll find Clarion Hotel Ernst. Located perfectly in the city center, this unique modern hotel serves one of the most popular breakfasts in Kristiansand, ensuring you’re completely ready for a new day of exploring.
At Dyreparken in Kristiansand you have the chance to get a glimpse of the real wildlife of the North! Photo: Shutterstock
From Kristiansand to Sandefjord
- Driving time: 2 hr. 38 min
- Distance: 206 km
- Google Map
Driving to Sandefjord from Kristiansand will take you by the two half islands Østerøya and Vesterøya. The coastal trail on Østerøya offers many excellent fishing spots. It also offers plenty of other outdoor opportunities such as kayaking, jumping along the cliffs and swimming in the sea.
The coastal trail on the other half island Vesterøya offers you 25 kilometres of hiking trails with stunning view and coastal rocks. You will also find ruins from a German fortress from 1941. Sandefjord is a nice modern city with a long history. The Gokstad Viking Ship which dates back from the year 900 was discovered in Sandfejord. A replica of the famous ship can be seen in the harbour. Sandefjord is also the old whale capital. You can explore the history of the whales at The Whaling Museum.
]If whales are something you're into, you better head on over to the Whaling Museum in Sandefjord. Photo: Shutterstock
From Sandefjord to Oslo
- Driving time: 1 hr. 28 min
- Distance: 121 km
- Google Map
Visiting Norway’s capital is the perfect way to end your road trip. Oslo really does have it all!
Why not come and experience a concert at the world famous Oslo opera house and admire its innovative architecture? Here you actually have the chance to walk and enjoy the sun while looking out over some amazing harbour views.
Then it’ll be time to drink a glass of red wine or stay the night at Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret in Norway’s most beautiful art-deco house that was designed with inspiration from New York’s Empire state building.
The architectural masterpiece, the Oslo Operahouse, seen from the outside. Photo: Erik Berg via Operaen.no