The Norwegian “Intra-Coastal” from the Naze to Risoer

Published 18 years ago, updated 4 years ago

As Brazil is more than Rio and the Amazone, Norway is a lot more than the fjords. It seems the beautiful South coast of Norway is relatively unknown although it provides an important entry point for sailors coming from North Sea ports. The area between the Naze (also known as Lindesnes), Norway’s Southernmost point and the beautiful and picturesque town of Risoer are almost completely sheltered behind hundreds of headlands, islands and islets providing idyllic moorings and anchorages.

I would recommend you to purchase the excellent Norwegian “Beatport” charts which come in complete sets in a splashproof cover and are quite inexpensive.

Along the coast from the Naze (Lindesnes), you have the old fishing port of Svinoer, which in addition to the fjord beyond has many excellent anchorages and mooring possibilities alongside the sheer rock faces. Three or four old car tires wrapped in nylon sacks provide excellent fenders. While in Svinoer take the opportunity to visit the Naze lighthouse and its museum. You will also see the large windmill park in the hillside producing clean energy. Sailing along the well-marked inshore route you will arrive in lovely Mandal approached by the wide river and you will find moorings right in the middle of town alongside the riverbank. Mandal is famous for its Crab Festival and has quaint white houses.

The most sheltered route continues North Eastwards to the busy port of Kristiansand with breath-taking scenery through Soegne and NY Hellesund made famous by the poet Wilh. Krag. You may stop anywhere along the route, anchoring, mooring bow to land and anchor aft or simply alongside the sheer rock where the depth allows. Keep a look out for the many Norwegian boats and where they tie up. The Norwegians are a cheerful lot and all speak perfect English, they are sure to assist you. Kristiansand is an important port with ferry and air connections to the Continent. All services are available here and a visit to the famous Animal Park is a must. Don’t forget to visit the popular Fishing Pier offering an abundance of seafood. There are several good restaurants here. The guest harbour by the old fort is well equipped.

Continuing Eastwards among hundreds of islands and small “fjords” along the sheltered intra coastal waterway you will pass famous “Skippergata” which divides the two Randy islands. In the days of the tall ships, the ships captains lived here, later taken over by local fishermen and lately by holidaymakers from all over the country. Having crossed one of the few open stretches, the Kvaase Fjord which can be rough at times, you sail through picturesque Ulvesund and a few minutes later you will enter the most sheltered part of the route sailing through the beautiful little village of Old Hellesund with the millionnaire´s holiday houses, previously a modest fishing port. You will see many Norwegian boats along this very popular stretch and a visit to the lovely village of Brekkestoe is a must before you continue and eventually pass under the tall bridge leading to the island. Shortly thereafter you will arrive in the little township of Lillesand. A very beautiful town with lots of white traditional wooden houses. The marina facilities are very good.

The route continues among islands and rocks through the well-marked fairway to the town of Grimstad and Arendal, both with excellent harbours and all other facilities. Having sailed through the Tromoey sound and under the bridge you will shortly thereafter arrive at the small popular village of Lyngoer with lots of holiday houses and boats. They have an excellent restaurant where you simply have to try. Their fish soup is famous. Continuing North East along the coast which is mostly sheltered you will finally arrive in the picturesque port of Risoer with its hundreds of shining white wooden “skipper” houses. Risoer has all facilities and every year hosts a large Wooden Boat Festival well worth visiting. After Risoer, the coast is mainly open until you get past Ferder lighthouse at the Southern end of the Oslo fjord.

Tore Christiansen

The author of this sailing direction is a Norwegian ex-sea captain who grew up on the South coast and has for many years been running a yacht charter service on his beloved m.s. Eight Bells. For further information please contact:

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