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Kristiansand, Norway

Kristiansand is a thoroughly charming city on the south coast of Norway. With its beautiful coastline, it is a very popular city during the summer months.

The renaissance style is readily apparent in the strict street plan of the area called Kvadraturen. "Posebyen", the oldest section of town, boasts tiny, but charming houses in the traditional style of the area. The name comes from the French word reposer meaning to sleep, from when soldiers were billeted in private homes.

The Norwegian concept of the southern idyll conjures up islets and skerries and small white houses with lush gardens nestled between rocky coastline knolls. The same building style characterises the other southern towns as well. One of the region poets claimed that people's close contact with the sea has given them webbed feet and hospitable, good-natured temperaments.

Far out in the Kristiansand fjord lie Flekkerøy, Oksøy and other smaller islands as well as Grønningen lighthouse. During the summer months the whole area teems with life. Eleven miles east of the city is the Kristiansand zoo, which also includes Cardamom City and other attractions popular with Norwegian children.

From Kristiansand it is not far to other coastal idylls at Lillesand, Brekkestø, Bliksund, Gamle Hellesund, Ulvøysund, Skippergada, Tømmerstø and Ny-Hellesund. This coastal strip boasts the highest number of sunny days in the country. All summer long, crystal-clear water invites you to dive in, while the beaches and long, rounded coastal rocks invite you to relax in the warm sun.