Clustered with whitewashed wooden houses, Risør is a beautifully preserved town on Norway’s Skagerrak coast. It lies on a peninsula between Søndeledfjorden and Sandnesfjorden, with an idyllic archipelago located just offshore that provides a popular setting for water sports in the summer months.
Things to do
Spend a day exploring the narrow streets of Risør and stop to admire the 17th-century Risør Church and the 1879 Frydendal Church. The town has garnered a reputation for its creativity and craftsmanship, known for its abundance of art galleries and regular music festivals. It also plays host to Europe's largest and oldest wooden boat festival each summer.
If you’re visiting in the summer months, board a boat for an island-hopping trip through the Risør Archipelago where you can go kayaking, fishing or swimming. Bathe in the family-friendly waters of Little Denmark or visit the lagoon-like harbour of Perleporten. Also not to miss is the mid-19th-century Stangholmen Lighthouse, which offers sweeping views across the archipelago.
A short drive south-west of Risør are the potholes of Sild, which were formed around 10,000 years ago following the last Ice Age and are the largest of their kind in Northern Europe. In addition to bathing in their refreshing waters, you can also go hiking through the hilly surrounding terrain or cast a fishing line to see what’s biting in the waters of Skagerrak.
Risør is just under three hours’ drive from the centre of Oslo and around 3.5 hours from Oslo Airport. Kristiansand Airport is 1.5 hours away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Buses are the main means of getting to Risør while the town is compact enough to explore on foot.