South-East Norway. Tourist information for Oslo and south-eastern Norway
South-East Norway is a land of contrasts. In the south the coast is a succession
of lovely coves, islands and inlets, dotted with quaint fishing ports. Oslo is at
the northernmost point of this enormous arm of the Skagerrak. Inland the scenery
becomes progressively wilder and more mountainous, culminating in the wilderness
which includes the Jotunheim, Rondane and Dovrefjell national parks.
Towns and places of interest in South-East Norway:
Oslo, the capital city of Norway, enjoys a beautiful situation at the head of
the Oslofjord. Behind the city are forested mountains, easily accessible by public
transport, with many miles of walking trails. These become cross-country ski trails
in winter. Or you can explore the many islands and coves in and around the fjord,
all served by boat. Indeed, Oslo's excellent integrated transport system makes
it pleasant and easy to journey around the city and its surroundings. For a big
city the centre is strangely (for British visitors) free of cars, and they are further
discouraged by having to pay a toll of 15 kroner to enter the centre.
Just outside the city, well-served by public transport and the starting point for
many countryside excursions, is the world famous Holmenkollen ski jump. And make
sure you visit the astonishing Vigeland Sculpture Park, a short tram ride from the
centre. A lovely park and some wonderful statues.
There is a sense of space in Oslo centre, with wide streets and gardens, although
the buildings are rather austere in style, and the only part with any real architectural
character is around the port and the long wooden quay known as Aker Brygge, where
you'll find a fascinating mixture of the old and the new. This is also the best
place to visit in the evening when the many bars and restaurants are busy with locals
and visitors. But beware - prices are high here, with beer costing around 5 a litre
and a bottle of table wine around 20.
Aker Brygge, Oslo.
The Jotunheimen National Park is wild and beautiful. There are many kilometres of
walking trails, but it's not an area for the inexperienced, as the park contains
over 200 peaks more than 1900 metres in height. However, both major roads 51 and
55 skirt the park, so if you choose this less energetic way of visiting you'll
still be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Driving south from Oslo, avoid the E10, and, if you've got the time, follow
the pretty coast road past the holiday homes of many Oslo citizens. Between Arendal
and Kristiansand is a delightful coastline of sandy coves, rocky bays and small
villages, all set against a back-drop of forested hills. Lillesand is a pretty and
popular holiday resort, with a lively tourist office and plenty of walking and water-based
activities. Kristiansand is more than just a ferry port, and is also an important
holiday destination, enjoying good sandy beaches and with lots to do both by day