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Destination: the Truman Show; when in Sørlandet

The first time I was in Sørlandet, I couldn't help but recall the Truman show. Especially when I began exploring the coastline. The small sleepy coastal villages with white wooden houses where time seems to have stood still are so picturesque that it sometimes appears too beautiful to be true. Especially after just immigrating, I had to pinch myself occasionally to ensure I wasn't dreaming.

Southern Norway coast

One of these places where I still have that feeling is the archipelago off the coast of Lillesand and Grimstad. On one of these islands lies Brekkestø. Brekkestø is a mini-village with fewer than 100 inhabitants. There is a particularly popular ice cream shop that is always busy, some local art is sold, and it is mainly the cute fishermen's houses, rose bushes, and the view of the numerous small islands that give this place a touch of magic.

When you've had your fill and are in need of a cup of coffee, I highly recommend Brekkekjærhaven Kulturkafe. The café is housed in a beautiful white wooden house, with a large lawn in front adorned with tables, a few picnic benches, and some quirky artworks. There's a good chance that a red cat will be lounging at the entrance, willingly accepting pets. The cakes here are homemade and taste absolutely fantastic. Take a look at the shop as well. They have lovely local souvenirs. If you wish to stay in Brekkestø, I wholeheartedly recommend booking a few nights in this wonderful holiday cottage on Justøy. The romantic location near the sea will make you never want to leave. That also means it's often booked in the summer, so make sure to book well in advance.

If everything is fully booked, you'll also feel right at home in this tiny house in Grimstad, just a village away. It's incredibly picturesque and equally romantic situated on a 'småbruk' which means something like small farm. **Getting there: it is most likely you'll arrive at Kristiansand Airport (KRS). Public transport really takes forever to get you there, so it is most wise to reserve a car in advance. Since Norway has one of the best fast-charging networks in the world, I would advise you to rent an electric car. Better for the environment, cheaper to charge and it gets you everywhere. Check here for availability.


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