Southern Norway

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Not to be confused with South Norway.
"Sørlandet" redirects here. For the ship, see Sørlandet (ship). For the newspaper, see Sørlandet (newspaper).
Southern Norway
Region (landsdel)
Lindesnes fyr
Bystranda Kardemommeby in Kristiansand Zoo
Lista beach
Kvadraturen Flekkerøy
Risør Brekkestø in Lillesand
Mandal sentrum og Mandalselva.jpg
Descending, from top: Lindesnes fyr, Bystranda in Kristiansand, Kardemommeby in Kristiansand Zoo, The Lista beaches, Downtown Kristiansand, Flekkerøy outside Kristiansand, Arendal, Risør, Brekkestø in Lillesand, Mandal.
Collage of Sørlandet
Sorlandet in Norway (plus).svg
Coordinates: 58°36′N 7°48′E / 58.6°N 7.8°E / 58.6; 7.8Coordinates: 58°36′N 7°48′E / 58.6°N 7.8°E / 58.6; 7.8
Country Norway
Capital Kristiansand, Arendal
Counties (fylker) Aust-Agder
 • Total 16,434 km2 (6,345 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 277,250
 • Density 17/km2 (44/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Sørlending

Southern Norway (Norwegian: Sørlandet) (lit. "The Southland") is the geographical region (landsdel) of the Skagerrak coast of southern Norway consisting of the two counties of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder. The total combined area of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder is 16,493 square kilometres (6,368 sq mi).[1] The highest point in the region is Sæbyggjenuten, in Setesdalsheiene, at 1,507 m (4,944 ft).[2]

Sørlandet should not be confused with the Norwegian term Sør-Norge (see South Norway).


The name Agder was known in Old Norse as "Agðir", and is assumed to be connected to the word ǫgd (sharp).[3]


Southern Norway is the youngest region of Norway, it was established short after Northern Norway. The first village builder was Vilhelm Krag who thought Southern Norway should have been bigger than it is today, from Egersund to Grenland, but even today it isn't entirely sure where the border goes. All the way back in 1865, it was talked about "the southern Norway boats". These boats were built in Lista and the invention was from a man from Lofoten, Northern Norway. So the expression "Sørlandet" first appeared in 1902.

The name and modern concept of this part of the country being considered as a separate region was introduced as late as 1902 by the local author Vilhelm Krag. Prior to this, the area was considered part of Western Norway. Southern Norway coincides roughly with the historic petty kingdom of Agder, which lends its name to the two constituent counties: Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder, as well as the University of Agder.

Religion in Southern Norway[4][5]
religion percent

Occasionally, adjacent parts of the county of Rogaland and Telemark might be considered part of this region, as well.

If defined as an informal region, Southern Norway is perhaps more properly defined as the Skagerrak coastal belt, thus excluding the inland valleys to the north.

Traditionally, the easternmost border of Agder was Rygjarbit, which was thought to be Gjernestangen in Risør. Today, Rygjarbit is thought to be the strait between Askerøya and Lyngør in Tvedestrand.[6]


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1951 172,753 —    
1960 185,302 +7.3%
1970 215,874 +16.5%
1980 225,429 +4.4%
1990 240,906 +6.9%
2000 257,869 +7.0%
2010 279,024 +8.2%
Source: Statistics Norway [1][2].


Arendal Airport, Gullknapp is a general aviation airport located outside of Arendal city. The airport was founded in 1984 with a 500 meters long runway.

Arendal Airport, Rådhuskaien is a former water airport in the cove of downtown Arendal.

Farsund Airport, Lista is a former public airport located with Lista. It opened in 1941 and closed in 1999. The airport is located at Lista.

Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik is the only public airport in Southern Norway, in 2014 there were over 1 million travelers from the airport. Kjevik Airport has destinations to charter places, European cities and some of the largest Norwegian cities. The Airport opened in 1918 and is located at Tveit, 16 kilometers from downtown Kristiansand, Kvadraturen. The IATA code is KRS and ICAO is ENCN. It is owned by Avinor.

Kristiansand Airport, Kongsgårdbukta is a former water-airport located at Lund from 1934 to 1939.

Kristiansand Naval Air Station is also a former water-airport located at Tangen from 1919 to 1949.

Mandal Airfield is a former military owned airport.


All bus lines and buses in Southern Norway is owned by AKT (Agder Kollektiv Transport).

Nettbuss serves the Kristiansand Region with local blue buses. In Kristiansand, the city buses goes all days from 04 AM to 01 AM, extra night buses during the weekend and direct/extra buses during the rush hours. The lines are A1, A2, A3, A24, D2, D3, M1, M2, M3, 01, 05, 07, 08, 09, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 42, 45, 46, 47, 49 and other less notable lines.

Setesdal Bilruter serves Setesdal, Østre Agder and Lillesand. Line 100 goes from Arendal - Grimstad - Lillesand to Kristiansand. Bus lines from Setesdal goes to both Arendal and Kristiansand. Line 150 goes from Arendal to Tvedestrand and Risør.

Sørlandsruta serves the coastal cities and towns of Vest-Agder. Line 900 is the main serving line from Kristiansand to Mandal, Vigeland, Lyngdal and Farsund (- Lista). Some of the bus collaborate with local bus from Lyngdal to Flekkefjord and Kvinesdal.


European Route E18 goes through Aust-Agder and Kristiansand east. E18 goes with the shore and coastal cities. European Route E39 starts in Kristiansand west from Denmark, and through Vest-Agder E39 also goes with the shore and coastal cities. Norwegian National Road 9 starts in Kristiansand and up to Evje and through Setesdal. Norwegian National Road 41 starts in Tveit in Kristiansand, and goes past the Airport, it continues to Birkenes and Åmli in Aust-Agder and continues to Telemark. Norwegian County Road 43 goes from Farsund and Lista to Lyngdal and Eiken in Hægebostad.


From Kristiansand Harbour, there are daily ferries from Kristiansand to Hirtshals, Denmark three times in the day. In Arendal, there are local ferries to the island Tromøy.


Trains from Oslo to Stavanger goes through the entire Southern Norway. There are also trains from Oslo S - Kristiansand and Stavanger S - Kristiansand S. From Nelaug Station there is a local train going to Arendal Station, since the main railroad goes in the inland and not by the coast. In Kristiansand, the trains turn direction if they're continuing.


Key industries in Southern Norway are forestry, agriculture and tourism. There are also popular ski resorts like Hovden in the valley of Setesdal and Bortelid in Åseral municipality.

List of municipalities[edit]

About 80% of the population of the two counties live along the coast, which has the warmest climate as well as offering quick access to the rich fishing grounds and maritime roads of the Skagerrak. In Southern Norway there are also a number of smaller inland municipalities. The list of the municipalities in Southern Norway are:

Coat of arms City Adm. center Population (2015) Region Location County Photo Map Language
Kristiansand komm.svg Kristiansand Kvadraturen 87,446 Kristiansandregionen Coast City Vest-Agder Kvadraturen, Kristiansand1.jpg NO 1001 Kristiansand.svg Bokmål
Arendal komm.svg Arendal Arendal 44,219 Østre Agder Coast Aust-Agder Arendal Trefoldighetskirke a.jpg NO 0906 Arendal.svg Bokmål
Grimstad komm.svg Grimstad Grimstad 20,497 Østre Agder Coast Aust-Agder Grimstad 078.jpg NO 0904 Grimstad.svg Bokmål
Mandal komm.svg Mandal Mandal 15,061 Lindesnesregionen Coast Vest-Agder Mandal. gjestehavn og bryggegata.JPG NO 1002 Mandal.svg Bokmål
Vennesla komm.svg Vennesla Vennesla 14,095 Kristiansandregionen Inland Vest-Agder Vennesla kirke.jpg NO 1014 Vennesla.svg Neutral
Søgne komm.svg Søgne Tangvall 11,217 Kristiansandregionen Coast Vest-Agder Søgne 01.jpg NO 1018 Søgne.svg Bokmål
Farsund komm.svg Farsund Farsund 9,433 Listerregionen Coast Vest-Agder Farsundd.jpg NO 1003 Farsund.svg Bokmål
Flekkefjord komm.svg Flekkefjord Flekkefjord 9,069 Listerregionen Coast Vest-Agder 2010-07-04 Flekkefjord hustak.jpg NO 1004 Flekkefjord.svg Bokmål
Lillesand komm.svg Lillesand Lillesand 9,040 Kristiansandregionen Coast Aust-Agder Lillesand-1.jpg NO 0926 Lillesand.svg Bokmål
Lyngdal komm.svg Lyngdal Alleen 8,335 Listaregionen Coast Vest-Agder Lyngdal City Hall.jpg NO 1032 Lyngdal.svg Bokmål
Risør komm.svg Risør Risør 6,894 Østre Agder Coast Aust-Agder Risor2.jpg NO 0901 Risør.svg Neutral
Songdalen komm.svg Songdalen Nodeland 6,354 Kristiansandregionen Inland Vest-Agder Greipstad.jpg NO 1017 Songdalen.svg Neutral
Kvinesdal komm.svg Kvinesdal Liknes 5,984 Listerregionen Coast Vest-Agder Liknes, Kvinesdal kommune 2010.jpg NO 1037 Kvinesdal.svg Neutral
Froland komm.svg Froland Blakstad 5,532 Østre Agder Inland Aust-Agder Krk-Froland.jpg NO 0919 Froland.svg Neutral
Lindesnes komm.svg Lindesnes Vigeland 4,880 Lindesnesregionen Coast Vest-Agder 20090430-2058-09 - Vigeland.jpg NO 1029 Lindesnes.svg Bokmål
Birkenes komm.svg Birkenes Birkeland 4,689 Kristiansandregionen Inland Aust-Agder Mollestadeika.jpg NO 0928 Birkenes.svg Neutral
Evje og Hornnes komm.svg Evje og Hornnes Evje 3,567 Setesdal Inland Aust-Agder Fennefoss.jpg NO 0937 Evje og Hornnes.svg Neutral
Gjerstad komm.svg Gjerstad Gjerstad 2,478 Østre Agder Inland Aust-Agder Gjerstad kirke 20120826-16.JPG NO 0911 Gjerstad.svg Bokmål
Marnardal komm.svg Marnardal Heddeland 2,294 Lindesnesregionen Inland Vest-Agder NO 1021 Marnardal.svg Neutral
Vegårshei komm.svg Vegårshei Myra 2,018 Østre Agder Inland Aust-Agder Vegårshei kirke.jpg NO 0912 Vegårshei.svg Neutral
Sirdal komm.svg Sirdal Tonstad 1,838 Listerregionen Inland Vest-Agder NO 1046 Sirdal.svg Neutral
Åmli komm.svg Åmli Åmli 1,832 Østre Agder Inland Aust-Agder Åmli Nidelva bro.JPG NO 0929 Åmli.svg Nynorsk
Audnedal komm.svg Audnedal Konsmo 1,750 Lindesnesregionen Inland Vest-Agder NO 1027 Audnedal.svg Neutral
Hægebostad komm.svg Hægebostad Tingvatn 1,693 Lindesnesregionen Inland Vest-Agder NO 1034 Hægebostad.svg Nynorsk
Iveland komm.svg Iveland Birketveit 1,315 Kristiansandregionen Inland Aust-Agder NO 0935 Iveland.svg Neutral
Valle komm.svg Valle Valle 1,251 Setesdal Inland Aust-Agder NO 0940 Valle.svg Nynorsk
Bygland komm.svg Bygland Bygland 1,189 Setesdal Inland Aust-Agder NO 0938 Bygland.svg Nynorsk
Bykle komm.svg Bykle Bykle 933 Setesdal Inland Aust-Agder Bygland and Jordalsboe.JPG NO 0941 Bykle.svg Nynorsk
Åseral komm.svg Åseral Kyrkjebygda 925 Lindesnesregionen Inland Vest-Agder NO 1026 Åseral.svg Nynorsk

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]