Visiting Norway should be on everyone’s to do-list. In this article, I’ll give you 11 reasons for why the beautiful archipelago of Larvik will completely blow you away (and quite literally too!)
As you might have noticed, things have been a wee bit different here at Cavaforlunch (and on Instagram ) lately. Suddenly, there’s a ton of Norway stuff (and more to come, I’m afraid) going on here. Are you confused? Well, you shouldn’t be.
You see, I’m home. And believe it or not, I’m loving every second of it.
When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to leave my home town, to leave Norway, behind as quickly as possible. So I moved to Rome (twice). I went all the way to South America. Then I came back for a year or two, realised I still disliked Norway, and then left again. To be honest, I’ve spent the past six or seven years in a form of constant transit: always leaving home, and always – although reluctantly – coming home.
However, something has changed over the past year. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that I’m celebrating 2 years of my Scottish exile or if it’s because I recently celebrated my 25th birthday (I’m getting old, according to my very sweet boyfriend), but I’ve actually been a bit homesick lately. And especially as we were moving towards the summer months. You see, summer in Scandinavia is not like anywhere else.
Summer in Scandinavia is the best thing in the world.
In case you need to be persuaded, here’s 11 reasons why you should visit Larvik, my stunning home town, this summer.
#1 We have the most beautiful sunsets
I dare you to come over and disagree with me.
I like to think that Norway is blessed with such beautiful sunsets to make up for all the short, dark days we have in the winter months. And to be honest, when every night ends like this you can’t really complain, can you?
#2 We have the best seafood in the world
I’m not even joking, we actually do! Our seafood is caught fresh in the early hours of the morning, and then sold at markets and fish shops later in the day. It doesn’t get fresher than that really!
When you visit Larvik, you have to try reker – which is something of a common Scandinavian summer dish. My boyfriend might have had a bit of a shock when he realised that sometimes these are eaten mostly unprepared, meaning that they are eaten without being grilled. The most normal thing here in Scandinavia is to quickly boil them before we take off the shell and put the meat on a piece of loaf. We then top it off with lots of aioli and buckets of wine/beer. That’s what we call a rekeaften (literally meaning “shrimp evening”) here in Norway. Skål!
#3 We have places that are dying to end up on your ‘gram
This photo right here is actually taken in my neighbour’s garden (here’s to hoping he doesn’t read my blog! Edit: Apparently he does… Sorry not sorry!). Larvik is filled with beautiful beaches, a stunning archipelago and lush, green gardens and mini jungles. Trust me, if you can’t find a backdrop for you ‘gram here, you won’t find it anywhere…
#4 Our archipelago is so beautiful it looks unreal
This photo is taken at one of my favourite places in the entire world, and it’s a total must when you visit Larvik. It’s called Sør i Ommane, and it has a rugged coastline, a bright blue sea and lots of beautiful little islands. In Norway, we love our skjærgård (=archipelago) and this coastline is certainly no exception!
However, this place will blow you away – quite literally, I’m afraid! You see, Sør i Ommane is located right on the coast, so all the strong winds travelling across the Skagerrak sea ends up here. So bring a scarf, it’s going to get windy!
#5 Our Natural beauty will Leave You Speechless
So yeah it might be windy, but the archipelago is still the most beautiful place in the world. Rumour has it that, on a very sunny day, you can see all the way to Denmark…
#6 We have World-class art galleries
In the nearby city of Stavern, you will find more art galleries than you ever thought possible. The Southern parts of Norway are quite known for their bohemian art communities, and many of these artists actually have workshops and galleries in Stavern most of the year (check out this crazy-long list of all the galleries you can find in Stavern!).
Stroll through the art galleries, admire the beautiful paintings, and have a glass of wine (or two!) with the painters themselves. I do especially recommend that you visit the wee gallery of the very talented Hege Elisabeth Haugen, she’s a dear family friend and she used to be a student under the famous painter Odd Nerdrum.
#7 Beautiful Beaches
You might not come all the way to Norway simply to go swimming, but I can promise you that our beaches are absolutely magnificent!
Our beaches are wild, stunning and filled with viking heritage, which you can learn more about here. While the water will probably be freezing cold (even in July!), it still makes for a beautiful scenery. And we actually have great conditions for surfing and kiting, so bring your gear!
#8 Boat Life
Living in the archipelago, you are quite dependent on a boat to take you where you want to go. Luckily, that’s not a problem! You can easily jump on a boat to the nearest island, and we also have lots of mini-cruises that will take you on a round-trip of the archipelago. Who needs the fjords anyway, eh?
#9 Extensive History
Larvik is a beautiful, old city with lots of history.
You can discover highlights of our exciting past in Tollerodden which is the part that constitutes gamlebyen, the old town, in Larvik. Here we have a magnificent church, and an old manor with 2 (!) ghosts. The manor was built for Count Ulrik Fredrik Gyllenløve in 1677, when Norway was still under Danish rule. In addition to the manor, there are lots of cute houses built during the time when Larvik rose up as an important trade and shipping port.
Today, there is even a mini-hotel for those of you who want to fall asleep surrounded by the historical past of magical Tollerodden.
#10 Exciting Wildlife
Ha! Just kidding (or am I?!). Well, we certainly have more vicious animals than this dapper gentleman (Monsieur Dino to you) right here…
Our woods are filled with deer, and you can’t even swim a meter without bumping into a fish of some sort. Come and check out our wildlife for yourself!
#11 Getting Hitched?
Perfect ( and congratulations to you!). You see, here in Larvik we can provide you with the best backdrop for your engagement/wedding photos. Or even provide you with your wedding venue, both the beautiful house and garden of Colin Archer and the infamous Farris Bad can offer you a brilliant location and atmosphere for your special day.
Hopefully this will have inspired you to pack your bags and jump on the first flight to Southern Norway. If you are looking for a hotel, I can recommend this wee selection right here. Feel free to reach out to me if you’re planning your own epic trip to Larvik, I’m happy to help you out.
Trust me, Norway has so much to offer. It actually saddens me that most tourists just flock to the fjords and then take the first flight out of the country – I mean, there’s so much beautiful scenery around here! I dare you to head down to the south of Norway and prove me wrong.
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