SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST
Rogaland and the Agders
This Region consists of three counties – Rogaland County and the Agders of East and West. Closer to mainland Europe than any other part of Norway, here you will find a charming combination of local culture combined with a strong international business and cultural network in the major cities of Stavanger and Kristiansand. This is a maritime society, with the numerous towns and villages of these southern counties tied indelibly to the sea.
The Two Agder Counties
The two counties of East and West Agder have an identity all their own – a southern pace of life where the summertime banishes all remaining thoughts of winter as just faraway dreams. Here, one normally enjoys even more summer sunshine compared to the rest of Norway – making it the ideal home to festivals and outdoor recreational activities – a popular destination for visitors
from Norway, Europe and beyond.
This is definitely a coastal region – with 80% living right along the coast. The combination of these two counties comprises what is called “Sørlandet” (The Southland). This idea of the area as a separate region was introduced in the early 1900s and includes the coastal stretch called Skagerrak with towns that include Mandal, Lillesand, Farsund, Arendal, Grimstad, Tvedestrand, Risør – and the main city of the Southland region – Kristiansand.
Here in the Southland’s “capital” of Kristiansand, you can stand on the docks and imagine yourself in the 19th century and before when this city was in many ways the main connection to the continent, with tall sailing ships making their arrivals and departures. Now, this modern city is a popular destination for tens of thousands from all over Norway and beyond as a tourist destination, and in addition has thriving industry that features internationally successful maritime and energy sectors.
For more information about Kristiansand and the region, see the Cities section of Norway
Completing the “South by Southwest” Region is the county of Rogaland, with beauty defined by fjords, beaches and islands, with main cities that include Sandnes, Haugesund, Egersund, Bryne, Kopervik, Åkrehamn, Skudeneshavn and of course Stavanger.
It is a region that has long had a connection by sea to the rest of the world – and many say that the first settlers in Norway after the glaciers receded some 10,000 years ago actually first step foot here in Rogaland. It makes sense, as the country is accessible, climatically friendly – and still welcomes people from all over the world who visit – and often stay.
The Greater Stavanger Region has the third largest population in the country after the Bergen and Oslo Regions, with a hundred different nationalities represented. In this multicultural environment where many are employed in the energy sector, you find the dynamic innovation synergy that made Stavanger the birthplace of the “Oil and Gas Adventure” that began here in 1969. Norway is now one of the largest exporters of Oil & Gas in the world, and much of this success is due to the efforts of people of the Rogaland region.
For more information about Stavanger as part of the thriving Greater Stavanger Region and the county of Rogaland, see the Cities section of Norway Communicates.