Risør: Southern Norway’s Coastal Gem In Pictures

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Enjoy a photographic tour of Risør, a wonderful small coastal town on the coast of Southern Norway.

Welcome to the historic town of Risør in Agder county. Around 4,000 people live in this coastal community, but many more choose to visit. That’s especially true in Norway’s summer vacation month of July.

The waterfront of Risør, Norway
Risør, Norway. Photo: Daniel Albert.

The town of Risør is a popular tourist destination among Norwegians who know the beauty of southern Norway that many international tourists miss.

In this article, we’ll share with you some fantastic photos from Risør on a lovely summer day in early August, 2021. Enjoy!

Risør harbour & waterfront

The coastline of Risør is a big draw to the town. It’s the beating heart of the local community and popular with visitors thanks to the string of bars and restaurants.

White houses at the harbour of Risør
The harbour of Risør. Photo: Daniel Albert.

Water has always been important to Risør. At one point towards the end of the 18th century, Risør was Norway’s sixth largest shipping town and an important centre of shipbuilding.

Risør waterfront in the summer
Risør has a charming waterfront. Photo: Daniel Albert.

The town’s Wooden Boat Festival (Risør Trebåtfestival) celebrates this heritage with a regatta and plenty more celebrations on dry land.

A community of wooden ship craftspeople remains active in Moen, a few kilometres to the west of Risør.

The white wooden buildings of Risør

Many places in Norway such as Gamle Stavanger and the Dutch Quarter of Flekkefjord are famous for their traditional white, wooden houses. But Risør is perhaps the best of them all.

Rooftops in Risør, southern Norway
Rooftops of Risør. Photo: Daniel Albert.

Risør actively protects its old, white wooden houses and the result is simply stunning, especially when the sun is shining.

A panorama of Risør.
A popular viewpoint of the village. Photo: Daniel Albert.

In Norwegian, Risør is known as Den hvite by ved Skaggerak – The White Town by the Skaggerak. The Skaggerak refers to the stretch of water between this part of southern Norway and Denmark.

A white wooden fence and bright yellow flowers in Risør, Norway
A white, wooden fence in Risør. Photo: Daniel Albert.

Around 450 years ago, Risør was a small fishing village when Dutch vessels called to purchase timber from the forests of southern Norway. A town quickly grew to serve the trade as it did in Flekkefjord and a number of other coastal towns.

A street of white, Norwegian wooden houses.
A street in Risør village. Photo: Daniel Albert.

However, most houses are more recent than you may expect. Risør was devastated by fire in 1861. White paint was chosen during the reconstruction because residents wanted to give the impression of prosperity to future visitors.

The churches of Risør

Despite the town’s small size, it has two historic churches.

A charming street of white, wooden buildings in Risør
Risør Church. Photo: Daniel Albert.

Risør Church is made of wood and painted white, of course! It was built in 1647 by an unknown architect and seats about 450 people. Since then, it has been renovated several times, most notably in 1928.

Risør Church in Norway
Risør Church. Photo: Daniel Albert.

Walk a little to the west and you’ll see the impressive Frydendal Church. Once again, it’s a white wooden building! The church was built in 1879 and seats around 300 people.

Frydendal Church in Risør, Norway
Frydendal Church. Photo: Daniel Albert.

Where to stay in Risør

So, are you planning a trip now? I can’t say I blame you!

Risør Hotel offers traditional rooms in a central location, some with a sea view and some with direct access to the garden. A minute or two from the waterfront, Det Lille Hotel is a charming alternative. Both hotels are popular with couples.

Det Lille Hotel in Risør, Norway

There’s more to see in and around Risør, but I hope this gives you a taster! If you enjoy this post, please share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest so others can find it too. Just hit those social sharing buttons.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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4 thoughts on “Risør: Southern Norway’s Coastal Gem In Pictures”

  1. Really wonderful information on my Mothers Home town when she was a girl growing up in Risor, how wonderful to see this article and I will send it my family and friends to see also, Tusen Takk.
    Norm Grimsby

  2. My grandfather’s hometown! He was born in 1884 and emigrated to the US with his mother and two siblings in 1888, following his father (a ship’s captain) who’d moved there two years before.

    I plan to visit Risor (soon I hope!) from Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

  3. This is the hometown of my Mother and her Family. Her Uncle and Aunts lived in Hasdalen, I think I spelled it right. I know they owned a fabric store on the sea front in the late 60s.


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