In the footsteps of Knut Hamsun
Experience small-town life with a city atmosphere, and walk in the footsteps of author Knut Hamsun. The scenery has always been a big player in Lillesand.
For many people – probably most of us – Lillesand is best known for its archipelago, holiday cottages and boat life.
But in Lillesand’s heyday as a shipping town, the hotel at its heart was also the centre of a flourishing cultural life. Which flourishes still, not least in summer.
The town centre has cosy cafes, unusual small shops and totally unique old wooden houses with stone steps, wrought-iron details and white picket fences.
Lillesand Town and Maritime Museum Built in 1827 as the home of a ship owner in the days of sail, and now a museum showcasing a complete backyard with stable, cowshed, sailor’s cottage and various workshops. The annex housing the museum shop and the old tollbooth dating from 1730 down at the harbour are also part of the museum.
If you come to Lillesand in July, you can also risk experiencing the fantastic ‘Blindleialøpet’. Norway’s biggest kayak race pits former Olympic and world champions against enthusiastic amateurs, in a mixture of fun, enthusiasm and fierce competition, where it’s nearly always impossible to predict the winner.
"Life in this small town is so wonderfully transparent that only very few things happen without being noticed." wrote Knut Hamsun about the time he spent living here. And nothing has changed in that respect.