In summer, many of Oslo's residents migrate to the sunny southern coast. Southern Norway is an ideal area for those who want to get close to nature, with a mild summer climate and terrain that varies from inland mountains and forests to coastal flatland.
South of Telemark, you reach the famed beaches and fjords of the coast. Many splendid points mark the route of the North Sea Road. Beginning in the relaxed resort town of Kristiansand, the road winds west along the major section of Norway's southern coast, Sørlandet. Wide, sun-kissed, inviting beaches have their blue waters warmed by the Gulf Stream. Sandy terrain turns to coastal flatlands, inland mountain peaks and green forests ideal for cycling, hiking, and mountaineering. Freshwater lakes and rivers, and this section of the ocean, are superb for salmon fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. The region is the perfect habitat for such wildlife as beavers, deer, foxes, and many birds. When the North Sea Road reaches its final destination, it's in a landscape of fjords, islands, mountains, and valleys. Stavanger, Norway's oil capital, is here. A cosmopolitan city with small-town charm, it has excellent restaurants, hotels, and culture.