Pint-sized MANDAL, just 40km from Kristiansand along the E39, is Norway’s southernmost town. This old timber port had its salad days in the eighteenth century, when pines and oaks from the surrounding countryside were much sought after by the Dutch to support their canal houses and build their trading fleet. The timber boom fizzled out decades ago, but Mandal has preserved its quaint old centre, a narrow strip of white clapboard buildings spread along the north bank of the Mandalselva River just before it rolls into the sea, and it also possesses an enjoyable museum.

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