Lillesand’s nautical highlight is the three-hour cruise aboard M/B Øya, a dinky little passenger ferry which wiggles its way south to Kristiansand in part along a narrow channel separating the mainland from the offshore islets. Sheltered from the full force of the ocean, this channel – the Blindleia – was once a major trade route, but today it’s trafficked by every sort of pleasure craft imaginable, from replica three-mast sailing ships and vintage tugboats to the sleekest of yachts. Other, faster, boats make the trip too, but the M/B Øya is the most charming.

If the sailing schedule of the M/B Øya does not suit, contact Lillesand tourist office for details of a wide variety of local boat trips, from fishing trips and cruises along the coast to the summertime badeboot (bathing boat), which shuttles across to Hestholm bay on the island of Skauerøya, where swimmers don’t seem to notice just how cold the Skagerrak actually is.

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