DAY 1 – KRISTIANSAND
This morning you transfer to the airport to board your flight. Fly from Oslo to Kristiansand – 10.40, arrival at 11.25.
We fly to the southernmost tip of Norway to Lindesnes , the epitome of coastal life. Not only is Lindesnes a certified Sustainable Destination, it has also claimed worldwide fame through the underwater gourmet restaurant Under.
Private transfer to Lindesnes (approx 1 hr 20 min). Guided tour of Lindenes Fyr on Norway’s south cape. Lindesnes Lighthouse is Norway’s oldest dating back to 1656. It occupies the southernmost tip of the Norwegian mainland – 2518 km from the North Cape. The lighthouse has been designated a National Lighthouse Museum and hosts various exhibitions relating to the development and history of lighthouses, maritime culture, etc. The mountain hall below the lighthouse houses a cinema, exhibitions and a café. (we will have a simple lunch here). The complex also comprises a museum shop, a restaurant and a gallery. You can see the remains of a German WW2 fort, and there are marked paths in the area. In stormy weather, this can be quite an impressive experience! You may hear fascinating stories about certified coastal guides who have led seafarers safely to and from shore for centuries.
Onwards to Lindesnes Havhotell for check-in. Take a little rest and prepare for our amazing dinner experience at Under this evening.
At Under you eat five meters underwater in a beautiful concrete structure sunk into the sometimes-harsh waters at Spangereid in Lindesnes, on Norway’s southern tip. The building itself is an architectural gem. It is reminiscent of a rock formation that is rising out of the sea; almost like a kind of art installation. Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 34-meter long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest directly on the seabed five meters below. The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.
When you step into the restaurant, your unique undersea journey begins. Here you can descend all the way to a depth of five metres without a diving suit. Just walk down the stairs. At the mezzanine, there is a bar with a relaxing area where guests can sit before and after the meal. Down in the restaurant, the notion of an “ocean view” takes on a whole new meaning. There, a huge glass wall will give you a unique insight into the bustling life in the sea (Skagerrak) outside. During opening hours in the evening, the exterior lighting is designed to ensure a clear visibility of about 30-40 meters from the massive window in the restaurant. A main goal was to attract various species and make them visible from inside the restaurant for the guests to see, without harming the natural environment. You will get to watch all sorts of fish species swim by, depending on the time of year. Normal fish species in this area are pollack and cod, colourful wrasses, urchins, crabs, lobsters in gladiator battles, spiny dogfish (i.e. mini sharks) and distinctive seaweed and kelp in the changing seasons. And you can see a live performance of the roaring, stormy sea when nature is in turmoil.
This is a restaurant with an equal focus on marine research, architecture, and gastronomy. By focusing on the coexistence of life on land and in the sea, Under proposes a new way of understanding our relationship to our surroundings – above the surface, under the water, and alongside the life of the sea.
The kitchen’s mastermind, Danish chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard, is basing Under’s menu on the rich nature of Lindesnes. Obviously, this means a plethora of fish and seafood, but also local birds, wild sheep, mushrooms, and berries. The team work in close cooperation with local farmers, fishermen, hunters, and harvesters to provide the freshest ingredients. This way, they create flavorful, innovative dishes that reflect the landscape. At Under, an “Immersion Menu” has been created. It is one set menu for all guests visiting the restaurant. This is the best way to showcase each season with its unique produce, and the location of the restaurant in this remote corner of the world. (To accompany this, Under can also offer two different wine pairings designed to perfectly complement the cuisine. *Not included.)
*Please Note: As showcasing the vast diversity of species in the area is important Under, they are unfortunately not able to accommodate vegetarian and vegan-diets at any time. A full seafood allergy/diet can not be catered for.
Overnight: Lindesnes Havotell (Dinner at Under – Food Menu Only)
Day 2 – KRISTIANSAND
This morning after breakfast, we continue to Boen Gård historic hotel (1 hr 30 min) where we check-in for 2 nights.
Situated a few kilometres from the coast of Southern Norway’s archipelago, sits elegant Boen Gård. In a sprawling, secluded 16th-century estate next to the Tovdalselva river, this upscale hotel has woodsy-chic rooms in a very Nordic style. The grounds feature walking paths, gardens, sitting areas and orchards. The estate was closed until 2012 and today, Boen Gård appears just as splendid as in its former glory days. The buildings, the park, and the outdoor areas have been restored, and the main building boasts a new restaurant kitchen, while the interior has been remodelled in line with its original style, including furniture and art. Gastronomy and service go hand in hand with the unique surroundings.
The dedicated staff, led by Maître D’ Dagfinn Galdal and head chef Tomasz Rochon, do their utmost to give guests a unique experience. Boen Gård have put a lot of time and effort in order to make the kitchen as self-sufficient as possible in regards to produce. The garden is home to honey bees, and it also boasts a vegetable garden, herb garden, as well as a wide range of berries that are harvested from the berry shrubs. The orchard brings different sorts of apples and pears. The kitchen is now 80% self-sufficient with regard to vegetables, fruit, and berries. Everything is organic.
Sheep and lambs graze along the river and keep the vegetation at bay. The sheep eventually become part of the menu, along with wild salmon caught in the river by anglers who hold angling rights in the Tovdal River.
Small local suppliers deliver the remaining produce. All suppliers can be reached within a maximum 90-minute drive. The menu follows the seasons and is continuously renewed. Surplus fruit and veg from the time of harvest are preserved and eventually become part of the menu on a later occasion.
The wines that accompany a course at Boen Gård have been meticulously selected. In the summer of 2019, Boen Gård could finally open its doors to the brand new wine cellar. The cellar was presumably built during the 18th century but had not been in use for many decades. Now the dust and cobwebs have been swept away, and new shelves, furnishings and fittings have been built from recycled materials. When stepping into the cellar, one easily imagines oneself far away from Tveit and Southern Norway. The shelves behind the thick walls are stocked with fine wines mainly from traditional European wine districts such as Bourgogne, Champagne, and German Riesling. A visit to the wine cellar, where you may enjoy a glass of Champagne, is the perfect way to start the evening, which is followed by dinner in the main house. Maître D’ and sommelier Dagfinn Galdal has great knowledge about wine. He does not take much convincing if guests wish to taste wines from a particular district or year.
Overnight: Boen Gård (B / D – 3-course meal. *Food Menu Only)
Day 3 – BOEN GARD
Today is a day to simply relax and enjoy the premises and stunning surroundings.
The estate’s outdoor areas are vast and well suited for peaceful strolls along the river and in the garden. If you want peace and quiet, find yourself a good book, sit back and enjoy life on a bench in the shade of an old tree.
The vast forests that surround Boen Gård are packed with trails, perfect for both hiking and running. In season, you may gather mushrooms. Groomed cross-country trails are available during snowy winters. Hikes with local guides may be arranged.
Salmon and timber were the original purposes of Boen, and the salmon-rich Tovdalselva river flows through the property, offering an opportunity to combine events with a spot of exciting salmon fishing. Salmon fishing at Boen has been described from the early 1500s and was the property of the king. On the behalf of the state, the king transferred the rights to the salmon fishing and the farm on a fixed-term lease to some of his most prominent officials in return for the fish. British lords leased the fishing rights from the Hegermann family in the early 1900s and fairy-tale catches were recorded. The beat consists of a combination of rapids and pools, and there are numerous fishing spots. Several spots are named after the English lords who fished at Boen throughout the times: ‘WR Line’, ‘Staulky’, ‘Martin’s point’. It has taken great effort and long hours in order to clear and facilitate the riverside for salmon fishing. The Tovdal River is not regulated by large reservoirs, thus the water levels may vary heavily throughout the season. Boen Gård is located close to the river mouth, so you will find salmon on the beat, regardless of the water level.
Tonight we enjoy a 5 course dinner at the lodge before retiring to our rooms for a final night’s rest in Norway.
Overnight: Boen Gård (B / D – 5-course meal. *Food Menu Only)
Day 4 – DEPARTURE
Enjoy your breakfast this morning at leisure, before transferring to the airport for your flight back to Oslo for your International departure.