As you probably have heard, the nature in Sørlandet (the Southern Norway) is famous for its beutiful coastline, beaches (in Hammersanden and Mandal), valleys, rivers and lakes. Below you will find some links which you will find very useful if you want to explore the areas around Kristiansand.
1. First of all, if you need any sort of advice about outdoors activities in Norway then make sure that you speak to Johne H. Westersjø from the Friluftsliv (Outdoors activities) department at the Faculty of Health and Sports. It might be also possible to borrow some of the outdoors equipment from the department.
2. Kristiansand og Opplands Turistforening. KOT office is part of the national DNT network. They arrange various trips to the mountains (hiking, skiing, climbing, paddling, cycling), and quite often to the Setesdal valley. For a small membership fee you will get discounts for lodging at the cabins in the mountains. Visit their local office in Kristiansand center and talk to them about all those various opprotinities.
3. Christiansand studentseiling. The Student Sailing Club is open for every student at the University of Agder. There is no membership fee. There are opportunities to go on local regattas. Personally, I had one of my best experiences out in the sea this spring with these guys!
4. Kristiansand roklubb. Kristiansand Rowing Club is situated on a West bank of the Otra river. You can join the club for a membership fee. For more information ask Janis Gailis who lectures at the University of Agder.
5. Bragdøya kystlag. Bragdøya is a nearby island, which is nice to go for camping. Contact them if you want to find out more about the life at the sea. It might possible to join some trips to the sea.
6. Midt-Agder Friluftsråd. Here you will find information about all the nice areas around Kristiansand which are suitable to go hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing (in winter) or sunbathing (only in summer of course!!). Ask Kjetil Fossheim if you could join some events or tours together with Norwegians, such as Grønn Løype (the Green Routes) for example.
7. Lars Verket. Lars Verket is an expert in paddling. Ask him about renting kanoyes and kayaks. He has also published a comprehensive guide about kanoying in Sørlandet (the Southern Norway) which you can buy from him or the KOT (mentioned above).
I wish you all the best of luck and exciting adventures in the nature! And if you have any questions or concerns, just ask anyone from the ISU Agder. We will be happy to help.