The 9IATC/3GATE conference will take place in the Agder region of South Norway. It will be unique in that the conference will start in one location, the sea front city of Kristiansand and later move 200 km inland to the mountain village of Hovden.
The Agder region is located in the south of Norway, is home to 300,000 people and its area is 16,500 km2. Here you will find a large variety of landscapes, towns and villages.
The coastline, on which Kristiansand is located, is dotted with islands forming an archipelago that by many is considered among the finest in the country. This is a boating and kayaking paradise, and due to the Norwegian Outdoor Recreation Act – Allemannsretten – you may lower your anchor or pitch your tent almost anywhere. Kristiansand, with 90.000 inhabitants, is Norway’s 5th largest town. Though it offers plenty of urban life, nature is literally never more than a 10-minute stroll away.
Just inland from the coast you will enter calm forest and lake areas. Grab your boots and backpack and simply disappear, or discover the lakes and rivers paddling your canoe. Though close to the more populated coast the only ones you are likely to see are your travel companions. But fear not – you are not alone, as these areas in fact have some of the world’s most dense populations of moose.
Continuing further inland you will enter Setesdalen. This valley used to be so remote that the dialect spoken here is hard to understand for anyone but the locals. Moving north the terrain opens up and the mountains go higher. You have now arrived at the land of reindeer and birds of prey. Hovden, an adventure and outdoor life centre, lies at the top of Setesdalen right at the edge of the treeline, and is situated close to Hardangervidda, which is Europe’s largest high-mountain plateau. This is where famed Norwegian explorers Amundsen and Nansen trained for their polar challenges. Breathtakingly beautiful, raw and wild, it will immensely reward those coming prepared, and may challenge those who do not.