10 OCTOBER 2008

Clear skies meant Norway's Princess Mette-Marit and her husband Prince Haakon enjoyed breathtaking vistas during a scenic boat trip on their official tour of the south of the country.

The royal couple were cruising the waterways around the town of Kragero on the final day of their stay in the Telemark region.

Enthusiastic well-wishers greeted the VIP guests as they finished the tour by sailing into the town's harbour, which is flanked by hillsides dotted with woodland and little whitewashed cottages.

These hytte, as Norwegians call their summer homes, provide an idyllic retreat for thousands of holidaymakers in the warmer months. And the area, which is one of the country's favorite holiday destinations, is famed for its rocky islet-scattered coastline featuring hidden coves and a shimmering, blue lagoon.

Kragero's favourite son, Edvard Munch - the painter who created The Scream - waxed lyrical about its landscape. "Up there the wind blows in from the sea. Behind me the fragrant pines, out there the waves breaking over the skerries," he wrote of the settlement he referred to as "the pearl of coastal towns".

Photo: ©
Norway's crown prince and princess have been in the port town of Kragero, which is a favourite retreat for local holidaymakers Photo: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Mette-Marit and her husband took in the picturesque surroundings from a wooden boat Photo: © Rex
Photo: ©
Residents treated the couple to a sweet welcome Photo: © Rex
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