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Arendal has gone from being a small southern village, based around seven small islands, to become the tenth largest town in Norway in terms of population. Other villages in the municipality include Tromøy, Rykene, Eydehavn, Strengereid, Kongshamn, Kilsund, and Hisøy.


Hoveodden located on the Island Tromøy just outside Arendal is the arena for Hove music festival. It was the largest festival scene in Norway the debut year, and it has an audience capacity of up to 25,000.

Tromøy island is located directly across the harbor from Arendal. Tromøy Bridge a 400 metre long suspension bridge connected it to the mainland in 1961.