The Rafossen is a very nice powerful waterfall where the river Kvina drops down over three stages with a total height of 42 meter. The Rafossen is a regulated waterfall but I have seen enough beautiful pictures to be sure the water flows frequently with a great power.
The Rafossen is situated not far from road 465, seven kilometer north of Kvinesdal. Driving on road 465 there is a little wooden sign with Rafossen on it. Take the turn and drive up the narrow road for two kilometers until the road stops. From here it is a five minute walk.
Rafossen was mentioned for the first time in 1292, but there are found remains of settlements from dating back to roman times and even as long as 10000 years ago.
Rafossen creates a natural barrier for salmon traveling up the river. There are plans of building a power plant in the mountains transferring a large part of the flow away from the waterfall and create the possibility for salmon to travel further upstream.
In 1439 the name was written as «de Radefoss». The first word «rad» means step or row, meaning a line of waterfalls. Before the water in
the river was regulated for hyropower the roar of the waterfall could be heard several miles away. It was said it could be heard all the way to Kristiansand, «efter folkesagnet kunde dens mektige brusen høres paa Groheien ved Christianssand».
A priest from Audnedal (east for Kvinesdal) Peder Claussen Friis mentioned Rafossen in two of his books. He writes that the water shoots through the waterfall like shot from a pipe or gutter, so they sometimes had to lie between rocks and sharp beams with a barge to be able to catch fish. When the salmons jumped up the waterfall they could fall down in the barge.
There is a legend of killer trying to escape his pursuers and jumped over the waterfall that was 12 alner wide (7,52 meter!), and came to the
other side unharmed. The pursuers tried to jump too, but fell in the waterfall.
The information and photo’s I received from Racime van de Berg/The Netherlands (Copyright 2014, Racime van de Berg)