Coastal culture has deep roots in Norway, and there’s lots to see and do between Haugesund, a city with a rich history spanning the Viking Age up to the herring fisheries, Bergen, ‘the city between the seven mountains’, the Art Nouveau town Ålesund and the spectacular Atlantic Road.
- Runde & Sunnmørskysten→
- Ona & Nordøyane→
Haugesund → Røvær → Bergen →
Haugesund is a charming town with a rich coastal history. This is ‘the realm of the Viking Kings’, and the town also expanded during the successful herring fisheries. Today, Haugesund may be better known as a shipping and industry town, spearheaded by the Aibel shipyard. But the town’s development was largely thanks to the herring fisheries.
Visit Karmsund Folk Museum in the centre of Haugesund to learn more about the town’s interesting history. In summer, you can also cross the bridge to the island Hasseløy (known locally as ‘Bakarøynå’) to Dokken museum. The museum takes you back to the infancy of the herring town, and provides a rich glimpse into what life was like in Haugesund 150 years ago. Haugesund is not known as ‘the herring town’ for nothing, and one of its biggest festivals ‘Sildajazz’, literally herring jazz, is held every year.
After a good night’s sleep, you can take the short boat trip out to Røvær. This island has a population of around 80, and had its heyday in the 1800s. You can visit Hiltahuset, Røvær’s oldest house and museum. You can learn about modern aquaculture at Røvær Aquaculture Centre.
Head for Bergen and spend the night there when you get back to the mainland.
The most obvious way of exploring Bergen is on foot along the city’s cobbled streets. Discover the charming neighbourhoods of Sandviken and Nordnes, with their quaint wooden houses. The Hanseatic area of Bryggen will take you back to the Middle Ages, with its traditional narrow alleyways.
For a bird’s eye view, take the Fløibanen funicular to Mount Fløyen and then stroll back down to the city centre at your own pace. At the Norwegian Fisheries Museum in Sandviken, children and adults alike can explore the interesting history of fisheries, hire rowing boats and explore the shore.
On the way to Førde, you will travel through varied coastal landscapes, heathland and forests, along valleys and over mountains.
Florø → Kinn → Svanøy →
Sunnfjord Museum just outside the centre of Førde has an impressive collection of old cotter’s farms in beautiful scenery. After a visit to the museum, head for Florø.
We recommend taking the coastal road to Florø from Førde, via Vevring and Stavang, which makes for a beautiful detour, and you can stop at e.g. the air combat museum Luftkampmuseum, the sculpture park in Vevring and the petroglyph field in Ausevika. A visit to the air battle museum, Luftkampmuseet, can also be combined with lunch at Håjen Kafe.
The idyllic town of Florø is Norway’s westernmost town. On a day trip from Florø you can visit the island of Kinn, with its stone church from the Middle Ages, as well as Svanøy and the magnificent Manor House with its views of Svanøybukt bay and the Buefjord. Svanøy has been a central hub along the coast all the way back to the Viking Age. Svanøy Manor House has been home to both nobility and bishops through the ages, and the Haugean movement built the current Manor House.
There are several accommodation options along the beautiful coast. Stay in the small coastal town of Måløy, or maybe you are more tempted by an exclusive stay at Kråkenes lighthouse, with the open sea as your nearest neighbour? Stroll along the quay and make sure you visit the natural attractions just outside the town centre. You will see many fantastic murals on the walk. A street art project has led to 18 works of art for you to admire by Norwegian and international artists on the island, and more are planned.
Refviksanden, with its 1.5-km-long stretch of fine white sand, is one of Norway’s most beautiful beaches. The characteristic Kannesteinen rock has been formed by the tides over thousands of years.
The idyllic fishing village of Kalvåg, with its traditional rorbu shacks, art gallery and freshly caught seafood is well worth a visit. You can hire a boat here or try your luck at fishing from the quay.
Selje → Runde & Sunnmørskysten →
On the way further north, take the time to visit the monastery island of Selje, a truly unique place. Go on a guided tour and learn about the legend of St. Sunniva. The trip then continues to the legendary bird island Runde, where 500,000 birds nest, such as puffins (April to July). In the summer you can join guided tours by boat around Runde - a fantastic opportunity to see the bird life up close. On marked trails you can also go up the mountain, but be careful: the nature here is vulnerable. After the visit to Runde, check in at Thon Hotel Fosnavåg, close by.
The next morning, you continue to the Art Nouveau Town Ålesund. Ålesund has some of the world’s most unique Art Nouveau buildings and a guided city walk is highly recommended.
Also, don’t miss a walk up Mount Aksla for a fantastic view, or the Norwegian Aquarium. The Møre coast is the home of clipfish, so don’t miss the chance to try this traditional dish at one of the town’s great restaurants.
Finnøya → Ona & Nordøyane → Molde → Bud → Atlanterhavsvegen → Kristiansund →
On your way to Molde and Kristiansund, go island hopping with the car ferry to Finnøy and on to Ona with its 11 permanent residents. The tiny island, with its lighthouse towering over the colourful houses, is very picturesque.
In Molde, visit the Romsdal Museum and wander around the collection of village and town buildings. From Varden, you can see how many of the 222 snow-capped peaks of the Molde Panorama you can count.
Make a stop between the fishing village of Bud and Kristiansund to enjoy one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Norway. The Norwegian Scenic Route the Atlantic Road is an impressive architectural feat, as it winds its way alongside small islands and inlets at the ocean's edge. Follow the path around Eldhusøya island or try your luck at fishing., before you continue to Kristiansund where you’ll spend the night.
In Kristiansund, we recommend a trip on the local Sundbåten boat. The town centre is scattered over four islands and the boat service has carried passengers between the islands for over 200 years! Take a trip on the Gripruta boat service to Grip island and visit a true gem at the ocean's edge. The island, which is now uninhabited, has one of the smallest stave churches in the world and was once Norway’s smallest municipality and a lively fishing village.
If you continue north of Kristiansund, you can visit the beautiful archipelago Smøla, and we recommend Veiholmen in particular. Smøla is a vibrant island community, which offers kayaking, eagle safaris, photo hides, fishing trips, accommodation options and places to eat. In Trondheim, the impressive Nidaros Cathedral represents the city’s thousand-year-long history.
The journey continues north to Trondheim, where the impressive Nidaros Cathedral is a key monument of the city’s thousand-year history.