The island community of Utsira

The island community of Utsira is situated out at the ocean’s edge, a 70-minute boat trip from Haugesund. Wander around the island that, despite having no streets, nonetheless features world-class street art. Enjoy a delicious meal made from local produce at Dahmsgård restaurant. Who would have thought seaweed could be transformed into the most delicious dishes? And there are several options if you would like to spend the night there. The locals will tell you that you have to stay over to really get a sense of island life.

Avaldsnes – Viking royal seat

Experience Avaldsnes where the Viking kings once lived. For 3,000 years, chieftains and princes, and later Vikings, controlled the ships that entered and left Nordvegen, the way to the north, and which would subsequently give its name to the kingdom of Norway. Avaldsnes is considered to be Norway’s oldest royal seat, and was an important chieftain’s residence and royal seat long before the Vikings. St. Olav’s Church, the Nordvegen History Centre and the Viking Farm at Avaldsnes are important places to visit if you’re interested in Viking history. And if you weren’t interested in it before, you will be after your visit!

Langfoss waterfall and the Åkrafjord

Visit the idyllic Åkrafjord and experience Langfoss waterfall, previously ranked one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Nature is the star of this fjord! The accommodation providers and activities in the area provide an opportunity to embrace the surroundings and admire the landscape. You can climb one of Norway’s toughest Via Ferrata routes, hire a kayak or a canoe, go canyoning, go to the top of Langfoss waterfall or to the potholes at Rullestad. There are activities to suit everyone in the Åkrafjord, whether you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline or peace and quiet!

Condensed urban vibe in Haugesund

Haugesund is not all that big, but the town nonetheless offers small gems that are worthy of a much bigger city. Everything is in walking distance in Haugesund; nature, culture, shopping, restaurants and cafés. Visit charming niche shops, restaurants and cafés, learn more about the town’s history at a museum and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the coast. For many people, Haugesund is synonymous with the Sildajazz jazz festival and the Norwegian International Film Festival. But the town has lots more to offer, with cultural events all year round.

Langfoss|© Espen Mills

The island community Røvær

The island community Røvær is a short boat trip from Haugesund. With a permanent population of just under 100, Røvær is a small community with a lot of community spirit and even more hospitality. You can visit Røvær Aquaculture Centre and learn more about Norway as a seafood nation, and the oldest house on the island, Hiltahuset, which is now a museum. The house provides an insight into the island’s history, and there is an exhibition in one of the rooms about the tragedy that befell the island in 1899. Røvær Kulturhotell, the only hotel on the island, offers accommodation and hosts teambuilding activities and cultural events. And, if that’s not enough, Røvær Sjøhus serves traditional dumplings throughout the summer. Surely worth noting!

A string of white sandy beaches

The white sand dunes and the crystal clear water give you a sense of being far away in exotic climes. Both the Åkrasanden and Sandvesanden beaches are reminiscent of the Bahamas, but the bracing weather along the coast will quickly tell you otherwise. As well as being great places for a swim, the beaches are also perfect for walks. The weather in Western Norway also means the beaches are popular surfing and kiting destinations.

Idyllic Skudeneshavn

The little town Skudeneshavn is situated on the southernmost tip of Karmøy. Wander among white wooden houses and narrow streets, feel the breeze in your face and soak up the sea air while you visit charming galleries, cafés and Skudeneshavn Museum.

Gamle Skudeneshavn|© Ørjan B. Iversen

Himakånå

Would you like to do a walk that offers great views? In such case, Himakånå is where you should head. Himakånå is often called the Trolltunga Rock’s little sister. This rock formation is, in many ways, reminiscent of the iconic Trolltunga, but this walk is more easily accessible, easier in general and more family friendly. The walk up only takes around an hour, and you can enjoy panoramic views of Lysevatnet lake, the Nedstrandsfjord and farms surrounded by lush forest. And remember to pack some tasty snacks in your rucksack to enjoy at the top!

Ryvarden Lighthouse and Cultural Centre

On the west coast of Norway, not far from the harbour town Haugesund, you'll find an old lighthouse that has been converted into a cultural centre. Ryvarden Lighthouse and Cultural Centre is situated out at the ocean’s edge and makes for a great excursion in all weathers. You really get a sense of the forces of nature at the lighthouse. You can do a day trip to the lighthouse or spend the night in the lighthouse keeper’s house.

You can visit the lighthouse in summer when the sea is calm, and watch sailing boats on the horizon and dandelions gently nodding their heads as you walk along the path out to the lighthouse. But when the wind is howling around the corners of the buildings and the sea is stormy, you can experience its real magic. That's when you'll get a real sense of the forces of nature that prevail along the coast, as the foaming breakers pound the land. Being there when the white buildings almost tremble and their timber frames sigh in the wind out at the ocean’s edge makes for unforgettable memories.