Feel the forces of nature

The weather is one of the most beautiful and idyllic aspects of Western Norway, and sometimes makes for an experience in itself. It’s no myth that you can experience all four seasons in one day, or that pouring rain can turn into sunshine in the blink of an eye. If you would like to feel the forces of nature, Ryvarden is the place for you, as beautiful in winter as it is in summer, whether the sun is setting or the wind is blowing.

You can also get up close to nature in the Åkrafjord. You can experience the full force of Langfoss waterfall and feel its spray in your face. The waterfall is at its most spectacular when the snow has started to melt and spring is just around the corner. The waterfall, which cascades like a giant bridal veil down the mountainside, has previously been ranked one of the most beautiful in the world by CNN Travel.

Get your adrenaline going

Can you imagine anywhere better to get your adrenaline going and achieve a sense of mastery than on Norway’s toughest Via Ferrata routes? Via Ferrata Kyrkjeveggen in the Åkrafjord takes you 900 metres up a huge rock face, an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.

Or combine climbing and abseiling, wading and swimming in natural pools. Åkrafjorden Nature can take you canyoning, an activity where you use the elements as tools, enabling you to enjoy nature on its own terms. Abseil down a waterfall, swim in cool mountain lakes and climb rock faces.

With the sea as your playground

There are many options when the world’s biggest playground is on your doorstep. Put on a wetsuit and ride the waves at the beaches on Karmøy, which are perfect for surfing and kiting. If you’ve never surfed before, but always wanted to try, a private surfing course organised by Raw Ocean Lodge is the perfect option!

Feel the forces of the ocean and experience idyllic island communities by RIB. The rules of the ocean apply out here, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy it. Or, rather not quite. The bracing weather of Western Norway means a RIB boat trip can be a really high-speed and intense experience.

Zen on the sea or along white sandy beaches

Embrace the feeling of peace to the sound of your kayak paddle stroking the water. Explore Sandve and the surrounding area from a SUP and paddle between islets and skerries. The water here is so crystal clear that you can look down at life on the seabed as you glide slowly above it.

There is a string of white sandy beaches on Karmøy, which are perfect for a picnic or a swim during summer when the sun emerges and the temperature starts climbing. The tenacious can of course channel their inner Viking and go for a swim all year round. You can also walk up to Ferkingstad from Åkrasanden beach, which makes for a lovely walk in a varied landscape.

If you head from the sea to the fjord, you can hire a canoe or kayak from Åkrafjorden Oppleving. Paddle between perpendicular mountains and discover idyllic spots along the fjord.

Enchanting view

Let yourself be seduced by the view from Himakånå, which is often referred to as Trolltunga Rock´s little sister. This walk is easier and more accessible, and the view is every bit as good! Bring some tasty snacks in your rucksack and do the one-hour walk to the top. You will be rewarded by panoramic views across the Nedstrandsfjord and surrounding area.

There are also great views from the mountains Steinsfjellet and Vardafjellet, which aren’t far from the centre of Haugesund. On fine days, you can see the whole city and across the sea to the islands Røvær and Utsira. You can drive almost all the way to the top of Steinsfjellet, where you can park and walk the last few metres to the viewpoint. This is also a great starting point for many great walks in the hills around the town.

Fantastic natural phenomena

You can discover small gems in Haugalandet; some that you may have known about for a while and others that you’ve only recently become aware of. The potholes in the Åkrafjord are among the largest in Northern Europe, and you can wander among them with a guide in spectacular surroundings. On Karmøy, or Ferkingstad to be specific, you can walk to the phenomenon Dueglåp, which has recently become a very popular photo stop. And a good tip is to go there when the sun is setting for a particularly spectacular experience.