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Karmøy

Oppdatert: 23. feb.

Living history, authentic coastal culture, dramatic ocean and silky sand beaches.



Experiences


Avaldsnes - Norway`s oldest royal seat

Walk in the footsteps of Harald Fairhair who united Norway into one kingdom! St Olav’s Church, Nordvegen History Centre and the Viking Farm invite you to delve into the history of the area. Here, princes, kings and Vikings will be your guides. There are majestic views from the church and the history centre of Karmsundet sound, known through history as Nordvegen – the way to the North – from which the name Norway is derived.


Our rich cultural heritage provides a basis for exciting events at Avaldsnes. Historical Viking feasts, engaging storytelling and intimate Church concerts. Travel back in time to a Viking farm, go on a pilgrimage walk and see the medieval ruins of a royal estate.



Avaldsnes is one of the stops along the fjord pilgrim route to Nidaros. This Medieval church was built during the reign of King Håkon Håkonsson around 1250, and is dedicated to St. Olav. It was built on a heathen cult site, surrounded by memorial stones. Norway’s second biggest memorial stone at 7.2 metres, ‘the Virgin Mary’s needle’, stands on the north side of the church. It was probably quite a bit taller at one time. Over the ages, priests have chopped bits off the top, because, according to legend, the day on which the top of the ‘needle’ touches the church wall will be Judgement Day. The distance between the stone and the church is now 9.2 cm...


At Nordvegen History Centre, Harald Fairhair is your guide through 3,500 years of history and the story of Avaldsnes as a meeting place between Norway and Europe.

At the Viking Farm, you can learn about our forefathers’ building techniques and how the Vikings lived. During summer, you will meet Viking warriors and their wives, and you can take part in challenging Viking activities. Western Norway’s biggest Viking festival is held here every year in June!


Skudeneshavn - the white empire town. At the very southern tip of Karmøy lies idyllic Skudeneshavn. The history of the town goes back to the early 19th century, when herring fisheries made it a bustling hive of industry and what we today know as the ‘Old Town’ emerged.There is a particularly pleasant atmosphere in Skudeneshavn. You can wander around and enjoy the peace and quiet among beautifully maintained wooden houses and blossoming gardens, taste fresh waffles and coffee in one of the cosy cafés, buy antiques and other gems, have fun at a lively festival, and explore great walking terrain, beaches and the archipelago, or take a refreshing dip in the sea after a visit to Bade-Olena Sauna.Skudeneshavn’s tall ship fleet brought cultural impulses from many corners of the world. Old Skudeneshavn is often called ‘the white Empire town’. It is fascinating to see ornamentation from the stone temples of Antiquity reproduced on these small wooden houses. The cultural environment is listed, and it is one of Norway’s best preserved coastal town environments. Experience new things with the app ‘Tilbakeblikk’ and experience characters and stories from the town’s golden age – as if they were taking place in front of your very eyes! You can watch actors playing out the roles on an interesting town walk with a theatrical every Saturay in July. Skudeneshavn museum also provides a good insight into the town’s history. Visit Skudeneshavn Museum for a glimpse into the town’s history.



Sea and land. BLUE FLAG, SILKY SAND BEACHES Sandvesanden beach near Skudeneshavn and Åkrasanden beach further north have inviting white sand and pure, clear water. The beaches on Karmøy are popular all year round. There is a culture and nature trail along the shore between Åkrehamn and Ferkingstad. There are traces back to the Viking Age here, with memorial stones symbolising King Augvald’s daughters, ‘Skjoldmøyane’, and the remains of boathouses from the reign of the sea king, King Ferking. A ‘Fisherman’s Memorial’ has been erected past charming Ferkingstad.


There are an abundance of nature-based activities on Karmøy. Beautiful sandy beaches, surfing waves, waymarked walking trails in varied terrain and opportunities for trips out to sea. Enjoy the elements up close – in all kinds of weathers! Walking and fishing maps, bike and boat hire, padle and fishing:


Industrial and war history. THE SUCCESSFUL COPPER INDUSTRY, FISHERIES AND WAR HISTORY Did you know that the Statue of Liberty in New York is made from copper from Karmøy? The copper works at Visnes were the biggest and most modern in Northern Europe in their day. At Visnes, you can learn about the exciting industrial history of this hectic mining town which was the biggest employer in Norway in the 19th century. There is a nice nature and play area there with a museum that is open in summer.


Åkrahamn coastel museum and Karmøy fishery museum tell the story of Karmøy’s past as an important fishery hub. The wharfside warehouse at Åkra is one of the few herring salteries that is still intact. It houses interesting exhibitions about the contact between Western Karmøy and America.

Karmøy Fishery Museum shows the development of the fishing industry after the introduction of the engine. This landmark building is an architectural gem set in the beautiful landscape of Veadavågen. The museum was designed by the renowned architecture firm Snøhetta, which has also designed major landmarks such as the Oslo Opera House. Open in summer.


Syreneset Fort is located 3.8 km from Skudeneshavn, and it is an impressive sight commanding views over the sea. From here, the occupation forces had a panorama view and could control all shipping traffic during World War II. The fort was in operation from 1943 and had five cannon emplacements. Waymarked trail, 30-minute walk there and back.



Family fun.

Try Vikinghunt or the exciting activities ‘Viking for a day’ and ‘Archaeologist for a day’ at Nordvegen History Centre. Dress up like a Viking and get a sense of what life was like during the Viking Age, and take part in activities that show what it is like to work as an archaeologist.

 

You can have a great time in Torvastad, both at Haugaland Zoo and at Minogolfen Familiepark –   Europe’s largest mini-golf course, with lots of fun indoor and outdoor themed courses. Bring your Frisbee for a round of frisbee golf with friends and family at Karmøy’s disc golf courses; Blikshavn campsite and the forest trails in Liarlund!

 

The farm at Snurrevarden is well worth a visit.

 

‘Eventyrjakten’ is an activity treasure hunt for the adventurous who visit Skudeneshavn, Åkrehamn, Visnes or Kopervik.

 

Download the app ‘Tilbakeblikk’ for a digital journey back in time! Explore Karmøy and meet people and scenes that provide insight into different eras, historical events and the origins of myths.

 

There is lots to explore for children and adults alike on Karmøy - welcome! See www.visitkarmoy.no


What’s on

APRIL / MAY

Karmøygeddon Metal Festival Kopervik offers an exciting mix of genre, from classic metal to authentic Norwegian black metal. www.karmoygeddon.no

 

JUNE

On historical ground at Avaldsnes, you can take part in the biggest Viking festival in Western Norway the first full week in June. Come and experience how the Vikings lived and visit a Viking market. See a blacksmith at work and Vikings in combat, listen to Viking music and Viking sagas, or try various activities, such as archery and juggling! www.vikingfestivalen.no

 

Beach Party. A beach party is held to mark the opening of the Blue Flag certified beaches season. Family activities such as kayaking, bouldering, juggling, kite workshops and sandcastle competitions at the beaches Åkrasanden and Sandvesanden. The first Sunday in June.

 

JULY

Skudefestivalen. Western Norway’s biggest coastal culture event featuring all kinds of boats – wooden boats, pleasure craft and sailing ships. There are many art exhibitions. There is entertainment during the day and in the evening - by local and international artists.www.skudefestivalen.no

 

August

Fiskeridagene (fishery days), Åkrehamn. A festival where fishing is the main focus. Exciting deep sea fishing competition, delicious food, funfair, stalls and entertainment for both children and adults. First weekend i August. www.fiskeridagene.no

 

September

Visnes Fair Traditional activities for children and adults alike in Fransahagen. Market fair with concert, actors bring history to life. activities for children, and traditional market day with sales exhibitions, arts and crafts and locally produced food.

 

November

Skudeneshavn Internasjonale Litteratur and Culture Festival (SILK) spreads the joy of reading by hosting cultural experiences in the many exciting venues in Skudeneshavn. www.silkfestival.no



Tourist information Nordvegen Historiesenter 4262 Avaldsnes Tel. +47 52 81 24 00 post@opplevavaldsnes.no Karmøy rådhus 4250 Kopervik, Tel. +47 52 85 75 00 servicetorg@karmoy.kommune.no Skudeneshavn Torget. Tel. +47 52 85 80 00 turist@karmoy.kommune.no Oasen Storsenter Norheim. Tel. +47 52 83 10 89 informasjonen.oasen@olavthon.no Opening hours: www.visitkarmoy.no


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