A trip around the island of Karmøy reveals an astonishing range of things to do. Karmøy has an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage. Here are just a few tips.
The Museum in Mælandsgården located in historic Skudeneshavn is just the place for rich servings of local history in authentic surroundings. You are welcome to a theatrical walking tour every Sunday during July. Follow 18th century figures on an exciting trip through the history of the town. Meeting point: Mælandsgården Museum at 13:00. 100 NOK.
For guided tour booking please contact Skudeneshavn Tourist Information located in the marketplace, Torget. T: 52 85 80 00 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rich heritage of Avaldsnes is a bountiful treasure house of ideas for historical events at Avaldsnes. Groups can book Viking suppers, enjoy historical re-enactments or listen to intimate concerts in St Olav’s Church. T: +47 52 81 24 00, www.opplevavaldsnes.no.
Join us on the westside of Karmøy and get a close encounter with the elements, either good or bad weather! Surfing with kayaks or swimming in roaring waves, Oppkoma can offer different activities depending of your wishes. www.oppkoma.no.
Experience Karmøy and Haugalandet with Fiordos Noruega, our local guide company. They can bring you on activity-filled trips throughout the region but with focus on Karmøy: Fishing trips, old town walking trips of Skudeneshavn, local cuisine, exciting history, and hidden natural beauty spots. www.fiordosnoruega.com. Tel.: 93 87 85 90
Did you know that the copper for the Statue of Liberty in New York was mined in Karmøy? The Visnes Mine Museum tells the story of this unusual mining community, which counted 3000 inhabitants in the 1800s. Visitors can walk through Director Charles de France’s garden – Fransahagen – and explore the remains of the water-side smelting works and the Director’s favourite riding trails.
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This World-War II defence installation was used during the Occupation to watch over and control important shipping lanes. The fort was operational from 1943 and is equipped with five 12.2 cm guns.
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Six large Bronze Age burial mounds in a row decorate the ridge at Reheia. Known as the Pyramids of the North, they are reckoned as some of the finest graves of the Norwegian Bronze Age. The largest, known as “Prince’s Mound”, contained something as rare as a golden bracelet. The general area has also earned the title of “Blood Moor” ever since Håkon the Good and the sons of Eirik Blood Axe held their showdown battle here.
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The foundations of these large buildings can be seen on the Iron Age King Ferking Farm. Today you can still see remnants of a boat slip, boat landing and a large boathouse.
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This memorial was erected in remembrance of the fishermen of Karmøy lost at sea in American waters.
Follow the marked Scenic Heritage Path to Åkrehamn.
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Follow in the footprints of the ancient kings through the historic landscape at Avaldsnes. Bukkøy island features many reconstructed Viking buildings. In summer the longhouse, fire house and roundhouse are open to visitors, and you can discover how Vikings lived and worked. Tours. T: +47 52 81 24 00, www.opplevavaldsnes.no
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Situated in an area steeped in history, most of the 1800 square metre complex is below ground to preserve unhindered views of the church and manicured surroundings. Features Viking history. T: +47 52 81 24 00, www.opplevavaldsnes.no
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Founded by Haakon Haakonsen in about 1250 AD, St Olav’s is one of five royal collegiate churches still standing. The church is a powerful memorial to former greatness. Guided tours of the area in summer. T: +47 52 81 24 00.
Virgin Mary’s Sewing Needle, Avaldsnes
This tall stone, close to the north wall of St Olav’s, is 7.2 metres and thus one of Norway’s tallest. Most likely it was originally even taller. Throughout history, priests have surreptitiously knocked pieces off the point of needle, because, according to the Sagas, Doomsday will be upon us if it ever touches the church wall!is said to signify that the Day of Judgement will come when the point finally touches the church wall. The gap is currently 9.2 cm …
St. Olav’s Spring, Torvastad
Several St. Olav Springs can be found along pilgrim routes in Norway. It is said that the water from these springs has a healing effect. St. Olav’s Church at Avaldsnes formed a Natural stopping point for pilgrims along the route to the burial place of St. Olav in Nidaros. Many people also went to St. Olav’s Spring, which it was said could cure eye diseases. St. Olav’s Spring never dries up.
Skudeneshavn is a still-thriving, real-life 19th Century clipper town. A walk down Søragadå immerses you in all the charm of the Empire style homes and cottages of “South Street”.
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Standing guard on the outer harbour basin, the “Kid Light” is the place to experience the open sea breaking onto the rocks. Next stop due west is the United Kingdom. A spectacular holiday memory in calm and storm.
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Experience the power of the sea at all seasons! Despite being more or less in the middle of the harbour at Skudeneshavn, visitors to the light get the feeling of being far out on the coast. Glacier-smoothed rocks and sheltered bays catch your eye. Foundations of ancient houses abound, and in earlier times the island was home to more than 30 people. Passing boats seem to be within arm’s reach.
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The Five Sorry Maidens, Norheim
Five standing stones beneath the high arch of the Karmsund Bridge. The Maidens may originally have formed a primitive calendar. This is a star-shaped burial mound dating from about 300 AD. Within the stones a bronze jar was found containing incinerated human bones and bear’s claws.
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