Haugesund is a young town, populated since 1271 but with roots dating back to Viking times. It developed as a herring trade centre in the 1800s and later as a leader in ship building. The town hosts several festivals each year, with good hotels, restaurants and shops. Smedasund is the harbour that runs through the centre of the town which fills with visiting pleasure boats, as well as the usual activity of fast ferries and working boats.
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Haraldshaugen is the national monument to Harald the fair-haired who united Norway as a kingdom in 872 and became Norway's first king. The monument was erected at his grave site, just north of the town centre, in 1872 to celebrate the 1000 year anniversary. Nearby is Krosshaugen, a stone cross dating from early Christian times.
There are covered and car-free shopping centres, boat trips and the art gallery is one of the finest in Norway.
Every August Haugesund hosts its annual Sildajazz (herrings and jazz!) festival. The guest harbour is full and the longest herring table is laid out in the pedestrian street. Also in August Hollywood comes to Haugesund, with the Norwegian International Film Festival.
In June the Viking festival takes place on the island of Karmøy.
There are many special events and festivals in the Haugesund area - and throughout the region.
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The surrounding countryside of Haugalandet has many beautiful hiking areas and places of interest, with the Hardanger Fjord area to the north east and the island of Karmoy - Avaldsnes with viking history and church and including Gamle Skudeneshavn old wooden town - to the south west.
There are ferries from Denmark and England and Haugesund airport is on Karmoy.
Hotel booking in the Haugesund area
Restaurants in the Haugesund area
Trips out in the Haugesund area
Information on the Haugesund region
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