The lovely port town of Haugesund is known as the birthplace of Norway, crowned as such by Viking King Harald Fairhair in the 9th century. Today it’s one of Norway’s principal culture centers, hosting the Norwegian International Film Festival as well as a jazz festival every summer.
The fascinating Viking past of Haugesund comes alive at the Norwegian History Center where re-creations take place on a 7th century Viking farm. And the descendants of renowned Viking ship builders recently completed an exact sailing replica of a dragon ship. If it’s in town, go aboard. Life on the farm was hard; on the sea, unimaginable - no wonder Vikings were so fierce.
Ferries travel to the stunning island of Røvær, where you can walk around the beautiful coves where Vikings once lived. And to Utsira, where there’s a wilder coastal walk with over 300 birds for birders to spot. One last must-see is the Langfoss Waterfall, which CNN rates as one of the most majestic in the world. From a distance it looks like a bridal veil. It is stunning.
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