Discovering the First Viking Settlements
In Karmsundet cove nestled in the Norwegian forests stands an ancient Viking settlement founded by King Harald Fairhair: Haugesund.
Your MSC cruise will let you discover this hidden gem: starting off as a small village, over time, it became an urban area of great commercial interest. The rose-colored town hall building is characteristic of the area, one of the best examples of Neo-classical buildings in Norway and voted the most beautiful palace in Haugesund. It was designed by architects Gudolf Blakstad and Herman Munthe-Kaas in the 20th century.
This city is the perfect place for those who love unspoiled nature as the entire area is full of trails leading through the woods. The Djupadalen recreation area, for example, is located near the center of Haugesund and is the best place to go hiking all year round. In summer, you can swim at Eivindsvannet, a small, charming lake also ideal for taking a walk, a picnic in the open air or simply spending the day in total relaxation. Beautiful, natural and stimulating, this is a wonderful place to stretch your legs.
To enjoy the view of the city and the North Sea, you can also visit Steinsfjellet, only a short distance away from Haugesund. On clear days, you can admire beautiful views that stretch around it for miles. Steinsfjellet is not only a mountain, but also a delightful recreational place for long walks and diving into Norwegian nature.
To get to know the history and culture of Haugesund, however, there is nothing better than a visit to the Nordvegen History Center where you can find information on the sovereigns who controlled the coast of Norway from Avaldsnes, 10 km further south. Some of these kings are known of because they are immortalized in ancient Norwegian epics and songs, while others have been identified thanks to archaeology. At the Nordvegen History Center, their story is told using tools of our time; it is a grandiose, informative place, but also a bit magical giving visitors a glimpse of the world of northern divinities, letting them meet witches and ancient Viking warriors.