Nordvegen History Centre and Viking Settlement

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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.

Discover excursions in Haugesund


    The magic of the northern lights
    The magic of the northern lights

    A holiday in Norway is a dream. A dream along a fjord, the most evocative and characteristic natural formation of this land.

    The Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord are listed as part of UNESCOs World Heritage Sites, but it's also worth mentioning the longest of all the Fjords, the 204 km long Sognefjordas well as the Hardangerfjord where cherry and apple blossoms can be seen on the cliff-side during spring.

    But a Northern Europe MSC cruise also means experiencing the spectacular beauty of the Northern lights; while those of you who travel in the summer can admire the spectacular midnight sun, once north of the Arctic Circle. A cruise to Norway also means discovering the culture of two ancient populations: the Vikings, not just pirates and warriors, but merchants, explorers and colonisers who, for over three hundred years until the 11th century governed Scandinavia and the northern Atlantic: and then, the Samis, the natives of these lands, dressed in multicoloured clothes with immense herds of reindeer, who have lived in the deep North for more than 10,000 years.

    Finally, watch out for the Trolls! Many of the places you will visit are named after these legendary creatures: Trollheimen, Trollstigen (with the spectacular Troll’s path), Trollhatten and Trollveggen.