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Karmøy in Norway Karmøy municipality coat of arms


229,5 km2

Karmøy Local Directory

Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Karmøy

Karmøy muncipality has approximately 41.000 inhabitants and covers a area of 229,5 km2. Karmøy is one of the largest islands in the archipelago off south-western Norway. It is forty kilometres long and is linked to the mainland by a bridge in the north and a ferry in the south. To the east you have Karmsundet and to the north runs Kongeveien where, for hundreds of years, seafarers have found a secure and sheltered haven. Inland, the island offers wild, hilly terrain forming foothills of the imposing mountains and breathtaking fjords of the mainland beyond. The vast part of the district is the large island of Karmøy, but it also includes the peninsula between Karmsund and Førdesfjord and several small islands. Karmøy muncipality best known places are Kopervik, Skudeneshavn, Skudenes, Stangaland, Torvastad, Åkra, and Avaldsnes. Avaldsnes was one of the major power centres of the Viking era, so now they have a big Viking festival there every summer.

The natural and cultural landscape is highly heterogeneous, encompassing chalk-white sands, moorland and several piers around the island. The landscape in the north is mainly agricultural, while large parts of the inland south are heather moors. The island has many white, sandy beaches facing the North Sea, attracting surfers as one of the top spots for windsurfing in Norway, the main such areas being Kopervik, Åkrehamn and Skudeneshavn. The south of Karmøy is a ideal countryside for a relaxing walk where you can appreciate the magnificent fauna and flora.


The Statue of Liberty originally called Liberty Enlightening the World symbolizing liberty in the form of a woman wearing flowing robes and a spiked crown of seven spokes (symbolizing the seven oceans and the seven continents) who holds a torch aloft in her right hand and carries in her left a book of law inscribed "July 4, 1776". The broken chains, symbolizing the overthrow of tyranny, lie at her feet.

Originally conceived as a gesture of international friendship, the statue has become global symbol of freedom. The giant sculpture, designed by the French sculptor Frèdèric Bartholdi, was given by France to the United States to commemoraten the centennial of US independence and Bartholdi´s intention was to honor the idea of liberty.

Historical records make no mention of the source of the copper used in The Statue of Liberty.

The solution to one of the Statue of Liberty´s last remaining mysteries, the source of her copper skin, has been found at the end of a trail that leads to 1 Commupaw Ave, Jersey City, New Jersey from a defunet copper mine on a Norwegian Island in the North Sea. It has been widely rumored that the copper used in the building of the Statue came from Visnes Coppermines at Karmøy, a small rocky island near Stavanger. Copper from the statue was analyzed, and it has now been confirmed that it was indeed extracted in Norway. The missing link in the history of the statue´s mystery is solved.


The copper at this site was first discovered in 1865. The mine was operated between 1866 and 1894. By 1895 the mine had been excavated to a depth of 732 meters under the sea level, and a total of 1,4 million tonnes of copper ore were extracted. Visnes was the site of one of the most active of the Norwegian copper mines. During the 1870s, it was the largest copper mine in Norway. Up to 70% of Norway´s copper export came from Visnes, which at that time was one of northern Europe´s largest mines. The mine is now protected by norwegian law as a historical site. This mine was in full operation throughout much of the latter half of the 19th century and was not fully closed until 1972. The copper mine has its own museum, Visnes Gruvemuseum.


Information about this and about the history of the mining community, which consisted of about 3000 inhabitants in the 1800s, can be obtained at the Mining Museum in Visnes. The Visnes Natural history Collection contains birds and animal species native to Karmøy. You can also study the fauna and flora of tbe area. Karmøy Heather Gardening Centre provides evidence of the significance of heather for the coastal population throughout history. It has a very wide range of uses and you can purchase trinkets, heather honey, or even the plant itself for your garden. Guided tours in Norwegian, English and German.


Haugesund Airport is also located on the island rather than in Haugesund proper. Karmøy is known for its industries, as well as for fishing. Among interested people Karmøy is also well known in Norway for the heather moors and the surfing beaches.


Kopervik is the "capital" of Karmøy, the largest town of the island and the administrative centre of the municipality of Karmøy. The City of Kopervik has approximately 8,500 inhabitants whilst the municipality as a whole has approximately 41.000 inhabitants. The main industries are aluminium smelting and fishing. The charming mixture of old and new buildings sids by side hold many surprises. A guidebook describings walk through the town can be purchased.

According to legend, King Sverre I of Norway ordered the construction of a wooden castle on the headland at the entrance to the harbour. A part of Kopervik is therefore called Treborg, literally meaning "wooden castle". There is however no evidence of its existence. Kopervik was also home to Tormod Torfæus, appointed as the official Royal Norwegian historian to the Danish king. Kopervik now contains many of Karmøy´s centre points, for example the council house, the cinema and the main shopping street.


A pearl in the West Located at the southernmost tip of Karmøy, where the lighthouses peer out ouer Skudefjord and the North Sea, lies the charming harbour and fishing village of Skudeneshavn. In the early nineteenth century, herring fishing led to rapid prosperity and the growth of the historically fascinating district called "gamlebyen" - the old town. Here, nearly an the 125 cottages and 100 wharf warehouses are carefully preserved, reflecting in every detail the attractive Empire style of the day.

Skudeneshavn is an extraordinary well-preserved village whose location and charming design has created a beautiful cultural landscape". It epitomises life in our coastal communities. Guided tour of the quaint historic districts in Skudeneshavn starting from the Tourist Information Office.


Skudefestivalen is an annual festival held during the first week of July in Skudeneshavn. It is the largest gathering of coastal culture in Western Norway with boats of all categories: vintage boats of all categories - old wooden boats, vintage boats, modern boats, sailing boats, tall ships. Craftsmen demonstrate handcrafts from olden days connected to sea and shipping. International and national artists entertain in the evenings.


Åkrahamn is a small town located on the west side. Nearby cities include Haugesund, Kopervik and Skudeneshavn. Since it declared town status, Åkra has blossomed and is now the largest town in the municipality of Karmøy. The good economy of Norway has brought capital and investments to Åkra, and in the last couple of years, the town has been expanded. Apartments and houses have been built and new fields of industry has been introduced. Traditionally Kopervik has been the "centre" of Karmøy, but the way that Åkra is growing, this seems to be changing. Åkrasanden with the sandy beaches is a public recreation area.


Avaldsnes bas been called Norway´s oldest capital as this was the seat of King Harald Fairhair after his conquest at the battle of Hafrsfjord. Today, Olav´s Church whose construction commenced in 1250, is the main monument relating to this great period of Norway's history. The church is also a symbol of the unification of Norway completed during the reign of King Håkon Håkonsson. But the history of Avaldsnes dates back thousands of years before the unification. Many stones and sagas are related to the bronze-age barrows and the stone monuments of the iron-age.

Future plans for Avaldsnes are that as many as possible shall become acquainted with our history. On Bukkøy near Avaldsnes a Viking Long-house bas been reconstructed and which is used as a camp for school children. You may visit it during the summer. The Viking Festival is an annual gala commencing the first complete week in June.


According to legend, Olav Trygvason had a church built at Avaldsnes, apparently as a manor chapel for the king’s residence. This would probably have been a quite small stave church. Construction of the present day church, St. Olav´s Church of Avaldsnes was started approximately 1250 AD, on the order of King Håkon Håkonsson. It was not completed until nearly 1320. Dedicated to St. Olav, it was one of the greatest Norwegian stone churches from the Middle Ages and it was one of only four the royal collegiate churches in Norway. The church was an important station of the Pilgrim´s Route to Nidaros which ran along the coast. Today it is the only one remaining. Open 01.06 - 31.08. Guided tours every hour.


Feøy is a small island and part of Karmøy. It has 33 permanent residents, as well as seasonal residents and visitors who rent vacation homes. The permanent residents who are not retired support themselves either through sheep farming, fishing or commuting to the mainland. There is regular ferry service between the Feøy, Røvær and Haugesund and most residents also own at least one private boat.

Feøy Brygge, a wharf that has been converted to a small meeting house and restaurant that caters meetings and parties. During World War II, the Germans occupied the small island with troops because the area was an organizing site for resistance workers moving between Norway and Britain.


Museet i Mælandsgården is situated in the middle of the old, well preserved part of Skudeneshavn. A town model shows what old Skudeneshavn looked like in 1918. Well equipped urban museum depicting the atmosphere of the merchant´s reeidence, the general store, seahouse, old workshops and other artifacts of the period.


Located in an old herring salting factory in Åkrehamn, is fully restored to its former glory and housing new exhibitions about the history of this vibrant coastal community. This museum also richly depicts the contact enjoyed between Karmøy and North America. Open: 20.05 - 20.08. Additional opening every Sunday in September.


Karmøy Fiskerimuseum which opened in 1999, presents the history of fishing in the region of Karmøy from the 1950s up to the present day. In addition to the main exhibitions there are salt-water aquariums showing the most common types of fish in the area. The Karmøy Fishery Museum is housed in a new building by the sea with unique architecture at Vedavågen. Open 20.05 - 20.08.


At Ferkingstad remains of the large boat houses erected by King Ferkings, dating from the Iron Age. Information board. A marked heritage traiI and nature path goes from Hop to Åkrehamn.


Five stons monuments under Karmsund bridge. It is thought that the stones originally functioned as a calender system. Information board.


At , six large Bronze Age buriel mounds in a row on the drumlins at Reheia. Information board.


The Three stone monuments now located at the Cultural Centre in Åkrehamn were previously located in the old Åkra farm and are believed to have marked the meeting site of the elders.


Fishing settlement at Solhålå, Vedavagen. A group of old seahouses and a boat house dipicting the environment of the herring fisheries in the 19th century. The buildings are open to the public. No guided tours.


A marked nature and heritage trail from Ferkingstad to Åkrasanden. A small guidebook may be purchased at the Tourist Information Office.


Vikinggarden is part of the Nordvegen History Centre, located close to Avaldsnes. The building and use of the farm is an ongoing experimental archaeological research and interpretation programme. The farm includes reconstructed houses. Experience what life was like in Viking times.


The company was established to take advantage of the hydro-electric power plants in the respective villages to create aluminum plants. Hydro is the fourth largest integrated aluminium company world wide. In Norway Hydro has plants in Rjukan, Raufoss, Vennesla, Karmøy, Høyanger, Årdal, Sunndalsøra, Holmestrand and Magnor.


Geitungen Lighthouse stands regally like a proud beacon on the summit of South Geitungen island, due west from Skudeneshavn. It is possible to take an evening trip to the island with the MS Skudeholm. Every monday between 13 June 18 August.


lf you are interested in windsurfing then Åkrasanden is the place to be. Enthusiasts gather here to test their skills against the white-crested waves all year round. Equipment is readily available for hire. You can take an exhilarating dive to look for old shipwrecks or haue a close encounter with our own variant of the dolphin, Flipper, one of our year-round residents. It is possibly not as cold here as you might think!


Facing the North Sea Karmøy boasts a wealth of fine, sandy beaches as well as coves and creeks hewn out by the perpetual motion of the thunderous rollers. On a sunny day nothing is perhaps quite so enjoyable as a day on one of our louely beaches. Sandvesanden near Skudeneshavn and Åkrasanden further west offer white sands and crystal clean water.


Enjoy the rugged coastline, the invigorating sea air and the secluded coves. On Karmøy you´re never far from the sea. Sea-fishing is unrivalled here. Try your luck casting the line from the rocky foreshore. A day at sea is an unforgettable experience, fishing either from a smack or a cutter - a bite is virtually guaranteed. Should the sea be too tempestuous then one of the many lakes on Karmøy will offer trout, eel and pike.

Karmøy has rich fishing traditions which are preserved to this day. The herring fisheries of the previous century provided the basis for many settlements on the island. A large fishing fleet with state of the art equipment participated in the hunt for the silver of the seas. The fishery museums on the island cover the history and growth of the industry.


Karmøy Golfclub is a golf course with 9 holes and a variation of difficulties. The driving range is open for all players, but due to capacity control the greens and short game areas are reserved for the club members and their guests.