Holiday Week 10: Karmøy

Olavskirken in Avaldsnes

On my last day of holiday, we were going home, but on our way home we did some sightseeing on the island of Karmøy. An island next to Haugesund where we had spent the weekend. We drove over the bridge and headed for our first stop called Avaldsnes.

A monument overlooking the church and the sea

Avaldsnes is a village on Karmøy. King Harald Fairhair chose Avaldsnes for his main royal estate in about 870 making it the oldest royal seat in Norway. According to legend, Olav Trygvaldson built Avaldsnes Church, probably as a manor chapel for the king’s residence. This would most likely have been quite a small stave church. Construction of the present day church, called Olavskirken or in English “St. Olav’s Church of Avaldsnes” was started around 1250 AD, on the order of King Håkon Håkonsson. It was not completed until nearly 1320. Dedicated to St. Olav, it is one of the greatest Norwegian stone churches from the Middle Ages. We went out to have a look at the church and the surrounding areas.

A street in Kopervik

After we had been to Avaldsnes we drove to Kopervik, the larges town on Karmøy. Here we had a wander around the streets, that was quite empty on a Sunday before noon. But we did find place to go eat later on before heading home. Kopervik is a transportation hub for boats going to Stavanger and Bergen and it’s main industries are aluminium smelting and fishing. I spent a week around Kopervik some years ago helping to run a band camp for kids.

A big ant in a playground in Kopervik

The island of Karmøy has three towns on it. One of them is Årkrehamn. It got it’s town status in 2002. And is very close to the two other towns on Karmøy and to Haugesund. Payed a short visit to Åkrehamn as while we were there as I had not been there since I was a lot younger and was there for a handball tournament.

Åkrasanden on a rainy day

The weather we had in the beginning of the day was grey and just a little bit of rain, but when we got to Åkrehamn it started to pour down, this was a bit unfortunate because one of the nicest spots nearby is Åkrasanden, a wonderful sandy beach that would have been a lovely place to stroll. But now we just had to hurry back to the car if did not want to get to wet. Åkrasanden was voted Norway’s most beautiful beach several times and it has a blue flag, showing it is environmentally certified.

A lovely beach

Hope all of you are having a lovely Friday.

6 thoughts on “Holiday Week 10: Karmøy

  1. Such a cool name, King Harald, Fairhair. In I were a king, I guess, I would be called King Allan Nohair. In our area, we have a highway called the Yellowhead, named after a French explorer whose nickname was Tete Jaune…..quite literally Yellowhead, because of his blond hair. The good old days. Enjoy the weekend. Allan

    1. Hehe, it is. He got his name from the fact that he wowed not to cut his hair before he had gathered Norway in to one kingdom. He made it, but it took some time and his hair grew quite long… oh the Viking kings….

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