A holiday in Stord – with outdoor activities and industrial history
Stord Island itself, with the town of Fitjar at its northern point, was an important part of Norwegian mediaeval history, and the area has ancient monuments which date back to the late Bronze Age. The current Stord Church (Stord kirke) was completed in 1857, on the site where a mediaeval church has stood ever since the 1300s. Inside the church, you can still see the altar and embellishments preserved from the 1600s and 1700s.
Pyrite was mined for more than a hundred years on the island and during your trip to Stord, you can visit the mine, museum and a worker’s house which has been set up and furnished with its original inventory, located in a wonderful park. Guided tours are available to book. At the Sunnhordlandstunet Farm Cluster, you will get to see various exhibitions from all the way back to the Stone Age, with much emphasis placed on agriculture and fishing from around the year 1900. There is also a maritime museum in Stord which is constantly being expanded. At Huglo, you can book a visit to the Omnshuset house, which has a collection of cast iron stoves from the middle of the 1800s to World War II.
For outdoor enthusiasts who want to be active, there are hiking trails, swimming opportunities and fishing spots on the island. You can for example take the children along for a walk along the Adventure Road (Eventyrvegen), where you will find small exhibitions of well-known characters from folklore. Go up to the top of Kattnakken Mountain for a great view all the way to the Hardangerfjord, or visit the nature reserve in Hystadmarkjo, where you will get to see rare blackthorns and beautiful flora and fauna.
If you come to Stord for a weekend getaway, you will not find a busy nightlife, but many lovely restaurants and cafés, which are mostly located in Leirvik town centre. Leirvik also has a culture house with exhibitions, cinema, concerts and shows. Several shopping centres can be found on the islands, housing both big chain retailers and independent quirky shops.
With the help of the Trekantsambandet bridge, tunnel and road network, it is easy to get to Stord and the surrounding islands, and quick ferries and express buses also come here from Bergen and Stavanger. Stord has its own local airport with several departures to Oslo every day. If you come to Leirvik by boat, you will be greeted by the 16-metre high Storddøra sculpture. There are also several guest harbours in the area.