Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The vast part of the district is the large island Karmøy, but it also includes the peninsula between Karmsund and Førdesfjord and several small islands.
The natural and cultural landscape is highly heterogenous, 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. Towns are for the most part located along the coast. The island have many white, sandy beaches facing the North Sea, attracting surfers as one of the top spots for windsurfing in Norway.
Main towns are Kopervik, Åkrehamn and Skudeneshavn. The airport of Haugesund is also located on the island. Karmøy is known for its industries, as well as for fishing. Among interested people Karmøy is also well known in Norway for the heathermoors and the surfing beaches.
There are several finds from stone age, the bronze age and the iron age. Karmøy was known for sailing in the old times. The skaldic poem Grimnismál says that Thor, the weather god, wades the straits at Karmsund every morning on his way to Yggdrasil, the tree of life. The ocean outside Karmøy is dangerous, filled with underwater currents and rocks. Thus the ships were forced into the narrow Karmsund. Chieftains and kings controlled the ships passing up and down the coast and demanded taxes.
On the northeastern coast of the island is the place Avaldsnes located. The legendary king Augvald who has given his name to this ancient site is mentioned as having his home here. Here was later the residence of Harald Fairhair and other kings mentioned in the Norse sagas. Here is also a medieval church, the St. Olav´s church of Avaldsnes.
Close to Avaldsnes is also the museum known as The Viking Farm. The building and use of the farm is an ongoing experimental archaeological research and interpretation programme. The farm includes reconstructed houses.
- Tourist information - from Karmøy kommune (in english)
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