Last Saturday, I woke up to the first layer of snow and ice on the ground here in Stavanger - or so I thought. Turns out it really was just a lot of hail - so typical! Anyway, we had planned to spend the day at the Christmas market in Haugesund and even though it wasn't actual snow, the white layer on the ground totally helped get me into the festive mood!
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Haugesund is a fishing town situated halfway between Bergen and Stavanger, close to the island of Karmøy, in Rogaland county of Norway. It's just 2-hour drive from here, making it the perfect place for a day trip!
The town itself is super charming. Very similar to Stavanger when it comes to architecture, weather and views, but without all the crowds.
The town only has 37,000 inhabitants but there's actually quite a bit to see and do. You can, for instance, visit the open air museum Dokken (which to our disappointment is only open during summer, although you can still visit and look at the old buildings from the outside), or the viewpoint at Haraldshaugen.
We didn't actually prepare our day in Haugesund thoroughly. We knew we wanted to go to the Christmas market, and we also knew about Dokken and Haraldshaugen but otherwise, we planned to just take it slow.
In the end, we didn't even make it to the viewpoint at Haraldshaugen either as it was hailing literally every half an hour, but we had such a lovely time in the town nonetheless!
I definitely want to go back in the summer and stay for an entire weekend!
Quick facts about Haugesund
You can get there by bus from Stavanger and Bergen (by Kystbussen) or from Oslo
No need for a car if you just want to explore the town itself - it's a 10-minute walk to Dokken and a 30-minute walk to Haraldshaugen from the centre of town - but I'd recommend one if you'd like to venture outside the town and explore more of Karmøy municipality
You could stay at Scandic Maritim which has the loveliest view of the harbour and a super cosy cafe in-house (Cafe Rene)
We went for dinner at Egon as that's one of our favourite chains in Norway but they also have other Italian (for example Il Forno) and a Mexican restaurant (Los Tacos) downtown
As I said, our main reason for visiting Haugesund was to check out the Christmas market. I'd never been to a Norwegian Christmas market before, but the one in Haugesund really turned out like the definition of Scandinavian hygge.
It was really small and cosy with lots of good food and local handicraft on sale.
See it for yourself in my Vlogmas video (the 1st of 4!) on my YouTube channel:
n the spirit of Christmas, I'm going to host 4 giveaways, each accompanying my Vlogmas video every Sunday during the advent season! 3 lucky winners have the chance to win a Norwegian Christmas surprise package, consisting of a little something from my summer trip to Svalbard and, of course, Norwegian Christmas candy, while the 4th winner on Dec 24th has the chance to receive a free copy of my guidebook to Tromsø in addition!
You can participate through the Rafflecopter below. Each task will give you points, so the more points you gather, the higher your chances of winning are - BUT you're free to choose whatever entry you like to do, of course!
Entries are open for a week, so make sure to check back here to see if you've won - or enter for a new chance to win in the next Vlogmas post!! Terms and conditions apply.
Where do you love to travel during the festive season?
Leave a comment below!