Haugesund is a young and vibrant town with roots dating back to Viking times. It was the Viking, Harald the Fair-haired, who united Norway as a kingdom. To commemorate his achievement, Norway’s national monumnet, Haraldshaugen, was erected just north of Haugesund. As with the Vikings, seafaring and trade symbolises this coastal region. It was the plentiful shoals of herring along the rugged coastline that led to the development of Haugesund as an important hub for fish export and late as Norway’s leading shipbuilding centre. Today, Haugesund is one of Norway’s most popular congress and festival towns. First class hotels and restaurants combined with a town-centre hosting several hundred shops and a diverse cultural life that caters for the most demanding tastes creates a thriving dynamic region. For pleasure boats, Haugesund is a popular guest harbour where it is possible to sail right into the heart of the town, while at the same time it is only a few minutes from the wild and scenic Haugalandet countryside.