Stavanger – a wealth of activities for young and old

Stavanger – a wealth of activities for young and old

Stavanger in south–western Norway – just a night's sail from Denmark – offers plenty of exciting experiences for all ages.

A whole string of natural gems

The area around Stavanger is full of unique natural gems. Take a fjord cruise into Lysefjorden or hike to Preikestolen and Kjerag – or visit Månafossen, the largest waterfall in the Rogaland region with a free fall of 92 metres. The sight of the waterfall flowing out of the cliff and into the lake is like something out of a fairytale and is definitely worth the hike there.

For a unique natural experience, head to the Gloppedalsura scree– an area of huge avalanche boulders that have been piled up on an endemic moraine by the forces of nature during the Ice Age. Some of the boulders are as big as houses – an impressive sight on the shores of the mountain lake Gloppedalsvatnet.

But the Stavanger area offers more than just beautiful fjords, majestic mountains, glaciers and impressive waterfalls. This is also where you'll find some of Norway's longest and best sandy beaches. In fact, Solastranden just southwest of Stavanger was named the world's sixth best beach by The Sunday Times in 2004. From relaxing sunbathing and refreshing swims to action–packed surfing and kitesurfing, there's plenty to do on the beach.

Museums within walking distance

If your holiday is to include cultural experiences of a special kind, Stavanger offers a wide choice. In Stavanger city centre, a wide range of museums and cultural experiences are within walking distance of each other. Discover for example. Norwegian Oil Museum – an exciting and educational experience for all ages – Stavanger Art Museum or the Norwegian Children's Museum.

Stavanger is also home to the Broken Column sculpture project by British artist Antony Gormley, which consists of 23 cast–iron figures placed around the city. A visit to Stavanger should also include an excursion to the work "The Sword in the Mountain". The three impressive bronze swords on the shore of Hafrsfjord are a reminder of the Viking battle in 872 AD and combines the history of the place with contemporary art.

Traces of the past

History is also evident elsewhere in Stavanger. The Old Stavanger district consists of 173 wooden houses built around 1800. Take the family on a cosy and atmospheric walk back in time among the small, white–painted houses and visit the galleries and craft workshops, which exude the area's unique atmosphere.

You can go even further back in history if you visit the island of Austre Åmøy just north of Stavanger city. Here are several areas with petroglyphs made 2–3,000 years ago. The area counts a total of around 1,000 figures over a distance of 1 km.

Stavanger for the kids

The Stavanger area also offers a range of exciting experiences for children. The Kongeparken theme park is a sure hit: it's the largest theme park in the West of the country and the area's most visited attraction. Here, the family can indulge in more than 50 experiences and activities, ranging from the Chocolate Factory, where you can make your own chocolate, to the speed and excitement of Norway's longest bobsled run, Norway's largest carousel and Norway's highest carousel.

The Science Factory in Sandnes, around 15 km from Stavanger, is an exciting journey into science and technology. Here, children of all ages can take part in games, competitions and experiments or visit the planetarium and take a closer look at the constellations and planets. The Science Factory is part of the Jär Museum, which has a total of thirteen exciting museum units in the area near Stavanger, where you can experience science, technology, aviation history, war history, agricultural history – and much, much more! In 2009 the museum was awarded the Museum of the Year in Norway.

Accommodation at the new Thon Hotel Stavanger

In Stavanger, you can look forward to staying at Thon Hotel Stavanger, which gets top marks from its guests on TripAdvisor – both for the exquisite breakfast and for the superb service provided by the staff.

Your guide to a great holiday in Stavanger

Below you can read more about things to do, see and do in Stavanger and find inspiration for your holiday in our travel articles about the area.