The island community of Utsira
West of Haugesund, right out in open ocean, is one of Norway's smallest municipalities in terms of population size: Utsira. The island may be small, but the hospitality is enormous and the experiences many: delicious seafood, street art and Utsira lighthouse are just some of the things you can experience on Utsira.
Experiences at Utsira
It is perfectly possible to explore Utsira on foot, but it's also a great place to bring your bike. It's also possible to rent bicycles once you arrive on the island. Take time to explore the island’s wild and beautiful nature, and a trip to the day trip cabin Vindballhytta is also recommended.
Perhaps the most well-known attraction on the island is Utsira lighthouse. Standing 65 meters above sea level, the lighthouse has the highest focal height of all the lighthouses in Norway. The lighthouses on Utsira are the only remaining twin lighthouses in Norway, although only one of the lighthouses is still in operation today. It really is quite magical to watch the lighthouse illuminate when darkness descends.
Utsira is also known for its street art, and large and small artworks by artists from all over the world can be seen around the island. Each year, a new artist is invited to Utsira to make his or her mark on the island. You may not have been on a hunt for street art before, but it's definitely worth doing when you visit Utsira.
Did you know that Utsira is a mecca for birdwatchers? Every year, bird enthusiasts are drawn to the island to experience both old and new species. There has been more species of birds observed on the island than it has permanent residents. The best time for birdwatching on the island is 15 April–15 May, and 1 September–1 November.
Accommodation on Utsira
To really get a feeling for life on the island, the locals say you need to spend at least one night there. There are numerous accommodation options on Utsira. You can stay on the lighthouse grounds, rent an apartment at Bølgen or Sildaloftet, or stay at the Norwegian Trekking Association's cabin Nordvikgården. If you want to stay somewhere completely out of the ordinary, why not book a night at Nyperosa? It’s a small cabin with no running water (there is a WC and shower available in the neighbouring house).
Food and drink on Utsira
Utsira is known for its incredible seafood, but even a trip to the local Joker grocery shop is quite an experience. The island is also home to the restaurant Dahmsgård, which is run by Daniella and Hans. The restaurant, which is situated in the old school building on Utsira, primarily uses local produce to conjure up the most beautiful dishes. On request, Daniella and Hans can also arrange talks about food, seaweed and delicacies of the sea, which of course include tastings.
In an old herring saltery dating from 1870, Anders runs a restaurant and bar called Dalanaustet. The menu focuses mainly on local beef and fish, and the bar is fully licenced. There are also concerts, stand-up shows and many other fun activities arranged at Dalanaustet throughout the year.
How to get to Utsira
In order to get to Utsira, you need to take the boat from Garpaskjærskaien quay in the centre of Haugesund. The boat is free of charge, but it’s a good idea to book a ticket in advance to secure your place. You can take your car to Utsira (not free), but it really isn’t necessary. If you want to leave your car behind, you can park it on the ferry quay.
Last updated: 09/11/2023
Source: Destinasjon Haugesund & Haugalandet
The island community of Utsira