The small town of Harstad located on Norway's largest island, Hinnøya, is surrounded by craggy, snow-topped mountains. With about 22,000 inhabitants, Harstad grew into a successful and productive herring and fishing port during the 19th century. Today, the engineering industry also plays an important part in the local economy, with shipbuilding and repair yards servicing regional and visiting ferry and fishing fleets. As a result, the sprawling docks present a tangle of supply ships and cold storage plants.
Harstad's greatest attraction is the Trondenes Church dating from the 13th century. Originally built as a fortress church, its design incorporates massive, 70-inch-thick walls. Since its early history, the church was used as a local gathering place.
One of the town's proudest achievements is its school for the experimental growing of flowers and vegetables. The school is the world's northernmost of its kind. Surrounding Harstad is important farmland, serving as the breadbasket for northern Norway and supplying nearby marketplaces with seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Harstad's pretty setting of hilly streets, rainbow-colored wooden houses and splendid mountain views attracts a sizeable crowd each summer, especially during the annual International Music Festival held here.
Your ship is scheduled to dock at the Harstad Pier within walking distance of the city center. Taxis are generally available.
Stroll through the town center and look for local souvenirs such as hand-knit sweaters and traditional troll figurines. The local currency is the kroner.
Fish is the traditional mainstay of the Norwegian diet. Should you just wish a snack, you might enjoy a pastry and coffee, or an open-faced sandwich and a local beer.
The main attractions are covered in the organized excursions.
Private arrangements may not be available in this port.