Kristiansund, located halfway up the long west coast of Norway, is spread out across a swathe of rocky islands with its main center located on the islands of Nordlandet, Gomalandet/Kirklandet and Innlandet, all linked together by bridges. Founded in 1742 as a trading port, the coastal town retains a preserved old town area around the harbor, with its customs house, warehouses, merchants’ dwellings and various musuems relating to the trades that caused Kristiansund to prosper. The modern section boasts a lively market place and brightly painted houses that give the town a charming appearance. As the home port to a large fleet of fishing boats, seafood provides the basis of much of the local economy. With about 17,500 inhabitants, Kristiansund’s small town atmosphere, history and unique geographical position as well as the friendly attitude of its people make it a pleasant place to visit. Outside of Kristiansund, visitors enjoy traveling the coastal route, known as the Atlantic Highway, which utilizes a series of bridges that connect islands and outcrops throughout the open sea.