Reaching out into the waters of Norway’s Western Cape on four, bridge-connected islands, the clean, open, operatic city of Kristiansund, and its stunning harbour, are impossible to ignore. destroyed in the Second World War, nearly 80% of Kristiansund has been rebuilt since the 1940s. The city is now home to some of Norway’s most iconic modern architecture. Reminders of pre-war Kristiansund still remain, notably the city’s opera house – the oldest in Norway – which offers around 100 opera performances, an opera festival and an outdoor performance of Donna Bacalao every year.
The local history of Klippfisk (salted cod) can be uncovered at the town’s unique museum, while many visitors opt to travel along the renowned Atlantic Road, one of Norway's most photographed driving roads.
From Kristiansund, a trip to the nearby Grip Island, a prominent fishing settlement in the 15th and 16th centuries, is worth undertaking despite there being no permanent residents now. Exploring the abandoned villages and absorbing the eerie atmosphere of Grip Stave Church – built in 1470, is a must.