Harstad is a city and municipality in the county of Troms in Northern Norway. Harstad is situated on Norways largest coastal island, Hinnøya. The region is very varied, with coastal mountains, fjords, some agriculture (dairy farming, sheep and the northernmost strawberry farming on the planet) and even a national park on the island itself - Møysalen National Park. Svolvær in Lofoten is only 2h 20 min drive south of Harstad.
The fastest way is by plane from Oslo airport to Evenes (Harstad/Narvik airport) on the mainland. From the airport the corresponding bus will take you to Harstad (45 km) in 40 minutes, using the Tjeldsund Bridge. Going by own car is an advantage, as this will allow you to explore the varied surroundings, including Vesterålen, Lofoten and Ofoten. The coastal steamer (Hurtigruten) calls at Harstad. There is also an express boat connecting Harstad with Tromsø (3 hours, 580 NOK) and Finnsnes (1 hour 45 min, 330 NOK), and scheduled bus several times a day to and from Narvik (stops at Evenes - Harstad/Narvik airport).
The public transport system isn't very large in Harstad. There are only some busses connecting you to the different parts of the city, but mostly you can walk. Actually, there are 21 eating places (restaurants and cafés) in the range of 800 meters in Harstad, so you will get most of your joy by walking.
- Trondenes church, the worlds northernmost medieval stone church.
- Trondenes historical center, displaying more than 2,000 years of history in the region, which was a Viking power centre (Tore Hund from Bjarkøy just north of Harstad killed St Olav at the Battle of Stiklestad, according to the saga).
- The Adolf gun from much more recent history - the worlds largest land-based gun.
- Grottebadet - tropical swimming inside the Norwegian bedrock.
- The Vågsfjord area outside Harstad is a wide and fairly sheltered bay with many small and large islands, some with mountains up to 1,200 m (4200 ft) above sea level, and with a view to Senja island as well as to the mainland. The fishing is usually excellent.
- Anna Rogde - the authentic sailing schooner - which take tourists and locals out on the fjord.
- Play golf in the midnight sun at the local golf course
- Gamnes Gård
- Smoked salmon is a good local product
- Strawberries, if you are here in the season (roughly mid-July to mid-August). The locals claim that these strawberries are the sweetest there is due to the unique environment - slow ripening in mostly not to warm summer temperatures in 24-hr daylight.
- Peppe's Pizza - popular pizza chain in Norway
- Dolly Dimple's - popular pizza chain in Norway
- Milano - pizza, hamburger and kebab at an Italian restaurant
- De 4 roser - is both a restaurant and a café. On the cafe you have a busy life and a lot of lauguhs, while watching the city life outside the door.
There are several pubs which get quite lively Friday and Saturday nights, and also some places with dancing floor.
There are several hotels in Harstad, as well as camping facilities.
- 1 Gullhaugen pensjonat, St Olavs gate 83 9406 Harstad, ☎ . Double: from kr 600, Single: from kr 400, discount for students.
- 2 Harstad Camping, Nessevegen 55, ☎ . Tent: kr 190, Cabin: kr 450-1200, Bed linen: kr 80-100.
- 3 Rica Hotel, Strandgata 9, ☎ .
- 4 Thon Hotel, Sjøgata 11, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 Clarion Collection Hotel Arcticus, Havnegata 3, ☎ .