ROL Cruise recommends...
1. Wander through historical cobblestone streets
Affectionately named Gamle Stavanger ('Old Town') by locals, the city's oldest area consists of quaint wooden houses built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries nestled amongst winding cobblestone streets. Ideal for a quiet afternoon's stroll, its museums and galleries are also well worth a visit.
2. Take in one of the region's most breathtaking sights
If you have a taste for adventure, you'll love Prekestolen. Also known as 'Preacher's Pulpit,' it is a flat-topped crag which rises nearly 2,000 feet above sea level. It's popular with hikers due to its breathtaking views and two-hour trek, although because of its sheer drop is best suited to those without a nervous disposition!
3. Learn all about Stavanger's rich heritage
No trip would be complete without a museum visit or two, and in Stavanger you'll be spoiled for choice. Our tip is to check out the Museum of Archaeology – visitors of all ages will love learning about the Vikings! – and the town's Art Museum, which houses a collection of some of the finest Norwegian art as well as works from further afield.
4. Explore the city's spectacular religious buildings
The stunning Stavanger Cathedral boasts an unusual history. Built in the twelfth century by Bishop Reinald in the Romanesque style, it burned down and then rebuilt according to Gothic principles in 1272. Religious architecture buffs will be impressed by its original Gothic stone font, impressive stained glass windows and Baroque pulpit. Its convenient position in the city centre means there are no excuses not to visit!
5. Enjoy the vibrant local culture
Stavanger is a hive of culture throughout the year, hosting MaiJazz Festival in May, Gladmat Food Festival in late July and the International Chamber Music Festival in August – all popular with culture lovers from home and abroad. If your trip doesn't coincide with these events don't worry, as you can still soak up the city's lively atmosphere at the Market Square. Full of open-air stalls, it's a great place to get to know the locals.
6. Relish the region's views by boat
If you have a day to spare, take a boat out to Lysefjord for one of the most breathtaking views Norway has to offer. Then, once you've found your sea legs, visit Klosterøy, a small island to the north of Stavanger which boasts Utstein, a thirteenth century Augustinian abbey.