The long, light summer days are perfect if you like hiking in the mountains and forests. Why not hike from cabin to cabin on marked trails with the local hiking association Harstad Turlag. "Top 10 Peaks" is a series of 10 selected summit hikes of varying degrees of difficulty. For more information, please contact Harstad Tourist Information Office. More information on hiking in the Harstad region under "Tours".
Island hopping by bike and boat
There is a daily connection to the island of Krøttøy with the express boat MS Stjernøy. This is a pleasant 25-minute trip departing from the centre of Harstad.
Krøttøy was part of the realm of Tore Hund and you will discover many ancientViking monuments. The island is lush and has a rich diversity of plant, animal and birdlife. From the top of the island, you can enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree panorama.
You can also go on deep-sea rafting trips or archipelago safaris in rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). You can see historic settlements on islets where the fjord meets the open sea or experience the huge kittiwake cliff on the island of Helløya, which is one of Krøttøy's neighbouring islands.
It is also possible to hire a cycle and ride across the bridge from Krøttøy toMeløyvær. Meløyvær has only 10 - 12 permanent residents, but this was a thriving settlement when mining operations were in full swing in the early part of the 20th century. At that time there was a school, shop and post office here.
The islands have many white sandy beaches and fine bathing spots.
For information about activities and accommodation on Krøttøy, please contact Valhall.
Round trip by catamaran
Take a round trip with the express boat MS Stjernøy, which connects Harstad with the islands beyond the town. The catamaran calls at Kjøtta, Sandsøy, Bjarkøy and Senja. During the summer months, it enters the Sundsvollsund Sound, where the main attraction is a bird cliff where almost 10,000 kittiwakes nest each year. Tickets are sold onboard the boat, or at the Tourist Information Office in Harstad.
The islands are home to many prime fishing spots, so why not try your fishing luck either from land or hire a fishing boat? Many fishermen have landed big fish here.
Play golf in the midnight sun at Harstad Golfcourse (nine-hole course), nearby Røkenes Farm is an old trading post and guesthouse dating back to the 16th century.
From mid-November to mid-January, you can experience polar nights, when the sun stays below the horizon. The characteristic polar light illuminates the sky, sea and mountains. The freezing cold, the snow and the magnificent view of the northern lights at Valhall make for an experience that will provide life-long memories.
See a slideshow with pictures of the northern lights.
Enjoy a round trip with the local boat MS Stjernøy to the islands outside Harstad, try cross-country skiing on the floodlit trails or hit the slopes at the alpine ski centre out of town. How about a swim and sauna at the indoor water park Grottebadet,which is built in the grounds under the town?
Harstad can also offer a rich cultural life and a beautiful cultural centre/theatre with national and international cultural performances year-round. Hotels offer the Harstad Package, which includes accommodation, tickets to a performance at Harstad Kulturhus and/or Grottebadet.