Fishery and boat building play important parts in the history of Sunnhordland. Today the region is among the world's leading areas for building oil rigs or vessels supporting the important Norwegian oil industry.
The municipality of Austevoll
In Austevoll you find wild sheep and salmon. The municipality consists of 667 islands, islets and rocks - of which nine are permanently inhabited. Bridges, fast passenger boats and ferries ensure good communications both within the municipality itself, and to the mainland.
The municipality of Bømlo
Bømlo is Sunnhordland's last bulwark before the open sea, acting as a long-drawn shelter for the islands and the villages within. At Bømlo you can experience wild and rough sea, as well as miles and miles of shimmering sea. Habitation at Bømlo is dispersed, gathered in five densely populated areas.
Bømlo is an Eldorado for people interested in fishing, and offers many overnight accommodation alternatives.
The municipal centre and main shopping site is Svortland.
The municipality of Etne
Etne is Sunnhordland's agricultural district par excellence, known for its fertile earth, surrounded by mountains, fjords, rivers and idyllic islands.
The estates along the Åkrafjord and the two villages of Skånevik and Etnesjøen, also known as just Etne, with their respective community centres are all part of the municipality. Etnesjøen is the municipal centre. Skånevik, also known as "the pearl of Sunnhordland", is an idyllic village with distinctive, well-preserved building traditions.
The municipality of Fitjar
Fitjar consists of a gathering of islands and rocks divided by shallow straits and channels. Traditional shipping routes pass through the area, and the municipality contains several trading posts dating back as far as 1648.
The Fitjar Islands are popular boating destinations. They offer unique scenery, and constitute an important resource for the municipality. Because of the special heather moors, proposals have been made to turn the area into a national park.
The municipality of Kvinnherad
The southern part of Kvinnherad is typical of the Western Norwegian fjord scenery. Husnes is the municipality's shopping centre. The areas Rosendal and Mauranger are known for some of the most beautiful fjord scenery in Sunnhordland, containing narrow fjords, wild rapids and - but not least - Folgefonna, the third-largest glacier on mainland Norway. Kvinnherad offers a wide range of cultural events in the summer sesason.
The municipality of Stord
Stord is also one of Sunnhordland’s towns, and a regional centre. Leirvik is a junction for communication in and out of Sunnhordland.
The municipality of Sveio
Sveio is strategically located. The main road E39 passes throughout the entire municipality, and the shipping route crosses Sletta and passes through the Bømlafjord.
Sveio's scenery ranges from the open sea to naked rocks by the water, as well as heather moors and small mountains and fertile farming and forestry land. Although the mountain peaks are not of the highest, they offer expansive views of the sea, the fjords and land.
The municipality of Tysnes
Tysnes consists of a group of islands with an overall surface area of 255 square kilometres. The scenery ranges from seaside rocks and heather moors to the west and the sea beyond, to steep mountain sides, distinctive forests and fertile vegetation towards the east and the outer Hardangerfjord.
There are skerries, and a beautiful mountain area with mountain peaks in excess of 750 metres. Våge is the municipality's shopping centre, whilst the administrative centre is situated in Uggdal.