Leirvik is the city and the administrative centre of the municipality of Stord, Hordaland district, as well as the centre of the geographical region of Sunnhordland. It lies at Hardangerfjorden, on the route between Bergen and Haugesund. Its name derives from the Old Norse language and means “clay bay”, referring to the high content of clay in the soil. The locals colloquially call the village “Vikjo”.
Leirvik is the largest urban region where the preferred written form of the Norwegian language is Nynorsk, or New Norwegian, as opposed to bokmal, or the book language, which predominates in Norway.
A Lot of History and Relaxation in the Bosom of Nature
The Stord commune is characterized by a large diversity. There is high-tech industry, e.g. Aker Solution is located here - a global supplier of products and services for oil and gas industry. There is a district court, shops, restaurants and museums. On the other hand, there is wild nature, glaciers and captivating fjords.
The famous regional museum Sunnhorland Folkemuseum was founded already in 1913 and can boast of many exhibits. Its main seat, consisting of 11 historical buildings and approximately 10,000 exhibits, is located in the small town of Stord next to Leirvik. In addition, the museum has taken patronage over 42 plaes in the Sunnhordland region. The most interesting ones are the ruins of the Augustine Abbey in Kvinnherad on the island of Halsnoy. Built in 1164, it was the richest monastery of medieval Norway. Another one is the village of Litlabo, where you can visit the former pyrite mine, which was in use in the years 1907-1968. It is also worth visiting the old mill in Leirvik and Sabotun in Etne - a courtyard with eight eighteenth-century houses.
The largest island of the commune - Huglo - also offers many attractions. There is "Omnshuset" here - a private museum with a unique collection of cast iron furnaces from 1850-1950, as well as a 5-kilometre trail of culture and science, leading alongside historic copper mines, ruins of lime kilns and Kuhidlaren - archeological site from 3500 years ago.
When it comes to nature, it is worth going to the Hystadmarkjo nature reserve to admire the largest forest of black alder in northern Europe. There are also 16 burial mounds from the Bronze Age and a well-preserved cemetery of the deceased of cholera.
And for relaxation you can take advantage of one of the three illuminated running trails, or a golf course, or just go for a walk to one of the most popular areas - Landasen, located next to Leirvik, or Nesskogen in Sagvag.