Bømlo municipality has approximately 12.000 inhabitants and covers a area of 246,3 km2 in Hordaland County. Bømlo is a island muncipality with 1000 small and bigger islands. In recent times traditional fishing has declined but fish farming is coming to take its place. Township authorities hope this will play an increasingly important role in the community´s economy. The modern administrative centre of the municipality is at Svortland. Rubbestadneset is the biggest and most important harbour in Bømlo, but also Mosterhavn, Brubakken, Øklandsvågen, Serklauv, Hovlandshagen, Langevåg, Bømmelhavn, Espeværskaien and Eidesvik is important.
The main attraction at Bømlo is Siggjo (474 metres) the highest peak in the muncipality. From Siggjo you can see Folgefonna in the east and Haugesund in the south.
All public offices are situated in the administrative centre of Svortland, where a large commercial centre has now developed with many shops and several malls offering a wide range of products. A new recreation centre and a new upper secondary school, together with the construction of many homes in the area, have created an active and pleasant environment.
Rubbestadneset is “the industrial capital” of the district of Bømlo. Here we find a supermarket and a hotel, and many new homes are being built. This too, is the port of call for the express boat with short travelling time to Flesland air- port, Bergen or Stord. Rubbestadnes Vocational College has a long history of training skilled workers for industry and trade in general.
Moster is known for its place in history and more recently as a centre for the cargo shipp- ing industry. Today, Moster is a thriving community with a wide range of services. The Røyksund Canal is one of the district´s most popular attractions for boating visitors. A local history museum is located in Moster.
MOSTER OLD CHURCH
In 1874 the Society of Historic Monuments (Fortidsminneforeningen) purchased the church, probably the Norwegian rural church with the longest antiquarian history. Moster Church at Mosterhamn is one of the simplest church buildings in Norway with a square choir and a rectangular nave.
At Mosterhamn Northern Europe´s most unique open-air stage and theatre arena. Seats 1300. Ideal for theatre productions, concerts etc. Inside, Moster Amfi houses the exhibition “From Heathendom to Christianity”, a journey in sound and pictures, and “1000 years – A Mass”, following two parallel lines: the historical from 995 to 1995 and the liturgical from the beginning to the end of the High Mass. Amfisalen doubles as a concert hall, theatre and lecture hall well suited for conferences and entertaining.
BØMLO CULTURE HOUSE
The Culture House is located on the waterfront of Storavatnet in Svortland, this modern building houses a café, kiosk, cinema, youth club and Bømlo’s culture and music schools in addition to the local unemployment and welfare office.
Finnås is located in the centre of the island, on either side of the Kulleseid Canal. The building here in recent years has led to an expanding community. Finnås has a small shopping centre, and Olavskulen folk high school, which is run as a holiday hotel during the summer months, is located in the centre of the community. The Kulleseid Canal guest moorings are used actively by visiting boating folk.
KULLESEID TELEGRAPH STATION
Kulleseid Telegrafstation was built in 1857 – the oldest telecommunications building in Norway and the «jewel» in the Telenor crown of listed buildings and installations. In 1997, the Norwegian Telecommunications Museum and the Central Office of Historic Monuments restored the building and it now houses a small exhibition showing how the building was used from 1857 until the exchange was made automatic in 1974. Open by appointment.
Out to sea, west of Bømlo, we find the island of Espevær, a unique fishing village rich in the heritage of the area. As far back as the 17th century, many people and fishing vessels gathered at Espevær during the rich spring herring fishing. From the middle of the 18th century, Espevær was the largest fishing village in Bømlo.
Espevær was central to this herring fishing, and Baadehuset (today a museum) was at the heart of this industry. Later Espevær became a centre for lobster fishing, and lobsters were sent from the lobster parks to domestic and foreign markets. Espevær was also at the heart of activities at the beginning of the 20th cen- tury, when mackerel trolling in the North Sea became an important source of income. Even today, very many of Bømlo´s residents have jobs that are related to the sea, in fishing, shipping and fish farming.
THE LOBSTER PARK
At Espevær you can experience a cathedral of silence, woodwork, stone, water, light and darkness. A remarkable 950 m2 structure covering the surface of the water. Learn about the history of lobster fishing and see the equipment that was used in this trade. Regular opening hours with guided tours during the summer.
Provides an insight into the time when Espevær was an important part of the herring fisheries. The building houses a large collection of maritime equipment; the basement is used as a function room, while the furnishings in the remainder of the house date back to the turn of the century. Baadehuset is open daily during the summer months, and otherwise by appointment.
Brandasund is idyllically situated to the very north of the island community of Bømlo and has a long history as a trading post and inn. Brandasund probably received its name from the merchant Jacob Brandt who lived here around 1660. During the great herring fisheries in the 18th and 19th century, Brandasund was a thriving centre of activity. In 1897 a canning factory was built here, selling fish products to both domestic and overseas markets. The fact that the fish came from Brandasund was a sign of quality. The canning factory has now been converted to a catering establishment, “Fabrikkloftet”.
Brandasund is still a tight-knit community of historic buildings. There are main buildings from early in the 1800s, “Mosesloftet” from the 1700s, servants’ quarters, bakery, the baker’s house, lodging house, several types of storehouses, a smithy, shop, canning factory, grain stores and salting sheds. These are buildings that remind us of the golden age that once provided a basis for the economy out here. For a thousand years, this sheltered harbour held a central position on the outer sailing routes along the coast. “Nillo på Skjeret” was renowned for her rather unusual general store, and for many years she was almost an institution in the local community. Nillo is no longer with us,but her shop remains and is now a museum, open to the public every summer. Brandasund is a favourite destination for boating tourists. In 1991 a road linked these islands to Bømlo. Try your luck fishing and enjoy the nature out here!
Slåtterøy Lighthouse is a coastal lighthouse sits at the western entrance to the Selbjørnsfjorden, marking an island-filled area northeast of Bømlo and northwest of Stord.
The lighthouse was established in 1859 and fully automated in 2003. The 25 metre round, cast iron tower is painted red with one white horizontal band. At the top, there is a light that emits a 5,180,000 candela, the highest intensity among all lighthouses in Norway. The light sits at an elevation of 45.8 metres above sea level and it emits a white light in the pattern of 2 flashes every 30 seconds.
The lighthouse was listed as a protected site in 2000 and in 2003 it was fully automated. The ownership of the site was then transferred to the municipal government. Overnight accommodations are available, as are guided tours. The site is only accessible by boat from the nearby island of Gisøy.
THE GOLD MINES AT LYKLING
Take a guided tour through the mine and experience the magic of the gold and the events that took place here more than 100 years ago.
There are many marked trails on Bømlo. Rambling along these paths, you will experience the wide variety of the countryside on Bømlo, with its unique flora and exciting geology. Here you can experience everything from the magnificent view from the top of Siggjo to open landscapes, fertile forests and exciting cultural landscapes.
In Bømlo you don’t need luck to catch fish. Among the rocks and islets out on the coast you are almost guaranteed fish. Try your luck casting the line from the rocky foreshore. A day at sea is an unforgettable experience, fishing either from a smack or a cutter – a bite is virtually guaranteed. The archipelago, with its many islands and islets, narrow sounds and sheltered coves, as well as the canals, makes Bømlo a gem for boating visitors.
Golf Clubs in Hordaland.