Stavanger is a modern port, but retains a small historic district. The lovely old harbour is a favourite stopover for big cruiseships, that tower over the buildings. The city has a lively cultural scene, and is surrounded by numerous outdoor destinations well worth a visit. Explore the narrow, rocky Lysefjord and the mountains Preikestolen and Kjerag, or relax on Jæren's beaches. Make sure to bring hiking boots, as the mountains stand over 1000 meters tall.
Ålesund is once again host port for The Tall Ships Races in 2015. Ålesund harboured the event for the first time in 2001, in an intimate harbour amongst beautiful fjords, mountains and islands. Consisting out of seven islands, Ålesund is a modern city. In 1904 the city, once built largely of wood, was completely burned down by a sea of flames. After a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil.