The Norwegian - From Barbarian to Community Builder

The Norwegian - From Barbarian to Community Builder

Get ready for a storytelling journey through history on the historic island of Giske.

Havila Voyages excursion: Gildehallen, Giskespelet, Giske, Norway

About the excursion

Direction: Northbound

Disembarkation port: Ålesund

Embarkation port: Ålesund

Time: 14:00-17:00

Meal: None

Level: 1 (Read more)

Season: Winter, spring (2 Jan - 31 May)

Min/max persons: 10 - 25

Booking reference: AESN10

Price: Price list

The guide will meet you at the quay and accompany you on the bus to Mount Aksla, and then on to the Island of Giske. You'll enjoy mulled wine at the Viking farm before visiting Giske Church. Throughout the excursion, you'll be treated to storytelling. Most activities are indoors, but please dress appropriately for the weather.  

Havila Voyages excursion, guests enjoying the view overlooking the city of Ålesund Norway, from the view point at Fjellstua on Mount Aksla.


During this authentic excursion, crafted by locals on the island of Giske exclusively for Havila Voyages, you will learn about the origins of Norway's national identity. You'll also explore the dramatic Christianization era that has shaped our nation for the past 1000 years. Rest assured, there will be a whole lot of storytelling!


Your host and guide for the day is a local who is very excited to take you to her island home of Giske. However, the adventure begins at Fjellstua, perched atop Mount Aksla, Ålesund's highest point. At 130 meters above sea level, this viewpoint offers breathtaking views of Ålesund and its picturesque surroundings, including Giske Island. No need to climb 418 steps; we'll take a relaxing drive to the summit so everyone can enjoy the view.


Afterward, we’ll continue to Giske Island, nestled within Giske commune. With about 8000 inhabitants, Giske is celebrated for its Viking heritage. Our first stop at Giske is the Giskespelet, a foundation dedicated to preserving the history of the Giske family and the crucial moments during Norway's Christianization. Run by island volunteers, Giskespelet houses a small Viking farm and hosts a grand historical theater play every two years, recounting the local history. Our exclusive tour provides access behind the scenes, letting you step inside the Viking house and immerse yourself in Norway’s Viking legacy.


Olav Haraldsson, Norway's most renowned king, ruled the country from 1015 to 1028. His significance lies in being the driving force behind the Christianization of Norway. In 2024, he instated Christian law within all the nation's courts. Tragically, he met his fate at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030.


At the “Viking Longhouse” you’ll meet another local and savor hot mulled wine while listening to intriguing stories about what happened in this area a thousand years ago. Then, you’ll step inside the cozy Gildehallen, where you’ll learn about the remarkable Giske family's impact on Norway's history. King Olav Haraldsson and the four Giske brothers played a crucial role in Norway's Christianization, shaping a new era. Through strategic marriages and alliances, they wielded influence across Western and Northern Norway, from Stavanger in the South to Harstad and Bjarkøy way up North. The local Giske history is entwined with Norway's journey.


Following our visit to the Giskespelet, we'll take a stroll through an authentic Norwegian neighborhood, heading toward the Giske Church. This remarkable 12th-century marble parish remains in active use by the locals of Giske. Here, the churchwarden is eager to share the most captivating aspects of the church's history, including the intriguing stories behind the beautiful, special, and storytelling wooden carvings on the altarpiece and pulpit of the church.


Come along for a day of exploration, learning, and unforgettable memories!

Utsikt sett fra GIske kyrkje