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Sandefjord, Norway

Sandefjord is a charming modern town about 74 miles south of Oslo. It has a long history and attractions for visitors of all enthusiasms. A number of its churches date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Its Whaling Museum includes a blue whale suspended from the ceiling. In the harbor, a whaling boat has been converted to a museum as well. The Gokstad Mound is the site where a 9th century Viking ship was excavated, which is now in the museum at Oslo, though a replica is berthed locally. The town is one of the few with a strong Art Nouveau heritage, based on the devastating fires that ravaged the town during the height of that fashion. It also boasts one stave church, the Høyjord Stave Church, from the Middle Ages. The Midtåsen Sculpture Park contains bronze and marble statues by Knut Steen, in a forest pavilion with views over the Sandefjord.