Farther north, at the head of a small bay, lies Haroldswick, where Harold Haarfager is believed to have landed in 872, when he annexed the Orkney and Shetland Islands to Norway.
About the end of the 8th century both the Shetlands and Orkneys suffered from the depredations of Norse vikings, or pirates, until Harold Haarfager annexed the islands to Norway in 875.
Norse pirates having made the islands the headquarters of their buccaneering expeditions indifferently against their own Norway and the coasts and isles of Scotland; Harold Haarfager ("Fair Hair") subdued the rovers in 875 and both the Orkneys and Shetlands to Norway.
A nearer parallel to Greek colonization may be found in Iceland, whither the adherents of the old Norse polity fled from the usurpation of Harold Haarfager; and the early history of the English pale in Ireland shows, though not in orderliness and prosperity, several points of resemblance to the Roman colonial system.
Haugesund is the reputed death-place of Harald Haarfager, to whom an obelisk of red granite was erected in 1872 on the thousandth anniversary of his victory at the Hafsfjord (near Stavanger) whereby he won the sovereignty of Norway.