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Ålesund

The Art Nouveau town of Ålesund is not by the sea, but rather in the middle of the sea! The town stretches across several islands into the Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps. The combination of colorful houses, mountains and sea provides a unique and picturesque backdrop. What's more, Ålesund is a great starting point for a trip to the Geirangerfjord or the Atlantic Road. So it's no wonder that Ålesund is one of Norway's most popular tourist destinations!

28/06/2019

dear(travel)diary,

in hindsight, our broken air mattress was a great help. Without it, we would never have slept in a wooden house in Bergen. And without it, we would never have met Signe and Rune from Tresfjordvegen!

Signe and Rune are the hosts of our Airbnb, and what hosts they are! We have never felt so comfortable in an Airbnb before! Signe and Rune's house is a dream. It is beautifully situated right on the Tresfjord. The accommodation was like 5-star accommodation for us, which we booked for the price of a pitch on a campsite. And the best thing about it: Signe and Rune are incredibly nice! Both are retired teachers whose children have moved to the big cities. They run the Airbnb to bring a little more life into their home.

What a great idea! And anyone who gets to stay with them is lucky! Unfortunately, we only spent two nights with Signe and Rune. But we promised them we would come back again. And we will! To go fishing with them and go hiking in the surrounding mountains!

xx Chiara

What to see & discover

Ålesund consists of several islands. The city center is located on the three main islands of Nørvøy, Aspøy and Hessa. It is easy to explore on foot, while you will need a means of transportation for the outskirts, as the routes take a little longer. However, a bicycle may suffice.


Viewpoint Aksla

If there's one thing you have to do in Ålesund, it's to take a look at the city from the viewpoint of the 189-metre-high local mountain, Aksla. Because the panorama is unique! From Aksla you can see why the Art Nouveau town is known as the city in the sea.

To reach the viewpoint, you have to climb 418 steps from the city park. The view over the city becomes more beautiful with every step!


The Art Nouveau town

Ålesund was almost completely destroyed by a devastating fire in 1904. When reconstruction began a few days later, the community decided that never again should a fire harm the town. The town was given a new look: Away from the typical wooden houses towards stone houses characterized by Art Nouveau. Today, it is precisely this type of construction that gives Ålesund its very own style, which attracts numerous architecture lovers from all over the world.


Hiking in the Sunnmøre Alps

Ålesund is surrounded by the Sunnmøre Alps. You can therefore set off from here on a beautiful hike through the mountains with a breathtaking panorama! Particularly popular hikes are those to the peaks of Høgkubben, Sandsøya and Voksa.


Atlanterhavsparken

The Atlantic Park is one of the largest saltwater aquariums in Northern Europe and is home to Norway's first marine research center. In the aquariums you can learn more about life in the sea and the fjords. The beauty of the park is that it is located right by the sea.


Alnes Fyr lighthouse

The cute Alnes Fyr lighthouse is located in the small fishing village of Alnes on the island of Godøy. From the lighthouse tower, you have a magnificent view over the coast and the sea. It's also nice to take a short walk through the village. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a delicious piece of cake in the lighthouse keeper's house.


Art Nouveau center

As Ålesund is characterized as an Art Nouveau town, there is the Art Nouveau Centre in the town center. The museum and exhibition center is designed to provide insights into the 1904 town fire and the history of Art Nouveau. There is even a time machine that takes you 100 years back in time to learn more about the fire and the reconstruction.


Bird island round

A highlight for many visitors to Ålesund is the bird island Runde. The best way to get there is by boat. The boat trip is an experience in itself, because with a bit of luck you might spot seals in the sea.


Ona fishing island & lighthouse

Exactly 16 people live on the fishing island of Ona. It lies in the ocean gap at the end of the Romsdal coast. The island's main attraction is the Ona Fyr lighthouse, built in 1865, from where you have a beautiful view over the coast with its white sandy beach and the sea.


Dollsteinhola Cave

A special sight in Ålesund is the Dollsteinhola cave. It is located on the island of Sandsøy and is considered one of the largest and probably strangest caves in the country. It is 180 meters long and has five rooms connected by long, narrow corridors.


Flø

If you want to spend a day at the beach in Ålesund, then Flø near Ulstein is the place for you. But it's also worth coming here for anglers!

You can relax and enjoy the sun on the beautiful rolling stone beach. It's best to stay until the evening to enjoy the sunset.



Skjonghelleren Cave

Another cave worth visiting is Skjonghelleren. It is located on a mountainside, about 57 meters above sea level and is 100 meters long.

Traces of Stone Age people and 30,000-year-old fauna have even been found in Skjonghelleren. So the cave is just the thing for explorers!


Bridges at Skodje

There are two impressive bridges made of natural stone and brick in the municipality of Skodje. They were built between 1916 and 1919. When it opened in 1922, the bridge was the largest stone bridge in Northern Europe.

After a new bridge was built over the Fludd Skodjestraumen in 2004, the two bridges are now cultural monuments.


Geirangerfjord

Not far from Ålesund is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Geirangerfjord. The fjord is characterized by untouched nature, imposing mountain peaks and steep rock faces. Especially thundering waterfalls such as the Seven Sisters (De syv søstrene), the Friaren (Friaren) or the Bride's Veil (Brudesløret) attract tourists on a boat trip through the fjord. But you can also go on a hiking tour to the old mountain farms along the fjord.


Atlantic Road

For one of the most beautiful drives you'll ever experience, head to the Atlantic Road. The 8274m long road winds its way north over eight bridges between archipelago islands. The entire route is an experience, accompanied by the glittering sea. Take your time on the route and enjoy the scenery.


Kvitneset

Kvitneset is located at the northern tip of Hareidlandet in the sea gap at the entrance to Storfjorden and Breisundet. The area is ideal for walks and hikes with a view of the sea!

Kvitneset was used by the Germans as a coastal fortress during the Second World War. Among other things, firing ranges, prison camps, command bunkers, a series of tunnels and holes for storing ammunition and anti-tank positions were built. Today, most of these positions are still visible, albeit somewhat outdated and overgrown


Sunnmøre Museum

The Sunnmøre Museum is located in the beautiful bay of Borgundkaupangen. There you can see cultural and historical exhibitions. You can also discover old houses and boats on a walk. There is also a medieval museum on the grounds and a nature trail (1.4 km) through the forest.


Borgund church

Borgund is a very well-known church in Ålesund. It is characterized by beautiful wood carvings, some of which come from the remains of St. Peter's Church from the 12th century.


Aalesunds Museum

If you want to find out more about the history of the city, then the Aalesunds Museum is the right place for you. This is explained to you here with the help of exhibits, models, photographs and paintings. You also have a beautiful view of the city from the museum.



I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.


Where to sleep

Signe and Rune's Airbnb is the perfect place to stay! The whole house, even the whole property, is a dream! Signe and Rune live on an old farm right by the fjord. Their house is big enough for us to have a large bedroom, our own well-equipped bathroom and a small terrace. From the bathroom, you have a wonderful view over the fjord. The same view that you can also enjoy from the kitchen one floor below. In this kitchen, Signe and Rune cooked us breakfast in the morning - using local produce! We were thrilled and couldn't eat or see enough.

And as if that wasn't enough: Signe and Rune have a small sauna and a boat landing stage on the fjord, from where they set off on their fishing trips. They even invited us to come along (unfortunately we didn't have enough time). We got all this luxury for the same price as a pitch on a campsite! It was great, we'll be back again sometime!

From the community for the community

Tips from the community

Do you have a tip for Ålesund? Or a suggestion for the blog? Or would you like more information?

Then write me!