We got a new name
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
The Hjørundfjord in Sunnmøre is famous all over the world for the majestic Sunnmøre Alps, which extends up to 1700 metres above the fjord. The dramatic, untouched fjord landscape is a huge playground for active people, and the charming little villages along the fjord are a must-see for anyone who wants to experience local culture and history. The only way to get here is to take a fjord cruise from Ålesund.
Combining a few days of village holiday in the beautiful Ålesund with activities and experiences in the Sunnmøre Alps and the Hjørundfjord is simply perfect. The capital town of Sunnmøre it is also renowned as an Art Nouveau town. Almost the entire town centre was built back up again in the exciting Art Nouveau style after the huge fire of 1904.
Item 1 on any list of things to do in Ålesund is a walking tour of the town, with time to look at all the detailed façades. Item 2 is a trip up the steps to the viewing platform at Aksla mountain. Item 3 involves getting out of the town and experiencing the fantastic fjord landscape around the Hjørundfjord.
Fjord Cruise Hjørundfjord offers three daily departures in either direction between Ålesund and Øye, stopping in Trandal, Sæbø and Urke along the way. You can depart the boat in order to explore the lovely villages, enjoy delicious food and drink at one of the lovely eateries, go for a mountain walk or join in with other activities such as kayaking or electric cycling.
The very best views can be enjoyed in the mountains. If you enjoy spectacular mountain peaks, Slogen, Saksa and Skårasalen are all within range, starting with the fjord cruise from Ålesund. Just remember that these are demanding walks, so you should have done a bit of mountain walking before you get here.
You can start your trip at Sæbø and Øye as well, or take a few days and spend the night at the lovely places to stay along the fjord.
Did you know, this village with fewer than 10 permanent residence has one of the country’s most popular Instagram views? If you’d like to try the Trandal swing, you’ll have to take a boat – there’s no road, so you have no choice.
As well as the swing, a stop at the Christian Gaard Bygdetun eatery is a must. This place actually has a capacity 25 times larger than the population of the village. Renovating the old farm and focusing on tourism in this small, roadless village with 10 residents was pretty daring, but Christian Gaard has become a very popular place to visit since the late 1990s. You can enjoy an excellent meal at the restaurant here, or simply relax on the terrace with a glass of something nice and a few nibbles. Both shows and festivals are normally held here, with national and international artists such as Trandalblues and Countryfestival.
Farming has taken place in Sæbø since the 200s, and this little village has been inhabited by Vikings, wolves and bears. These are all gone now, but the beautiful cultural landscape remains. From Sæbø, you have beautiful views across to the majestic peaks of Slogen and Saksa.
If you have a few days in which to explore the Sunnmøre Alps, Sæbø is a good place to have a base. Sæbø has a number of places to stay and road links with Volda and Ørsta. Take a peak trip to Skårasalen, hire a kayak or go hiking in Bondalen’s side valleys. You can also use the fjord cruise to get to the other destinations at the Hjørundfjord.
Urke is located at the point where the Hjørundfjord makes the transition to the Norangsfjord arm. You should be dressed for an active day when you come here. One of the most popular trips here goes to Saksa, 1073 metres above sea level. This is maybe one of the lowest peaks in the region, but there are some magnificent views to enjoy from there.
Of course, you can go walking in the mountains on your own, but we recommend taking a guide with you for an even better experience. Then you won’t have to wonder which way to go, with local knowledge and history thrown in. If exploring the fjord at close quarters is more your thing, kayaking from Urke is a good choice. Norway Adventures offers guided mountain trips or kayaking trips from Urke every day in summer – whether the day’s activity is hiking or kayaking depends on demand.
You should still stop off here even if you’re not the active type. Urke has one of Sunnmøre’s best eateries. Urke Kaihus has a completely unique outdoor serving area at the edge of the fjord and is open every day in summer. Not only will you enjoy fantastic views from here, the Kaihus has retained all its charm with an interior taken from old farms in the region.
There are a few little places along the fjords that can boast as many elegant places to visit as Øye. This has been a favourite destination for royals and nobles all over Europe ever since the time the historical Hotel Union Øye opened its doors in 1891. Just like us, they were fascinated by the untouched, raw, beautiful Sunnmøre Alps.
Treat yourself to a night at this iconic hotel, and spend your days getting close to nature. From Øye, you can join Fjord Nature on a kayaking trip on the Norangsfjord or walk to the impressive Slogen peak, 1564 metres above sea level. There are various ways to get to Slogen, and the path from Øye is the shortest but steepest. Uteguiden offers guided tours there every Wednesday and Saturday from July to September.
When you arrive, you should take a trip into Norangsdalen between Øye and Hellesylt. The old farms in the valley show just how people have battled against the forces of nature through the ages. In 1908, there was a landslide that ended up swamping a farm, and you can still see the remains of the wall, the road and the gate beneath the surface of Lyngstølsvatnet. In the old days, aristocratic guests travelled into the valley by horse and carriage, but nowadays the easiest way of exploring the valley is to take a trip on an electric bike with Fjord Nature.
On the other side of Norangdalen is Hellesylt. From there, you can take a fjord cruise into the Geirangerfjord to Geiranger for some more spectacular fjord experiences.
Visit Sunnmøre's most beautiful hiking area