We got a new name
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
Visit Flåm has become Norway’s best.
Heading to the district of Sunnmøre, you will have the chance to mix adventures in the architectural city of Ålesund, with spectacular fjord experiences such as in the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord and the stunning Hjørundfjord. Here is a guide to how you can best explore the areas:
Ålesund is ringed by the sea, mountains and numerous islands, a vibrant city with stunning architecture, spectacular viewpoints and a wide range of outdoor activities. The city is a perfect starting point for exploring some of the most beautiful fjords in the world, Hjørundfjord being one of them, the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord another. On a fjord cruise from Ålesund to Øye through the stunning Hjørundfjord, you will sail passed unspoilt nature in a dramatic, varied and historically-rich fjord landscape. From Øye you can continue your journey to Hellesylt, where you could join a fjord cruise to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geirangerfjord.
One of the most beautiful Norwegian cities
Alesund is regarded as being one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. In 2009, The Times newspaper even named Alesund THE most beautiful city. After the city was razed to the ground in 1904, it was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style (“Jugendstil”). The city's architecture makes it a mecca for anyone interested in design.
When you explore the charming, historical streets in the city centre, make sure to pause and enjoy a proper fish meal. After all, Alesund is the fishing capital of Norway – offering high-quality fish and seafood all year round. Classic creamy fish soup in the sun by the Brosundet marina is always a good idea!
You will find both easy hikes and more challenging hikes close to Alesund. One of the most accessible walks is to the Aksla Fjellstue. The viewpoint is located on top of the city's mountain and has a marvellous panoramic view of the city. To reach Aksla viewpoint, you can walk the 418 steps from the City Park, take the city train, or drive. If you choose to walk, there are many great places to stop along the way to catch your breath or take a selfie. And when the view is your reward, it is unquestionably worth the trip:
From Øye, you can choose to take the fjord cruise back to Ålesund – or continue your journey to the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord via bus from Øye to Hellesylt. To reach Hellesylt, you will drive over Norangsdalen, the “Queens route”, one of the narrowest valleys in Norway, a valley brimming with rich cultural history and spectacular nature.
Arriving at Hellesylt, you can join a fjord cruise to Geiranger through the famous Geirangerfjord. Geirangerfjord is a 15-kilometre-long branch of Storfjord and one of Norway's most popular attractions. Because of the fjord’s stunningly beautiful and pristine scenery, the fjord was honoured with the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, together with Nærøyfjord. A ferry journey through this fjord will take you close to dramatic, steep-sided mountains with many cascading waterfalls. You will sail close to waterfalls such as "The Bridal Veil”, “The Suitor”, and the "Seven Sisters" – seven waterfalls with an average fall of 250 metres.
A journey to Sunnmøre will certainty give you memories of a lifetime, offering you sights of some of the most stunning fjord landscapes in Norway, and in the world.
The landscape speaks for itself. Above Øye, innermost in the Norangsfjord, you will see the soaring and majestic mountain peak of Slogen.
After a stay in Ålesund, you should head to the fjords. In the summer, fjord cruises from Ålesund to Øye depart several times a day. On a fjord cruise from Ålesund to Øye through Hjørundfjord, you will witness some of the most beautiful mountain and fjord scenery in Norway. The mighty and steep Sunnmøre Alps surround the fjord: a mountain range of tall, jagged mountains stretching up to 1,700 metres above the fjord. A paradise for hikers and skiers. A spectacular sight, no matter how you choose to experience the scenic mountains.
One of the idyllic villages located by the fjord is Trandal, a tiny roadless village with less than 10 inhabitants. Here you have the chance to hop off the boat and visit Christian Gard Bygdetun, an old farming settlement that offers accommodation, a pub, restaurant and music venue located on the mountainside. The view of the Sunnmøre Alps and Hjørundfjord will leave you speechless.
The village's size doesn’t prevent the owners of Christian Gard Bygdetun from organising large music festivals each summer. Both national artists and major international artists like The Blues Brothers and Adam Douglas have performed on the stage in Trandal, seduced by the mighty landscape and the atmosphere.
Mighty mountains soar above the idyllic village of Øye
Hop on the next boat and you will soon sail past the village of Sæbø, before continuing into Norangsfjord, a branch of the Hjørundfjord. Innermost in the fjord is the fjord cruise's destination, Øye. Don't miss out on a visit to the legendary Hotel Union Øye, an historical hotel with a unique style that dates back to 1891. In Øye, you can see the mighty mountain peak of Slogen, soaring above the hotel and the quaint village. If you are in good shape and are used to trekking in the mountains, you should consider hiking to the summit of Slogen, or take an easier mountain hike in the area. Your reward will be a jaw-dropping, panoramic view of the Sunnmøre Alps and the fjords. However, enjoying the dramatic landscape from fjord level can still be as spectacular as from up on high.