Ålesund has been voted Norway’s most beautiful town both by the Norwegian people and also by the Times newspaper of the UK. Its Art Nouveau architecture and superb location nestled between the sea and surrounding mountains, facing the open ocean, make Ålesund an inspiring destination for business trips, courses, conferences and leisure travel.
Fjords and mountains
The fjords here on the west coast have been acclaimed by National Geographic as the world’s best destination. When the fjords are further combined with the wild alpine mountain landscape, as they are here in our area, it puts Sunnmøre in a league of its own. Here the sheer rock faces of the mountains rise vertically up from the fjords to heights of 2,000 metres.
UNESCO has included Geirangerfjord in its World Heritage list. A trip there soon reveals why: a stunning s-shaped fjord that winds its way through sheer mountain walls, with tiny farms clinging impossibly to mountain ledges and magnificent waterfalls cascading down from above.
Hjørundfjord is less known than Geirangerfjord, but is not less impressive. I mighty fjords that cuts straight through The Sunnmøre Alps, with Øye and the Hotel Union as a must-see experience when you are there..
It is only a short distance to Norway's southernmost remaining fishing community - Ona. Out in the open ocean, a special place, a unique peacefulness. When visiting here you can understand why Ingebrigt Steen Jensen was inspired to write his successful book "Ona lighthouse"
Runde is Norway's southernmost bird cliff – sanctuary and also the most numerous in species in all of Scandinavia. If they had been people living in a county, it would have been the most populous county in Norway. The combination of the Gulf Stream and the sheer mountain wall has created a unique ecosystem.
We are in close proximity to a number of glaciers, including the Jostedal ice-field and its outlet glaciers that cover over 487 square kilometers, creating the largest ice-field in mainland Europe. Admire them from a distance or for the adventurous explore them on foot (you’ll need a guide and crampons!).
The mountains around Hjørundfjord include several of the best summit tours in Norway (ranked by Norwegian magazine Fri Flyt among others). Norrøna Magazine visited the fjord and in their subsequent article wrote: "A fjord which - after this tour - will forever be number one in our eyes”.
Stryn Ski Centre was recently voted as having Norway’s best off-piste skiing (by the Times, in January 2011). Alpepasset (“the Alps pass”) can be purchased, which gives you free access to Stranda Ski Centre and 7 other ski resorts in the region, with over 60 slopes and infinite possibilities for ski fun.