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Ålesund & Geirangerfjord

Rowing in the Geirangerfjord © Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS/Fjord Norway/Destination Ålesund & SunnmøreThe famous Geirangerfjord is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Following a devastating fire in 1904, beautiful Ålesund, pop. 42.000, was rebuilt in the architectural style of the time – Art Nouveau. With its turrets, spires and other rich ornamentation, the city has a definite Fairy Tale feel to it, and the natural surroundings of the sea, all the islands and majestic mountains simply bowl you over. An entrepreneurial spirit has always prevailed in this busy fishing port.

In many cases, the most practical means of transportation here is by boat, and indeed most activities and excursions are fjord- and ocean-related: Wildlife Sea Safaris by RIB boat, watching out for Puffins whilst Sea Eagles soar above. Deep-sea fishing in the clear waters of the North Sea. Kayaking. Boat trip to a tiny Lighthouse island, including lunch on a second island. A cruise through the nearby, narrow Geirangerfjord (above) of UNESCO World Heritage fame, with its famous waterfalls, soaring mountains and abandoned farms perching on mountain ledges. (A larger picture of the Geirangerfjord may be seen in the Photo Gallery on the opening page «Where to go».)

An overnight excursion to Geiranger comes highly recommended, spending the night in a first-class hotel of renown, perching above the village and the fjord. Or do as Royalty from all over Europe – spend a night in the Fairy Tale hotel from the 1800s in the nearby Hjørundfjord, where guided mountain hikes are an option. Tired of boats? Go by helicopter (weather dependent, small groups).

Private venues for evening events in Ålesund include a rustic, former coal storage, perhaps with a Trad. jazz band to liven things up, and the magnificent aquarium on the edge of the ocean.

International airport (AES) linked to city centre by underwater tunnel, transfer time approx. 25 mins. Flight from Oslo takes approx. 50 mins.

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