About the area
The Ålesund and Sunnmøre area offers a rugged coastline, deep fjords and high mountains in the Sunnmøre Alps. The main hiking season should be considered between the beginning of May and the end of September. Off season combination trips, with partial hiking and partial skiing or wearing snow shoes, are popular.
The terrain offers easy walks and challenging climbs. And everything in between. Anyone can find a suitable goal for their trip. Walk through woods, on rocks and pebbles at the coast line, in the animal tracks cutting through the terrain, on farmers roads, or even on the magic glaciers.
With towns and hamlets situated right in the middle of this overwhelming nature, there are endless possibilities of combining your trip with urban life and enjoying the local culture. The Art Nouveau town of Ålesund is a unique experience and a contrast to your hiking adventures.
Spend the night in hotels, hostels and cabins, or bring your own tent and camp on your way. Choose daytrips, with your chosen accommodation as the base, or spend days hiking from cabin to cabin. Find your favourite spot in nature and put up your tent. Fish and cook your catch in the open. All of the above, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Geirangerfjord and the glaciers in Nordfjord, are reached within two to three hours. Finding alternatives are no problem.
Hike the mountain tops of the The Sunnmøre Alps
The Sunnmøre Alps consist of some 30 mountains, all ranging from 1100 to 2000 meters above sea level. The Hjørundfjord is a great starting point. Choose to stay in Sagafjord Hotell situated directly on the fjord line of Sæbø, or the historic Hotel Union, in Øye.
Slogen is the most famous mountain in the area. It rises from the Hjørundfjord to 1, 564 meters. The famous climber and alpine explorer William Cecil Slingsby wrote after his hike to Slogen that the view from the top was "one of the proudest in Europe". Another mountain pioneer Cecil Watson Patchell said that there can scarcely be another rock peak of its height in the world more impressive.
This hike is suitable for medium trained and skilled hikers, but everyone will have a great view of the fjords and the Sunnmøre Alps after only after a few hundred meters of walking.
From the starting point to the summit, the hiking distance is around three kilometres. Most will reach the summit within four hours, and the total time spent on the trip is six to seven hours, depending on speed and time spent on admiring the astonishing views of the mountains and the fjords in the region.
The paths will be marked through red paint on trees and signs. On the way, there are great spots for admiring the nature and resting, most notably the Patchell hut.
Descriptions of routes are available on maps and books bought in the hotels or via visitalesund.com, or through simply searching the web. If you are interested in guides joining you on your hike, they are available through contact with the hotels or through direct contact with guides like norgesguidene.no or actin.no.
Hiking and birdwatching at Runde
The Runde Island is the southernmost bird cliff in Norway. It is connected to the mainland with a bridge and the home of some 500.000 to 700.000 seabirds. More than 220 species have been identified, but Runde is most famous for its puffins. Other species include black-legged kittiwake, common guillemot, northern gannet, great skua and not least the white-tailed eagle. All in all it has more species represented than any other place in Scandinavia and ranges among the top bird watching spots in the world. The many shipwrecks in the ocean make Runde a feast for everyone interested in combining hiking with a history lesson or even diving to have a closer look.
Runde offers easy walks with birdwatching suitable for children and grown-ups alike. The paths across the top of the island are well marked, leading to the cliffs and the spectacular views of the birds and the ocean. Hiking and watching birds can be combined with a visit to the famous Runde lighthouse. There are several alternative routes, but expect the trip to last two to three hours from start to finish if you choose the shortest.
The well marked paths leave no need for maps. Still, description of routes and birds are found in maps and books which can be bought in the accommodation facilities on the island, or through simply searching the web. Guides are available on request, and boat trips are arranged frequently around the island to marvel at the cliffs, the birds and other marine life from the ocean.
More info: visitalesund.com or (+47) 70 15 76 00