Ålesund is known as the Art Nouveau town by the sea, and recently voted the most beautiful town in Norway. It has a beautiful setting across several islands stretching out into the sea, and it is situated at the very entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord.
Internationally renowned for its unique architecture, the town was devastated by a fire in 1904, laying 850 houses in ashes and leaving 10,000 people homeless. During a remarkably short period of time, the new Ålesund was rebuilt in the unique architectural style, especially significant from 1890-1910, with a myriad of turrets, spires and medieval ornaments.
Your tour begins with a drive along the Borgundfjord, through the modern suburbs to the old trading center of Borgund. Here, in a delightful setting you'll find the Sunnmore Open-air Museum. This wonderful museum is comprised of various types of farmhouses and boathouses which have been moved to this site from all over the region. The Museum also houses a number of different old boats. The shipbuilding traditions of the area hold their traditions from long ago, and boats built here were believed to be the most reliable to be found along the coast. On display here are also replicas of the so-called Kvalsund boat from the year 700 AD and the even older Fjørtoft boats. Alongside is also the fishing vessel HELAND - better known as the Shetland-Bus as it was used to carry Norwegian partisans across the North Sea during World War II.
Your return to Alesund includes a stop at the Mount Aksla viewpoint, Fjellstua. Truly spectacular scenery that includes breathtaking panoramas of the mountains and sea can be appreciated from this advantageous location. After a stop for photos, you'll continue your journey back to the pier in Alesund, passing through central areas of the city along your route.
Please note: This tour includes a moderate amount of walking at the Sunnmore Museum - some of it over uneven surfaces. There are some steps to negotiate at the various displays and the main building is not wheelchair accessible; therefore, the tour may not be suitable for wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual, weather appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of sites visited may vary.