I find that when the subject of my home country comes up in conversations abroad, the go-to travel destination mentioned tends to be Oslo. Don’t get me wrong, Oslo is a great city, and as it’s the capital, I completely understand that it might be what people instantly think of when someone mentions Norway.
But, my home country is so much more than just its capital, and sometimes I wish some of our other travel destinations were more spoken about and acknowledged more outside of the country.
So, to inspire more travellers to journey outside the well-known Norwegian destinations such as our capital, here’s a guide to my favourite places to visit in the county where I am from, Møre og Romsdal, the western part of Norway…
I rarely meet someone abroad who can place this city on a map (or have heard of it for that matter), which is a big reason to add it to my guide. Ålesund is particularly famous for its Art Nouveau architecture style and the beautiful sea-landscape in which surrounds it. With a population slightly over 47,000, it’s not the biggest city in Norway, but there’s still a lot to do, especially if you choose to venture there over the summer. The warmer weather and summer events such as The Boat Festival in July will show you the city at its most vibrant.
Buy yourself a Norwegian soft-ice cream and go for a relaxing walk with the pier – or if you’re up for a more physical challenge, you can climb over 400 steps to get a view of the city from Fjellstua. It might be tough, but I can guarantee you it will be worth it when you reach the top. In addition to the absolutely beautiful scenery, Ålesund does also offer exciting shopping opportunities and has a varied selection of cute cafés and stylish Scandinavian restaurants.
There’s not much more to say other than that the city is a must-visit west coast gem.
The charming little village of Geiranger is instead of being surrounded by the sea like Ålesund, at the head of the beautiful Geirangerfjord encased by towering mountains. If you’re the outdoorsy kind of person who appreciates a good sweaty hike or going for walks in gorgeous scenery, this Norwegian travel destination is perfect for you. It will honestly be like stepping into a fairy tale – that’s how beautiful Geiranger is.
To experience the breath-taking view over the tourist town, I would recommend checking out the viewpoint of Ørnesvingen (The Eagle Road), which is the steepest part of the road travellers will encounter when driving that way to and from the village. There are facilities giving the opportunity to stop and take in the panorama view over the fjord and its mountains, and you can also spot the cruise ships passing by.
If you’re up for a breath of fresh air and want to explore some of the most beautiful scenery Norway has to offer, then make your next adventure Geiranger!
Most famous for its Bird Mountain Rundefjellet, this West Coast Island is a must-visit for those who love to hike and are looking for more mountains to explore. The mountain at Runde consists of various hiking trails, but the most popular ones tend to be Rundebranden, or hiking all the way down to Runde Lighthouse. If you want a medium hike, I would recommend the first one, but if you’re interested in a longer trip, venturing to the lighthouse is great, not to mention absolutely stunning.
So, if you’re looking to escape from a busy city life, and breath in some fresh mountain air, visiting the little Island of Runde will be just the relaxation you need!