Charming Alesund (pronounced Olesund) is among Norway's most picturesque and atmospheric fishing ports. Alesund lies at the mouth of Stor Fjord and is set on two islands which are connected by bridges. Cruise ships dock close to the centre of the town so exploration and shopping can be done on foot. You can take the 400 steps up to the Kniven Overlook on Mt Aksla for a stunning panoramic view of the bay, surrounding mountains and offshore islands. As a result a 1904 fire, Alesund was rebuilt with stone instead of wood and is rich in a delightful art nouveau architecture of towers, turrets and medieval romantic facades.
Further out is the outdoor Sunnmore Museum where you can see a collection of traditional farmhouses and boats and the Medieval Museum which has a recreation of a 10th century village. Also on the outskirts is the Atlantic Ocean Marine Park with massive seascape tanks built into the coastline. You can also visit the islands of Giske (burial mounds) and Godoy (lighthouse). Alesund is also a starting point for touring the hills of the Sunnmore region, the Norang valley, the Oye glaciers and the island of Runde. The town dates from the 9th century when Rollo (Rolf) the Ganger built a castle nearby, but it did not become a town until 1848.
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