Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of a devastating city fire of 1904, the regional capital of north western Norway, Ålesund, was swiftly rebuilt with the financial aid from Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany in the most popular architectural style at the time – art nouveau. Pointy spires and handmade façade decorations have helped Ålesund gain the reputation as a must-visit for tourists around the world.
Ranked as one of the six most beautiful small port cities in Europe by National Geographic a few years ago, Ålesund has it all: Interesting architecture, stunning landscapes and a fascinating history. The narrow channel through the heart of the city is teeming with life, and beautiful hand decorated buildings rise directly out of the water as the Venice of the north.
While experiencing the charming port in the middle of an urban environment, you also feel close to nature. From the port, you can see the soaring snow-capped mountains of the Sunnmøre Alps, the fjords of Western Norway or straight out to the vast Atlantic ocean. And of course, you can purchase freshly caught fish, shrimps or crabs from the local fishermen directly from their boats in the middle of the harbour.
The possibilities surrounding the port are endless. Take a romantic walk, gaze at the stunning architecture, learn about the history of the city in the art nouveau centre, hike up the 418 steps to Mount Aksla for a stunning view of the city, or experience the port in the most unique way possible; by kayak.
If you want to read more about why National Geographic thinks Ålesund is one of the six most beautiful port cities of Europe, you can find the article here.
Photo one: olga.govorkoFoap/Visitnorway.com
Photo two: Frithjof Fure /Visitnorway.com
To view more photos, visit our Facebook page