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Houses and Moored Boats along Brosundet, Alesund, Norway
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Norway Fjord Drive Not Cruise   by Jeff Halter

Alesund Featured Hotels

We took a Norway fjord drive rather than a fjord cruise. Driving through Norway is easy and beautiful. You can choose your own route depending on what your time frame is and what you want to see.
We drove north from Oslo through the middle of the country. You can go through Lillehammer, a pretty resort town that hosted the Olympics in 1994. If you want to see a bit more of the interior of Norway, there are national parks you can explore, or you can visit the historic mining town of Roros. Its 18th century wooden houses have been preserved... many now give home to restaurants and shops.

We cut over to the coast to see Trondheim. It's a lively and historic university town. There are also some ancient rock carvings in the area just north of town. You can visit its historic Nidarosdomen Cathedral and museums.... or just enjoy the colorful town as a great spot to start your Norway fjord drive down the coast.

City and Harbour from Kniven Overlook on Aksla Hill, Alesund, Norway
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Head southwest out of Trondheim on the E39. The road will take you over toll bridges and ferries. Ferries run fairly frequently, so you won't have to wait long. The scenery is great even while you wait.

The ferry from Molde to Vestnes will get you on your way to the very pretty town of Alesund. It has a drop dead gorgeous setting, and the town is a kaleidoscope of colors with its Art Nouveau architecture... all turrets and spires and fancy ornamentation.

It's another great place to spend the night on your drive. The drive to the mountain-top lookout to see the town spread out below is a must. There's a cafeteria on top where you can have a beer and enjoy the view.

Start early and drive along the Storfjorden to Geiranger. The hour ferry ride down the Geirangefjorden is spectacular. This narrow fjord with its waterfalls is visited by cruise ships and photographed often for tourist brochures.... and it's included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

On this Norway fjord drive, you'll encounter lots of winding roads... so wind your way south through spectacular scenery. I know we keep using superlatives, but Norway demands that.

When you get to Sogndal on the Sognefjorden, turn north for a few miles so you can visit the Urnes Stave Church, the oldest wooden church in Norway. It was built in 1150, and is another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Return to Sogndal and head to Kaupanger where you can catch a really long ferry ride on the Sognefjorden.
Fjords Near Bergen, Sognefjord, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
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These ferries don't run quite so often, and because of the long ride, the last ferry is in the afternoon, so check the schedule or be prepared to wait until morning.

This ferry will take you to Gudvangen via the Sonnefjorden, Aurlandsfjorden, and finally the Naeroyfjorden. That last segment is part of the Norway in a Nutshell tour, so you know it's going to be pretty. There is a hotel in Gudvangen, and there are more a few miles further up the road.

Drive the winding road up to Voss. From there you can take the E16 straight to Bergen, or since this is a Norway fjord drive, you can take the scenic route along the Samlafjorden, an arm of the Hardangerfjorden, before you connect back with the highway to get into Bergen.

Make arrangements to drop the car off in Bergen, and visit that historic town. You can fly home from there.

The bridges and ferries are not cheap, so keep your credit card handy. All of Norway does tend to be expensive, so one way to economize is to picnic... and you can't beat the scenery at the road side tables provided. Language is generally not a problem in most of Norway. English is a strong second language, and you will have no problem getting hotels and meals. Buying your tickets on the ferry can almost always be done in English.

A cruise along Norway's Fjords is great, but you really will see a more intimate view of Norway by taking a fjord drive.

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Clarion Collection Hotel Bryggen, Alesund
The Clarion Collection Hotel Bryggen is ideally located close to the Atlantic Sea-Park, one of the largest aquariums in Europe. This Ålesund, Norway hotel is minutes from the Sunnmøre Museum, the Aalesunds Museum and Ålesund Church, featuring beautiful stained glass windows and unique paintings. The Ålesund Airport (Ålesund Lufthavn) is about 15 minutes from the hotel. Be sure to take a scenic drive on Trollstigen, a mountain road that is one of the most renowned in Norway. Several shops and a hospital are nearby. A variety of restaurants are located in the surrounding area.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Alesund
Radisson Blu Hotel, Alesund is located in Alesund, close to Alesund Church, Color Line Stadium, and Atlanterhavsparken. Nearby points of interest also include Sukkertoppen.  This hotel is 50 metres from Ålesundís ferry terminal and 150 metres from the Ålesund Airport Vigra bus stop. It offers free Wi-Fi, a piano bar and sea views. All rooms at Radisson Blu Hotel Ålesund have a TV and a shower. Some rooms offer views of the Ålesund fjord. Guests of Hotel Ålesund can use a nearby gym for free. Services at Radisson Blu Ålesund include express check-out, express laundry and in-room breakfasts.
Rica Hotel Scandinavie, Alesund
This hotel is located in Alesund. Alesund Church is an area attraction. Another nearby attraction is Color Line Stadium. Rica Hotel Scandinavie is located in the heart of Ålesund, just steps from Ålesund's attractions. The hotel was raised in 1905 and is with its architectural style a beautiful sight. The hotel bar is a natural meeting point for both guest and locals. "Brudes Bar" is a place to relax with delicious refreshments. The hotel has 70 large and functional rooms in different categories. All rooms are equipped with television, mini bar, telephone and a bathroom. You'll have access to a wireless internet connection all over the hotel.
Rica Parken Hotel, Alesund
Rica Parken Hotel is located in the heart of Ålesund, one of the country's most important fishing ports. The town park and Fjellstua are the hotel's nearest neighbours. The town burned down in 1904, and over three years was rebuilt in stunning Art Nouveau style. The town offers a rich choice of culture and activities, and every year it hosts the Norwegian Food Festival, the highlight of which is the national cooking championship. The hotel's à la carte restaurant "Brasserie Normandie" has a great reputation for its superb selection of fish and meat dishes. The restaurant offers everything from local specialities to international dishes. The hotel also has the lobby bar and café "Galleri Flora".
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