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Ålesund, a quaint fishing town of approximately 45,000 in western Norway, has been called Norway’s most beautiful city. A fire in 1904 destroyed much of it, resulting in the town being rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style—also known as Jugendstil—that was popular around the turn of the 20th century.…

Ålesund, a quaint fishing town of approximately 45,000 in western Norway, has been called Norway’s most beautiful city. A fire in 1904 destroyed much of it, resulting in the town being rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style—also known as Jugendstil—that was popular around the turn of the 20th century. A year after the fire, Norway gained its independence from Sweden, which led to a campaign to build a "Norwegian town" to mark the creation of the new nation. The colorful buildings feature castlelike turrets and spires with intricate facades of ornamental flowers, gargoyles and Viking-inspired decorations.

Bordering the Norwegian Sea, this area is also famous for its mountain ranges and fjords. For those looking for a more active visit, Ålesund offers great hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. One of the highlights is climbing the 418 steps that lead up Mount Aksla for a spectacular view of the city and the Sunnmøre Alps. Nearby is the Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its beautiful waterfalls. This is also home to Atlanterhavsparken, or the Atlantic Sea Park, one of the largest aquariums in Europe.

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In Partnership with
AFAR
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