If you are in search of some of Europe’s best breaks and can handle the frigid Norwegian Sea (armed with an insulated wetsuit or two), you will be surprised to find a small, dedicated, nearly-secret surfing community just in front of the Alnes Lighthouse.
Not brave enough to dive into those chilly waters? Grab a coffee from the Lighthouse Café and observe said surfers from the safety — and warmth — of the shore.
Ålesund’s unique location perched on the ocean as well as close to so many fjords make it ripe for water adventures. Local boating company 62°NORD offers thrilling “sea safaris” on high-speed RIB boats that fly across ocean waves and bring thrill-seekers up close to dolphin, seal and bird colonies visible only from the water. A variety of other kayak rentals and boat rides — some more adventurous, some more leisurely — can be organized from the downtown center every day.
Featuring only endemic fish and flora, and created using only natural formations and local seawater, the Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium is an exercise in sustainable ecotourism. Located just a few minutes out of town on the banks of the Atlantic Ocean, the design of this aquarium is so well-integrated into the landscape that travelers might have a hard time spotting it when passing by on boats on their way out to the ocean. Lauded globally for its conservation efforts, education programs and having one of the largest saltwater fish tanks in Northern Europe, this is one aquarium that can be enjoyed by parents and children alike.