The Scandinavian Outdoor Group , an organisation that promotes Scandinavian outdoor experiences and outdoor brands, has a strapline: ‘It’s more fun doing business with Scandinavians’. With this in mind Magnetic North Travel recently joined a SOG outdoor academy for 5 days trekking in the Sunnmore Alps. The flight into Ålesund, the gateway to the Alps, provided a perfect prelude. The plane descended over the snowy peaks and fjords before touching down on Vigra island. Here we were met by the local tourist officer, who promptly offered us Svele (pancakes) and coffee.
Next stop was the factory of wool garment producer Devold which is also a visitor museum. Worn by Norwegians for 150 years, including many polar explorers, the group picked up a number of products from Devold, Ecco, Aclima, Helsport and TentTipi. After a briefing and meal we spent our first night in the Sami kata-inspired TentTipi’. We then boarded a charter boat and headed down the Hjornflorden to Urke.
Packs on we headed off climbing up to set up our base camp next to the Patchell Hut situated at the foot of the local peak Mount Slogen. Stopping along the way, our guides checked our orienteering skills and supplied locally caught and cured Wild Salmon and Venison sausages and steaks. Tents pitched on the edge of the snow line, we woke the next morning, donned our gaiters and headed up Slogen (1500m). That evening, to celebrate the officially opening the newly renovated Patchell hut, we shared corn beer and sour cream mash.
After breaking camp we trekked down to Øye where the Union Hotel sits. The hotel is a time capsule. As you enter, a suit of armour, reindeer horns and a hushed reverberation of a bygone era when British climbers like Patchell and Silsbury first visited the area and introduced the innovative idea of climbing peaks for leisure. The hotel still contains ancient climbing books. From Øye the tour took in the stunning Geirangerfjord before heading into the lush valleys of Valdar (Norway’s key strawberry growing area). Here melting snow made for an excellent rafting adventure on the river followed by more pancakes, local strawberries and coffee brewed on an open fire.
The last part of the tour took us along the National Tourist route, the Trollstigen. Recent investment has helped to create new architecture and design structures that promote a new enmeshment between human-made architecture and natural landscape. Nowhere exemplifies this more than the Juvet Café and the Juvet Landscape Hotel. Relaxing in the sauna and hot-tub, or canyoning down the river, skiing in winter season, or enjoying locally sourced food in the lodge, Juvet is a unique way to round off a trip to Sunnmore. For details of our short break tailored packages, click here.
With Ålesund as your gateway, Sunnmore as your natural playground, world class sights of Geirangerfjord, Stroflossen, Trollstigen and unique architecture of the national tourist route and Juvet Landscape Hotel and café this is ideal for those searching for the less travelled paths into the beauty of the Norwegian Alps.
If you are interested in a holiday package that combines the outdoors with the fantastic design and architecture routes and stunning hotel accommodation, get in touch with Magnetic North Travel, and we’ll create your own tailored tour. To find out more about staying at the Landscape Hotel click here. To see the full set of photos from this trip, visit our Facebook page.
To find out more about the Scandinavian Outdoor Group, visit www.scandinavianoutdoorgroup.com.