Giske municipality essentially comprises several islands of different sizes, but which have plenty of history and relevance. The islands have relics from both the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, and the people who have lived here have thus played a key role in the history of Norway. One interesting question, which is much debated, is whether the Viking King Rollo of Normandy came from Giske, and whether William the Conqueror and therefore the English monarchy descend from him.
About the islands
Godøy - The charming fishing community Alnes is situated on the far side of Godøy. It was one of the biggest fishing villages in Sunnmøre in its day, and has been designated a national cultural landscape. You can enjoy unobstructed views of the ocean from Alnes, and the rows of old houses in the oldest part of the settlement. There is beautiful and varied walking terrain in the mountains and on the shore, with pebble beaches and a sandy beach that are perfect for taking a dip and surfing. Hiking in the mountains is another popular activity, where you can enjoy panoramic views all the way to the Sunnmøre Alps. The Johan Skytt rock formation on the mountainside makes for an impressive viewpoint.
Alnes Visitor Centre and Alnes Lighthouse, which is listed, are also situated on Alnes.
The first lighthouse was built in 1876 and was operated by the locals. The lighthouse we see today dates from 1937 and stands 22 metres tall. The lighthouse is open for guided tours, and the visitor centre sells art, handicrafts, dinner and delicious homemade cakes.
Giske - There are wonderful walks to do on this flat island, along its shore and beautiful, white beaches, which are popular with the locals. Giske has witnessed numerous historical events, and Giske Church, a long church in white marble dating from approx. 1170, is not far from the millennium site. Giske Amfi is also close by, which stages the Giskespelet pageant every year. This pageant takes the audience back to the Viking Age, just before the Battle of Stiklestad, in which powerful men and women from Giske were involved.
Vigra - The biggest island where you will also find Ålesund Airport Vigra, which operates domestic and international flights. Burial mounds and traces from the Iron Age are also found on this historical island, as well as abundant wildlife, lovely trails and excellent beaches for bathing.
Valderøya - The most densely populated island and the administrative centre of the municipality. Destinations such as Signalen and Skjonghellaren are definitely worth exploring. Skjonghellaren is one of the biggest caves found along the coast, with traces of human activity dating back 30,000 years. Remember to bring a torch!
How to get to Giske and Alnes
Fly to Ålesund Airport Vigra, which is close to all the islands whether you are travelling by hire car or bus. There is a regular bus service from Ålesund to Alnes via Valderøy and Giske, or you can drive through the underwater tunnels. Note that it is not possible to cycle through the tunnels. There is also an express boat service between Ålesund and Valderøya, with a bus connection on to the airport.
Information about all public transport is available at www.frammr.no.