Out in the ocean off the traditional district of Sunnmøre lies the island of Runde, internationally known for its bird sanctuary. Runde Lighthouse is situated in the northwest of Runde at Kvalnes. Runde is part of Herøy municipality in Møre og Romsdal. This lighthouse is one of the most popular lighthouses in Norway. The lighthouse became operative in 1767, and was fully manned for 235 years.
In 2002 Runde Lighthouse became a fully automatic lighthouse, and the keeper had to pack his things and leave. The residential buildings have since been used as a self-service tourist station (more on this below).
Runde island is just a marvel of nature with millions of seabirds breeding here – an exceptional variety of species. Around 80 species have been proved nesting here. And more that 230 species have been observed here. Not so many people– there are only about 150 inhabitants.
Runde is the largest bird island south of the Arctic circle. The great favorite among tourists are the puffins. In Runde there are thousands of pairs, maybe even hundreds of thousands. The second biggest colony is the kittiwake, represented with about 50,000 pairs. And then there is the beautiful gannet, blending white with orange lines across the head. The colony at Runde is the biggest and oldest in Norway, one of only about 40 gannet colonies in the world.
- The island is connected to the mainland with a bridge which is free of charge to cross. You can get to Runde all year by public transport, by car or by boat.
- Monday-Friday, you can get to Runde by public transport (bus combined with speed boat).
- Visit Ålesund has a useful page on getting to Runde
- By ferry from Ålesund: Take the Sulasundet – Hareidferry. The fare is NOK 76 for a car with the driver and NOK 27 for each adult. An express ferry straight from Ålesund to Hareid is much more expensive. From Hareid, you drive through a series of islands connected by bridges
- By ferry from Bergen: Take the Koparneset-Arvik ferry. NOK 47 for the car and the driver, and NOK 19 for an adult passenger. After the ferry, you drive north on a series of islands connected by bridges.
DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) cabins
- DNT members are given discounts on lodgings at all cabins and on served meals at the staffed lodges. They have priority on bunks when cabins are crowded and can borrow cabin keys against a deposit.
- Lodgings can not always be booked in advance. Everyone who comes to a cabin will have a place to sleep, either in a bunk or on a mattress on the floor if all bunks are taken. The staffed lodges serve meals, but you shouldn’t arrive past serving times.
- Members can book stays of three nights or more at most staffed lodges, except in high seasons, when the cabins are crowded.
- In southern Norway, the member associations have large staffed lodges and most other cabins are self-service. In northern Norway, the member associations have only no-service cabins.
There are three types of cabins with lodgings: staffed lodges, self-service cabins and no-service cabins:
- Staffed lodges serve breakfast and dinner. Many have showers and electricity, either from the power grid or from a local generator. The staffed lodges are open only in certain seasons. Many staffed lodges have self-service or no-service cabins for accommodation out of season. The self-service facilities are not available when the lodge is staffed in season.
- Self-service cabins are equipped with all that trekkers need for cooking and sleeping. Firewood, gas, kitchen utensils, table linen and bunks with blanks or duvets and pillows (hut sacks, also known as hut sleepers, are required). The cabins are also stocked with provisions including tinned goods, coffee, tea, rye crispbread, and powdered soup packets, but the selection can vary from cabin to cabin. Here trekkers look after themselves: fetch water, cook food, wash up, and chop wood. In high seasons, some cabins have wardens that assist in organizing work. You can pay by direct debit single authorization or by a bank giro drawn on your account. Many self-service cabins are closed for periods during the year.
- No-service cabins usually have the same equipment as self-service cabins, but they have no provisions. There also are a few simpler no-service cabins where you’ll need a sleeping bag and perhaps more equipment. The descriptions of the cabins include specifications of their equipment. Some of the no-service cabins are closed for periods during the year.
- Private staffed lodges resemble but may have higher or lower standards and prices than DNT staffed lodges. Some are real hotels. The seasons of opening vary just as for DNT staffed lodges. A few of the private cabins have limited or no food service. You can advance book at some private cabins to be sure of lodgings, as described in the cabin overviews.
- Private self-service cabins resemble their DNT counterparts, but may have different standards, prices and food selections.
- Private no-service cabins resemble their DNT counterparts, but may have different standards and prices.
- The letter R at the end of a cabin overview means that DNT members are entitled to a discount.
Most staffed lodges are open from late June until early September, but some have longer or shorter seasons. Many no-service cabins also close in some seasons. Seasons usually are stated in the cabin lists for each trekking area. The local trekking associations, as well as DNT online at www.turistforeningen.no, list seasons for all association as well as most private cabins.
Locking – The DNT cabin key
Self-service and no-service cabins are locked with the standard DNT cabin key. If you are a member of DNT or of an affiliated association in another country, you can borrow a DNT cabin key against a deposit of NOK 100, which is refunded upon return. You can pick up and return cabin keys at staffed lodges, DNT member association offices as well as at the offices of DNT representatives in Norway and in other countries.
Many self-service and no-service are unlocked. Some have their own locks. Some cabins are completely closed and not available in some seasons. A cabin may be closed to protect local animals and birds, to comply with an agreement with the owner, or because the trekking association leases it only for certain seasons. Some unstaffed cabins require advance booking, as described in the cabin overviews for each trekking area.
The locking arrangements usually are stated in the cabin lists for each trekking area.
Most staffed lodges have Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals for payment by debit or credit card. At self-service and no-service cabins you can pay with credit card by filling out an authorisation form (“Betalingsfullmakt”) available at the cabin. On the form you must state your credit card number and date of expiration. Drop the form into the payment box/safe at check out. Keep part 2, this is your copy.
For more information , go to the Visit Alesund and Sunnmøre website.
RIB boat trips to Runde
62°Nord offers fantastic RIB boat trips to Runde – a fantastic experience of high-speed boating without being extreme. The combination of speed, sea-spray and excitement really gets the heart pumping, but you are in safe hands. Find out more.