The Runde island on Sunnmøre has the Norwegian Sea as its nearest neighbor. One of the most important nesting places for puffins is found on the west side of the Runde mountain.
The S-shaped road on the mountain slope in the picture above is the road up to the plateau and the two peaks on Rundefjellet. The first part is paved and quite steep.
Further up to the plateau, the trail is paved with stone slabs to withstand the 40,000 - 50,000 people who visit the island annually in addition to the locals.
On the trails, you are safe but in the marsh areas outside Storjoen rules. It protects its nesting place with a hard hand - or rather, sharp claw.
It keeps an eye on you both from the ground and the air and shows no mercy if you break the rules.
For the sake of yourself, nature, and wildlife, you should therefore stick to the prepared paths. You get a good enough view from them.
The bogs and bird mountains are protected under the Ramsar Convention. Only animals and birds have access here.
Once you have climbed the steepest part of the path up to the plateau, you will come to a crossroads. If you go straight ahead, you come to the bird mountain on the other side of the island where the Puffins and Northern Gannets nest.
The nesting place for the Northern Gannets is not accessible from above but is visible from the side where the mountain looks white due to the large accumulation of birds.
You can look over the edge from the cliffs, but do not go further than the trail allows. Here it is steep and dangerous.
Follow the path to the left along the cliffs until you reach a staircase with wooden railings. It leads to a fenced area in the area of the Puffins nests.
The best time to see Puffins is in the evening. Then they come in from the sea with food. In the summer you should be there from 19-21, in the spring from 18-20.
If you are patient and lucky, you will see both husband and wife gather on the edge outside the nest, a couple of meters below the ground.
There they strengthen the relationship with kisses and hugs and a good conversation before embarking on a new search for food.
The puffins are safe and trusting animals. You get the feeling that they like to show up for you.
In the evening, the area is full of birdwatchers. When a pair of puffins line up just a meter or two away, it becomes completely quiet. Everyone is deeply concentrated. Some have advanced cameras with long telephoto lenses, others only use the camera on the mobile phone. Both can give great pictures.
From the observation site for the Puffins, you can see the steep nesting site for the Northern Gannets. Here, a small cloud can create a magical atmosphere in an instant.
The trip to the bird mountain takes approx. 45 minutes each way. A trip to the lighthouse takes twice as long. It is also a more strenuous trip, but definitely worth the effort.
To get to the lighthouse, go to the right where the paths separate after the ascent to the plateau. You follow the edge of the plateau until you reach the westernmost tip of the mountain.
On the way there you pass the nesting place to the Great Cormorants. The colony is one of the largest in the world, but it is difficult to see the birds from the top.
Here, too, it is well arranged for hikers. It is not possible to get lost.
When you reach the end of the island, you see the area with the lighthouse and the homes below.
The descent to the lighthouse is steep, but well secured with handrails.
The group with residential houses below the lighthouse is managed by the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT). Here you can book accommodation if you want.
The lighthouse is in operation, but unmanned. Previously, it was located further down. The rusty cylinder on the right in the picture above is the foundation of the original lighthouse.
If you go up to the foundation of the old lighthouse, you get in close contact with the Norther Gannets that pass by here on the way to the nesting place.
They are easily recognizable on the narrow shape and the black parts on the tips of the wings.
Some of the birds pass at eye level when they bring food or building materials to the nest.
If you go down to the tip of the land, you get a good view of the Great Cormorant, which passes at low altitude to and from its nesting place on the other side of the island.
The Eurasian Oystercatcher in the picture below made an artful pattern in the air after making its way along the way.
The trip back provides just as nice nature experiences.
On the road up to the plateau of Rundefjellet, is a three-star campsite. It is best suited for motorhomes, but also has small cabins and space for tents. If you want more comfort, you should visit Christineborg Gjesthus.
It is only a few hundred meters away, and here you can get rooms with sea views, private bathroom and shared living room with food and drink.
In the photo above, the owner Arnulf Goksøyr serves one of the guests.
Outside there are play opportunities for children and a nice terrace.
The owner of Christineborg Gjesthus is now building nine cabins on the hill nearby. All cabins will have large windows and panoramic sea views. They will be ready by next spring/summer.
Here, the view of ten-meter-high waves during a hurricane in the autumn will be as spectacular as beautiful sunsets in the summer.
Runde is not a place to go for a swim, but there are some nice little sandy beaches close to the marina a few hundred meters away.
Along the road and around the houses, sheep are wandering about as they wish. The two guys in the photo below are probably discussing the skyrocketing boat prices caused by the corona-pandemic.
The bridge over to the island gives associations to the more famous Atlantic Road further north.
Runde is a small community with about a hundred permanent residents. Not much happens here. It is the tranquility and nature experiences that make tourists come back year after year. If you are going to shop, you have to travel approx. 20 minutes by car to the neighboring island Fosnavåg.
More excursions: www.turideer.com
This week's excursion: Runde island in Sunnmøre
Suitable for: Everyone can experience nature, but the ascent to the mountains requires that you are in normal physical shape, or that you take your time.
Get there: There are several roads to Runde, but from the south and east it makes sense to drive over Volda. From Volda, follow the E39 - road 653 west towards Ulsteinvik. At Haddal, turn right and follow road 654 until you see a sign for Runde. There is only one road on Runde. If you turn right at the first hilltop after Runde miljøsenter, you will come to Christineborg Gjesthus. From there it is only a few hundred meters to the campsite and the end of the road.