Runde is an island located in Herøy municipality in the southern coastal area of Møre & Romsdal in Norway. This is the southernmost bird cliffs in the country.I’ve been here several times, at different seasons of the year to witness the amazing bird colonies and also the emptiness in the off-season. Just the road from the bridge and out to the parking spot on the island is an attraction in it self as it clings to the cliffsides, has small dark tunnels and tightens in to a single file road.
You can stop at Goksøyr near the camping site, and there is a new concrete road with railings up the steep hill. After that, it is almost just flat terrain, often quite muddy and wet even during warm summer days.
Just over a hundred people live here permanently, many of them relying on farming Old Norwegian Sheep and fishing, at least back in the day. Then every spring the island is taken over by over half a million nesting birds in the cliffs of the mountain facing out.
Some of the most popular sigthings include Puffins, White-tailed eagles and Gannets.
It’s easy to see why the Puffins are a favorite, and why people we call them the parrots of the sea (Sjøpapegøye). They don’t seem to care that you are sitting half a meter away snapping photos. But these close up shots of the Puffins were taken back in 2007, before there was further restrictions of entering the nesting area. This is because tourists keep feeding the birds and littering the area.
However I think the Great Skuas are safe for now, let’s just say they have a bit of a temper so watch your head around these guys.
Climate and littering is threatening the sea birds here and it might not be given that Runde remains as a bird island in the future the way things are going. Not only is the lack of food a problem for the birds bringing up their next generation, but also the vast amounts of plastic in the sea is a direct threat to the birds. I’ve seen horrific images of Gannets being stuck in old fishing nets and plastic. I am hoping something can be done before it is too late as I have so many good memories of hiking with my dad and hearing the hundreds of thousands of bird screams over the edge of the cliffs.
You can hike the surrounding peaks and there is a trail leading to the lighthouse.
Clean and pure view.
This is a great spring and summer -trip with endless possibilities.
- A ship from the Netherlands called Akerendam went down in a storm on the coast of Runde in 1725, washing both dead crew members and chests with treasures on up land and was found by the local inhabitants of Runde. Over 500kg of coins in gold and silver was found during the 70’s by some swedish divers discovering the ruined ship wreck. The coins are now found in museums like Bergen Sjøfartsmuseum and the Norwegian Coin Museum in Oslo (Wiki).
- There is a research station with several functions on the island called Runde environmental centre (Runde Miljøsenter).
- It is possible to stay overnight at Runde lighthouse, there is several buildings but it is a bit of a steep hike to get there. Check out ut.no for details.
Being the daugther of the last “lighthouse-keeper” generation, this is the sort of locations I feel really connected to.
Thanks for the read! – Sunni