An excellent half-day day hike begins in town, along Romsdalsvegen, 50m north of the roundabout before the Esso petrol station. It takes around one to 1½ hours to reach the summit of Nesaksla (715m), the peak that rises above Åndalsnes. The ascent rewards with the most astonishing views of the Romsdal Alps, the River Rauma and the Romsdal fjord.
Utilising a series of steel walkways, the initial stage of the walk is easy enough to be done in ballet flats. After Nebba, the first viewing point, the marked path onward to the summit of Nesaksla (715m), gets a little more tricky but includes handrails in the steeper section and did not seem to phase your average Norwegian toddler. The most spectacular section is Romsdalstrappa, a series of natural stone stairs (built by a team of Nepalese sherpas) leading to a 6.5m-long metal grid that juts into thin air (calling it a 'viewing platform' just doesn't seem to do it justice).
This trail can also be the start for walking Romsdalseggen, and you can walk from both directions, from Åndalsnes to Vengedalen or from Vengedalen and back to Åndalsnes. From July to September, a bus (125kr, including map and trail information) leaves Åndalsnes for Vengedalen every morning at 9.30am, making for an easy way to do the walk in reverse. You can buy tickets from the tourist office, hotels and campsites. Wear at least sturdy trainers and bring plenty of water.
Other spin-off hikes from here include the straightforward ascent of the summit of Høgnosa (991m) and a trek on to Åkesfjellet (1215m). Alternatively, traverse along the marked route 5km eastward and descend to Isfjorden village, at the head of Isfjord.