Manshausen is a privately owned island situated in Steigen, northern Norway, in the Grøtøya strait. Between 1690 and 1924, Manshausen was a big trading post for fish, shipping all the way to mainland Europe. Nowadays, the 55-acre haven is a perfect destination for fishing, kayaking, diving, and snorkeling. It’s also located just south of the Lofoten islands and surrounded by the numerous islets of Steigen, so there’s numerous sandy beaches and spectacular mountains just a short boat trip away.
Polar explorer Børge Ousland, the first person to ever have crossed both the North and the South Pole, saw how special Manshausen Island was. He bought it in 2010 and has been developing it as a unique travel destination that offers something for everyone. There are conference facilities for groups in need of a quiet space, exciting outdoor activities for families and a larger main house originally built in the 1800s and is completely renovated. But perhaps the most unique offering is the island’s signature sea cabins: waterfront lodges that constitute the perfect romantic escape for couples who want to leave the world behind (but in a comfortable way).
Designed by architect Snorre Stinessen, the waterfront lodges are located organically on the island shore. There are three sea cabins right on the old stone jetty, while a fourth one overlooks the sea and the mountains from a natural ledge in the terrain. This arrangement is consistent with the Tromsø-based architect’s mission of “developing projects that are conscious of their surroundings and the people inhabiting the spaces”.
Indeed, all the sea cabins, pristine in their blond wood and modern Scandinavian furnishings, are equipped with large glass windows. The impression is that you’re out in nature even when you’re comfortably lounging in bed or on your chair. Stand close to the glass, and you’ll feel like you’re floating over the waters. Slide open the balcony doors, and you can jump straight to said waters. During wintertime, you will be able to have cozy moment inside a cabin while surrounded by the Northern Lights, whereas in the summer you can lounge on the porch, basking in the Midnight Sun. Regardless of the season, Manshausen Island has all the makings of a vacation to remember.
For more information and to book a lodge, visit the website. The island is a 1.5-hour boat ride away from Bodø.