Spectacular scenery and award-winning architecture meet you in the legendary Steigen – three hours by car north of Bodø or an hour and a half by speedboat. Today, there is little evidence that this was formerly the most important port north of the Arctic Circle. The Island´s position between dramatic mountains and the Barents Sea has in itself been the inspiration for celebrated Polar Explorer Børge Ousland´s newest adventure; an exclusive adventure and exploration resort in Northern Norway.
Manshausen Island Resort is situated in the middle of the Grøtøya strait, only 500 meters from the small village Nordskot. With its well-protected harbour, Manshausen was in its time an important and busy part of the old trading post Grøtøy, which was established in 1698. Fish is still important, but kayaking, diving, cycling, climbing and summer and winter hiking has now taken over as the most popular activities.
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A 55-acre private island
The 55-acre private island is home to the world´s largest population of Sea Eagles and the fishing is spectacular. To the north the horizon is dominated by the mountain-range of Lofoten. Manshausen is usually fully booked from May to September, but this year the season did not really start before mid-June. A common sauna and hot tub must be left unused this year, but otherwise you can enjoy nature, outdoor life and not least the award-winning sea cabins designed by architect Snorre Stinessen.
You get a wow effect of going into the cabins, but the adventure is far from free. It costs between 3500 NOK (350 USD) and 5700 NOK (570 USD) per night – excluding food. Each cabin has limited space but good use of space – a large bed, two Scandi chairs with panoramic views, a small kitchen and hallway – best suited for a couple. However, If you’re a good organizer, a small extra room can be used by another guest or two.
A living memory of a historical era
The island was used as a private residence and resort until Børge Ousland bought it in 2010.
Grøtøy and neighboring Naustholmen are divided into private properties. At present there are no permanent residents on any of these islands, but the buildings are well maintained. The great old main house on Grøtøya is like a living museum from the early twentieth century, while Villa Haugen, the director’s residence, was rebuilt from old drawings in 2001. Both these buildings, and also the old stone piers on Manshausen, is a living memory of this historical era.
The resort was planned and laid out taking the island’s topography into consideration. The Nordic designed cabins are all but one placed on the stone-quays, partially cantilevered above the sea, one placed on a natural shelf on the rocky formations above. The positioning and orientation of all the cabins is based on the consideration of their individual panoramic views and privacy for the guests.
The main house serves as the social hub featuring open kitchen and dining room, lounge to relax, library, plus the expedition loft and conference room.
Exclusive Adventure and Exploration Resort in Northern Norway
Proximity to nature and the sea is the great thing about Manshausen and the cabins have nice and simple details. You can slide down into a leather-covered chair and enjoy the views of the mountains and fjords and the midnight sun. The cabins have been named after places Ousland has been, such as the North Pole, South Pole, Mount Everest and Patagonia.
The leading polar explorer of our time
With solo expeditions to both the South and North Poles and solo crossings of both the Antarctic and the Arctic from coasts to coasts, Børge Ousland is established as the leading polar explorer of our time.
Manshausen Island was featured on 26 of the Best Trips to Take Right Now on Outside Magazine.
Exclusive Adventure and Exploration Resort in Northern Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg
All images © Manshausen