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Stay: remote and unique places to stay; 6 bucket-list destinations in Norway

With this title, I've set myself quite the impossible task trying to only pick 6 unique places to stay in Norway. For the country is truly littered with remarkable accommodations, each possessing its own unique character. Yet, after much deliberation, I've dared to select six that are just that bit more extraordinary. If perhaps you're destined to visit Norway only once in your lifetime, it's almost an obligation to yourself to spend at least one night in one of these six magnificent destinations. Yes, even if you had originally planned to go camping. Allow me to guide you through the farthest reaches of the country, exploring six bucket-list stays, each leaving an indelible mark upon you.

A modern cabin in a Norwegian landscape

It is no coincidence that I begin this humble narrative by mentioning the Eaglenest Lodge. Perched at a lofty elevation of 901 meters above sea level, and extending boldly into the sky by 8 meters, the lodge offers panoramic vistas that mesmerize visitors throughout the seasons, from the crisp azure days of January to the vibrant hues of autumn. Nestled against a rather steep side of the picturesque valley of Gudbrandsdalen, the Eagle Nest Eco Lodge reminded me somewhat of a modern interpretation of the beacon of Gondor. And if you didn’t catch the Lord of the Rings reference there; it’s high up!

The nearby Rondane, Dovrefjell, and Jotunheimen national parks make the Eagle Nest an excellent springboard for the exploration of some of the most spectacular natural sites the country has to offer. A sturdy and exceedingly comfortable bed, ingeniously fitted with a sliding feature, a bespoke kitchen crafted from local mountain pine, a rejuvenating hot tub, and an open-air log burner; the lodge seamlessly merges the ruggedness of its surroundings with contemporary sophistication. Paying homage to the rich heritage of Gudbrandsdalen, the interior exudes an aura of authenticity, adorned with rustic elements such as aged farm doors, intricately carved wooden shelves, and locally sourced hand-carved slate.

Nearby Natural Highlight: Rondane National Park

Woodnest offers a distinctive and Instagram-perfect treetop cabin experience. Overlooking the rather intriguing town of Odda, deeply nestled in a long and somewhat mystical side arm of the majestic Hardangerfjord, these cabins are crafted by the esteemed Norwegian architects Helen & Hard, embodying a profound reverence for nature. Each 15m2 cabin is ingeniously constructed to be cradled by the supporting tree, seamlessly integrating the living essence of the tree within its structure. Equipped with electricity, a compact kitchenette, high-speed Wi-Fi, modern conveniences such as flush toilets and showers, and underfloor heating to ensure warmth on chilly nights, each cabin provides a haven of comfort and convenience. Their design has been lauded on many platforms, and now it’s your turn to spend the night there.

Nearby Natural Highlight: Trolltunga and Hardangerfjorden

Situated within Finnskogen, in Solør, the 8-meter elevated cabins are nestled within a vast nature reserve teeming with history and wildlife. Bears, wolves, moose—they’re all there. Although chances of seeing them are rather slim, you might if you manage to keep your voice down and have your eyes on the edge of the forest during twilight. Because that’s usually the time a moose would consider coming out in search of dinner. The PAN treetop cabins are renowned for their unique and distinct architecture; the cabins have garnered numerous awards and garnered widespread acclaim in the international press.

PAN1 and PAN2 can accommodate up to six guests, featuring one double bed and four single beds, while PAN3 comfortably houses four individuals. All cabins are equipped with water and electricity, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing stay. The tranquility of its surroundings is rather unique because Finnskogen isn’t exactly a massive tourist magnet, but unjustly so in my opinion. This truly is one of Europe’s last untouched wildernesses.

Nearby Natural Highlight: Finnskogen

Most people come to Lysefjord for a day trip to walk up the steps to Preikestolen, and rightfully so. But very few decide to find accommodation outside of Stavanger. For those seeking a slightly more adventurous stay, Bolder is your best option. Elevated upon substantial concrete pillars, these lodges boast glass facades that afford panoramic views of the surrounding natural splendor of Lysefjorden and the surrounding mountains. Crafted by the esteemed architectural studio, Snøhetta, the Bolder Lodges epitomize an ethos of environmental sustainability; they’re there, but they barely touch the ground. The newly introduced StarLodges epitomize a sanctuary immersed in the embrace of nature, offering a leisurely travel experience. These off-grid luxury cabins perch delicately on the precipice of steep mountainsides, providing guests with a sense of weightlessness amidst the ethereal beauty of the clear blue fjord below. Exuding convenience and comfort, the lodges are meticulously outfitted in collaboration with renowned brands to ensure an unparalleled stay. From high-speed Wi-Fi to well-appointed kitchenettes and inviting living spaces, every amenity is thoughtfully provided.

Nearby Natural Highlight: Preikestolen and Kjerag

Nestled within the scenic Steigen Archipelago off the coast of Northern Norway, Manshausen Island beckons as a singular destination where adventure, tranquility, and a profound connection with nature await. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I dare to call it a destination in itself. Taking the amazing view you have from the seaside cabins into account, a stay here is a justified item on a bucket list. Manshausen boasts an array of 16 structures, among which nine Sea Cabins stand as epitomes of understated elegance, offering unparalleled vistas and an ambiance of serene minimalism. Designed with meticulous attention to comfort, these cabins feature expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that seamlessly merge the interior with the captivating waterscape. The sea cabins have won a ton of architectural awards, for obvious reasons.

Nearby Natural Highlight: the Lofoten Archipelago

As the title suggests, this certainly is a hideaway because it doesn’t get more remote than this location. Nestled amidst the untouched expanse of northern Norway, The Arctic Hideaway is for those seeking tranquility and communion with nature. An hour's boat journey west of Bodø transports you to this secluded sanctuary, where eleven distinct cabins gracefully cascade from hilltops to the water's edge. Here, the absence of man-made clamor and visual clutter affords a rare opportunity for sensory renewal, immersing visitors in the unspoiled majesty of the Arctic landscape.

Fordypningsrommet, aptly named "The Immersion Room," is more than a mere retreat; it is a conduit for profound connection with the natural world. Distractions dissipate in the face of elemental forces, allowing the essence of one's being to emerge, fostering encounters with the deepest recesses of the self. Amidst the rhythmic cadence of the waves and the ethereal dance of the northern lights, clarity of thought finds fertile ground.

Upon the island, the trappings of modernity are conspicuously absent—no cars, no shops. Yet, in this dearth of distractions, lies the invitation to engage wholly with the natural milieu, to embrace the rhythms of existence unfettered by the demands of contemporary life. This place is utterly unique and will leave a mark in your memory you’ll want to revisit over and over again.

Nearby Natural Highlight: the location itself


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