THEY call it friluftsliv in Norway, and it translates roughly to “open-air living”. It’s a commitment to celebrate the great outdoors.
With a heritage of outdoor living, from early hunters to the Vikings, most Norwegians embrace nature and get out in the open, whatever the weather.
But, let’s be honest, it’s handy having somewhere homely to dry off and warm up after a day’s adventures. Sometimes you need a roaring fire.
Treading that tightrope with aplomb is the three-bedroom Owners Cabin in Staurneset, on the island of Giske.
Reached by a series of inter-island road bridges from Ålesund, Giske is only around 40 sq km in size but boasts the famous Ocean Sound recording studio, where the likes of Arcade Fire and A-ha have worked on albums.
The studio is actually within sight of Owner’s Cabin, despite the holiday hideaway’s splendid isolation.
Surrounded by untouched land with direct access to the sea, there’s a white sandy beach to your right, and rocky tide pools to your left, as you stare north into the rugged Nordic sea.
The horizon is dotted by the peaks of Sunnmøre Alps, so tall as to remain white and snow-covered well into August.
There are three bedrooms with king-sized beds, one bathroom, a spacious dining room and kitchen, and an open fireplace in the living room.
It’s called Owners Cabin because it is owned by Norwegian couple Knut and Line Flakk, who set up experience travel firm 62°NORD, and also have a string of luxury boutique hotels to their name.
No surprise, then that it’s decorated with an eye to elegant design, Nordic comfort, rich in tactile senses and visual simplicity.
Best of all, given the couple’s love of friluftsliv, it is just steps away from a shoreline from which to watch for orcas, seals and sea birds.
Locals will tell you, by the way, that the island is also home to the happiest cows in the planet – although that’s a boast I have heard before on the Azores.
It is perfect for outings – you can hike or bike to see the curious mix of well-tended farms and swathes of wild forest, or kayak to experience the uniqueness of the North Sea.
And all with the promise of that open fire back at Owners Cabin.
Those looking to push their limits with a real back to nature experience can spend a night under the stars, learning essential outdoors skills with new and immersive camping experience.
Easily accessible, the Sunnmøre region is home to two airports, making it a perfect option for those looking for an off-the-beaten track adventure, without having to venture too far to experience it.
With a collection of boats, helicopters and expert local guides, the 62°NORD team designs bespoke itineraries to suit adventure aficionados of all levels.
- Photography by 62°NORD and @ingallsphoto
All itineraries are tailor-made. For more information visit www.62.no. As always check the latest Covid-19 advice.