Runde Panorama: Stay a night where earth meets water
By Andri Papanicolas | Photos: Memoria
The Norwegian coastline is one of the most scenic in the world. This is the place where the elements meet, where earth, water and air collide in the most beautiful ways. Experience it yourself with a stay at the Runde Panorama.
Runde is an island located in Møre og Romsdal County in Norway. The small paradise is known for mostly two things: bustling wildlife and treasure hunting. The island only has a population of a hundred people, yet travellers from all over the world go to Runde every year to experience the unique nature and especially to catch a sight of the famous puffins, or ‘lundefugl’ in Norwegian. Now, you have the opportunity to spend the night at the bird island, right next to the Norwegian sea.
An escape by the open sea
The main shareholder of Runde Panorama, Arnulf Goksøyr also runs a bed and breakfast on the island called Christineborg Guest House. The guest house was designed by his father and built and run by his uncle, and they have welcomed visitors since 1979. Today, the establishment is an important melting pot that brings people together.
Despite the harsh terrain, Goksøyr wanted to take advantage of the stunning property right next to the ocean and decided to give the architects creative leeway in the planning of Runde Panorama. “I told the architects to draw me something that works with the terrain and does minimal damage to nature,” he says.
The area consists of nine independent cabins built on poles on top of a rocky landscape fronting the open sea. Guests here live in harmony with the elements, and just like nature’s, its atmosphere is raw, pure and authentic.
Free-standing sustainable cabins
The cabins contain all the necessities and have a fully equipped kitchen. The furniture is hand-made and delivered locally from Ekornes. “It is important that there is quality in everything we do. The idea behind the cabins is that they are built around nature and if they are to be taken down in 70 years time, they won’t leave a footprint,” Goksøyr says.
Each cabin is around 70 square-feet, enjoys full privacy from the rest of the lodgings, and has room for up to six people. One cabin has been designed specifically for people with accessibility requirements and comes with a ramp. “We want people to come here and take in all that nature has to offer,” Goksøyr says.
An El Dorado of wildlife
For such a small island, Runde has a lot to offer. Even though the puffins get more press than the other birds, they are far from the only ones there. From April to August, 500,000 birds of some 230 different species flock to the island for the breeding season. 80 of these species hatch their eggs during this season. No wonder, then, that this is known the bird island.
“We have people coming from all around the world to see the puffins. They are called the parrots of the sea,” he says. Less than an hour’s walk from Runde Panorama is the famous bird mountain where you can get face to face with the puffins and many other bird species.
Go treasure hunting
But Runde also offers incredible diving opportunities. The island has a rich and important maritime history, and many merchant ships have sailed by throughout the years. On January 9, 1725, the Dutch merchant ship Akrendam sailed from the island of Texel to Batavia to buy spices and other exotic products. Six weeks later, the ship was hit by a bad storm at sea and 200 people lost their lives. Fast forward 250 years: on a summer’s day in 1972, three divers off the coast of Runde discovered 57,000 gold and silver coins from the Akrendam wreck. To this day, it remains one of Europe’s greatest coin finds, dubbed The Runde Treasure. And who knows what else is down there?
Everybody has their own relationship to the ocean. Some people like to dive in it, others like to sit down and take in the view. Runde Panorama offers room for breathing, reflection and relaxation, with nature at your doorstep. All the cabins are unique and custom-made, with their own names. You can truly experience Norwegian history and wildlife on Runde island, in summer or winter.
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