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Staying In Øye: A Part Of Norway’s Royal History


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Starr Earls



Welcome to Øye, a small village nestled amidst the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Norway. Located on the shores of the beautiful Norangsfjorden in the Western Fjords region, Øye is a place that will captivate your senses and immerse you in Norway’s rich history and breathtaking landscapes.


With its royal connections and a fascinating past, Øye offers a unique glimpse into Norway’s heritage. But it is not just the historical significance that makes Øye so special; it is also a haven for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those seeking tranquility amidst stunning surroundings.


As you step foot in Øye, you will be transported back in time, surrounded by the remnants of Norway’s royal history and the picturesque landscapes that have inspired artists and adventurers for centuries.


In this article, we will guide you through the wonders of Øye, exploring its royal connections, historic Øye Hotel, architectural marvels, and the multitude of activities and attractions that make this village a must-visit destination in Norway. So, get ready to embark on a journey to Øye and immerse yourself in the beauty and grandeur of Norway’s past.


A Brief Overview of Øye

Located in the western part of Norway, Øye is a charming village that sits on the banks of Norangsfjorden. With its picturesque setting surrounded by majestic mountains and serene fjords, Øye has long been a destination for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.


Despite its small size, Øye holds a significant place in Norway’s history. Once a popular summer retreat for Norwegian royalty, Øye boasts a rich heritage that can still be felt today. The village is home to the renowned Øye Hotel, which has welcomed illustrious guests and played host to significant events throughout the years.


Aside from its royal connections, Øye is known for its pristine landscapes, offering visitors the opportunity to explore enchanting forests, hike towering mountains, and witness the dramatic beauty of the fjords. The village is perfectly situated for outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing, and hiking, making it a haven for adventure enthusiasts.


Despite its popularity among tourists, Øye has managed to maintain its authenticity and charm. The village is characterized by its well-preserved wooden houses, reflecting traditional Norwegian architecture. Strolling through the streets of Øye feels like stepping into a postcard, with colorful buildings nestled amidst lush greenery.


Food lovers will also find delight in Øye, as the village is known for its culinary offerings. From fresh seafood plucked straight from the fjords to traditional Norwegian dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients, Øye presents a gastronomic adventure that will please even the most discerning palates.


Whether you are seeking a tranquil retreat or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Øye offers something for everyone. Its captivating history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality make it an unforgettable destination in Norway.


The Royal Connection

Øye holds a special place in Norway’s history due to its close association with the Norwegian Royal Family. It was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that Øye gained popularity as a favored holiday destination for Norwegian royalty.


King Oscar II and Queen Josephine of Sweden and Norway were among the first to discover the allure of Øye. They were so enamored with the beauty of the village and its surroundings that they built their own summer residence, known as “The Royal Villa,” in Øye. This iconic villa became a symbol of the royal connection to the village and a place where the royal family could escape the pressures of their official duties.


The presence of the Norwegian Royal Family in Øye attracted other influential figures and dignitaries from both Norway and abroad. Noble families, artists, and writers flocked to the village, drawn by its majestic landscapes and the royal seal of approval.


Even after the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905, Øye continued to be a favorite destination for Norwegian royalty. King Haakon VII and Queen Maud of Norway were frequent visitors to Øye, often accompanied by their son, Crown Prince Olav.


Today, the royal connection is still preserved in Øye, with The Royal Villa serving as a private residence. While visitors cannot enter the villa itself, its presence adds to the village’s allure and offers a glimpse into the regal history that permeates the area.


The royal connection has left an indelible mark on Øye, shaping its identity and attracting curious travelers who are eager to explore the historical significance of the village. Walking through Øye, one can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and reverence for the landmark royal events that unfolded there.


As you wander through the village, take a moment to imagine the Norwegian royals enjoying the same scenic views, breathing in the crisp mountain air, and finding solace in the beauty of Øye. The royal connection adds a touch of prestige to Øye and makes it a destination that truly stands out in Norway’s rich tapestry of history and culture.


The Historic Øye Hotel

One of the most iconic landmarks in Øye is the historic Øye Hotel, a place that has witnessed centuries of history and hosted distinguished guests from around the world. Built in 1891, this grand hotel stands as a testament to the village’s royal connections and its prominence as a luxurious getaway.


The Øye Hotel is a masterpiece of Swiss chalet-style architecture, with intricate wooden carvings and ornate details that enhance its charm and elegance. It was designed by the renowned architect Henrik Nissen, who incorporated elements of the Art Nouveau style to create a truly unique and opulent setting.


Throughout its long history, the Øye Hotel has welcomed esteemed guests, including members of European royalty, writers, and artists seeking inspiration from the captivating Norwegian landscapes. The hotel’s walls have seen the likes of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and other illustrious figures who sought refuge in the tranquility of Øye.


Walking into the Øye Hotel is like stepping back in time. The interior is adorned with antique furniture, plush fabrics, and original artwork, creating an atmosphere of timeless elegance. High ceilings, grand chandeliers, and intricate stucco work further enhance the hotel’s regal ambiance.


While the Øye Hotel has retained its historic charm, it also offers modern amenities and comforts to ensure a pleasant stay for guests. Luxurious rooms and suites overlook the stunning fjords or the beautifully landscaped gardens, providing a tranquil retreat for weary travelers. The hotel’s restaurant serves a delectable array of gourmet cuisine, showcasing the finest flavors of the region.


Aside from its architectural and historical significance, the Øye Hotel also offers a range of activities for guests to enjoy. From guided hikes and fishing expeditions to kayaking on the fjords, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse oneself in the natural wonders of Øye.


Spending a night at the Øye Hotel is an experience that transcends ordinary accommodation. It allows guests to step into the footsteps of kings and queens, to indulge in luxury amidst breathtaking surroundings, and to create memories that will last a lifetime.


The Øye Hotel stands as a symbol of Øye’s royal heritage and its status as a destination that has enchanted visitors throughout the ages. It continues to welcome guests from near and far, offering a glimpse into Norway’s rich history and providing an unforgettable stay in the heart of this enchanting village.


Architecture and Design

The architecture and design of Øye showcase the rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions that have shaped the village over the centuries. From traditional Norwegian wooden houses to grand landmarks, Øye is a testament to the beauty and craftsmanship of Norwegian architecture.


One of the most striking features of Øye’s architecture is the prevalence of well-preserved wooden houses. These charming, colorful structures line the streets of the village, creating a picturesque and inviting atmosphere. The architectural style of these houses is rooted in Norwegian tradition, with signature elements such as steep roofs, intricate woodwork, and vibrant facades.


Beyond the charming houses, the Øye Hotel stands as a pinnacle of architectural excellence. Designed in the Swiss chalet style, it seamlessly blends with its natural surroundings while exuding an air of sophistication and elegance. The hotel’s intricate wooden carvings, ornate details, and sweeping balconies are a testament to the craftsmanship of the era.


The interior of the Øye Hotel is equally impressive, with its opulent furnishings, elaborate stucco work, and grand chandeliers. The blend of Art Nouveau influences creates a harmonious and luxurious ambiance that transports guests to a bygone era.


Another notable architectural gem in Øye is the historic Øye Church. Built in 1858, this white wooden church stands as a symbol of religious sentiment and community unity. With its traditional design and peaceful setting, it offers a place of solace and reflection for locals and visitors alike.


While Øye’s architecture is steeped in tradition, the village also showcases contemporary design. The integration of modern elements into the landscape ensures a harmonious balance between the past and the present. Whether it’s a modern cultural center or a sleek new restaurant, Øye embraces architectural diversity while maintaining its overall charm.


Visitors to Øye have the opportunity to not only marvel at the architectural wonders but also delve deeper into the design principles and cultural significance that shaped the village. Guided tours and historical information provide insights into the influences and styles that have contributed to the unique architectural landscape of Øye.


Ultimately, Øye’s architecture and design serve as a visual representation of the village’s identity and heritage. From the traditional wooden houses to the grandeur of the Øye Hotel, each structure contributes to the narrative of Norway’s history and offers a glimpse into the artistic talents and cultural richness of the region.


Activities and Attractions in Øye

Øye is not just a place of historical significance and stunning landscapes; it also offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a culture lover, Øye has something to cater to every interest:

  • Exploring Norangsdalen: Embark on a scenic hike through Norangsdalen, a nearby valley surrounded by towering mountains and cascading waterfalls. This picturesque landscape offers breathtaking views and is a paradise for nature lovers.
  • Kayaking on Norangsfjorden: Experience the serenity of the fjords by kayaking on Norangsfjorden. Glide along the calm waters, marvel at the rugged cliffs, and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the surroundings.
  • Hiking to Hjørundfjellet: Lace up your hiking boots and conquer Hjørundfjellet, the majestic mountain that dominates the skyline of Øye. With its panoramic views of the fjords and surrounding peaks, this hike is a must for adventurers and photography enthusiasts.
  • Visiting the Øye Church: Step inside the charming Øye Church, a 19th-century wooden church that has stood as a pillar of the community for generations. Admire its simple yet elegant design and experience a moment of peace and reflection.
  • Exploring the Øye Open-Air Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich folklore and traditional architecture of Norway at the Øye Open-Air Museum. This living museum showcases historic buildings and exhibitions that provide insights into the daily lives of the local community in bygone eras.
  • Fishing in the fjords: Cast your line into the crystal-clear waters of Norangsfjorden and try your hand at fishing. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, fishing in Øye offers a chance to relax, enjoy the serene surroundings, and perhaps catch your dinner.
  • Visiting the Royal Villa: While the interior of Øye’s Royal Villa is not open to the public, you can still admire the iconic building from the outside. Take a leisurely stroll and marvel at the architectural splendor that once hosted Norwegian royalty.
  • Indulging in local cuisine: Sample the flavors of Norway at one of the local restaurants in Øye. From fresh seafood to traditional Norwegian dishes, the culinary scene offers a delicious journey in itself.

With its wealth of activities and attractions, Øye ensures that visitors have plenty to see and do. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or cultural immersion, this charming village has it all.


The Scenic Beauty of Øye

Prepare to be enchanted by the unparalleled scenic beauty of Øye. Nestled in the heart of Norway’s Western Fjords region, this picturesque village is a haven for nature lovers and those seeking awe-inspiring landscapes.


Surrounded by majestic mountains, fjords, and lush greenery, Øye offers a visual feast that will leave you breathless. The dramatic peaks rise dramatically from the fjords, casting their reflections onto the calm waters below. The ever-changing play of light creates a mesmerizing ambiance that has inspired artists and photographers for centuries.


One of the highlights of Øye’s natural beauty is the Norangsfjorden. Stretching for miles, this fjord is renowned for its deep blue waters, mirrored by the towering cliffs that flank its shores. Taking a leisurely boat ride along the fjord allows you to fully appreciate the tranquility and grandeur of your surroundings.


As you explore Øye, you’ll discover enchanting waterfalls cascading down the mountainsides, creating a symphony of rushing water and mist. The sound of the water coupled with the refreshing spray will transport you to a peaceful state of mind.


The beauty of Øye extends beyond the water and mountains, as the village is also home to vibrant flora and fauna. Dense forests with tall, swaying trees and colorful wildflowers offer a tranquil backdrop for hikes and nature walks. Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife, such as eagles soaring in the sky or reindeer grazing in the distance.


Each season brings its own unique charm to Øye. In the summer, the landscape bursts into life with vibrant colors and the midnight sun graces the sky, casting an ethereal glow over the fjords. In the winter, the snow-covered peaks create a magical winter wonderland, inviting you to engage in thrilling outdoor activities such as skiing or snowshoeing.


Øye’s scenic beauty is not limited to its natural surroundings; the village itself is a visual delight. Traditional wooden houses painted in vibrant hues line the streets, adding to the picturesque charm. The well-preserved architecture and manicured gardens create a harmonious blend between human craftsmanship and the surrounding natural beauty.


Photographers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking tranquility will all find solace in the scenic beauty of Øye. The village offers a chance to reconnect with nature, marvel at the wonders of the natural world, and create lifelong memories of a truly extraordinary place.


Experiencing Norway’s Royal History in Øye

Visiting Øye is not just an opportunity to immerse yourself in the scenic beauty and outdoor activities; it is also a chance to experience Norway’s rich royal history firsthand. With its royal connections and historical landmarks, Øye provides a unique glimpse into the regal past of the country.


One of the most notable aspects of Øye’s royal history is the presence of the Norwegian Royal Family. The village served as a beloved summer retreat for Norwegian royalty, including King Oscar II, Queen Josephine, King Haakon VII, Queen Maud, and Crown Prince Olav. The Royal Villa, nestled amidst the beautiful landscapes of Øye, was their private sanctuary away from the demands of their official duties.


Although the Royal Villa is not open to the public, its significance and connection to the royal family still resonate throughout the village. As you stroll through Øye, you can imagine the regal figures who once walked the same streets, admiring the breathtaking views and finding solace in the tranquility of the surroundings.


The Øye Hotel, with its rich history, further immerses visitors in the royal experience. This grand hotel has welcomed European nobility, including Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, among others. With its opulent interior, antique furnishings, and elegant ambiance, the Øye Hotel allows guests to relive a bygone era of sophistication and grandeur.


In addition to royal landmarks, Øye offers opportunities to explore Norway’s cultural heritage. The Øye Open-Air Museum provides insights into the traditional way of life in rural Norway, showcasing historic buildings and exhibitions that depict the daily lives of the local community in years past.


As you wander through Øye, you’ll also encounter architectural marvels that reflect the country’s royal history. The Øye Church, a 19th-century wooden church, stands as a testament to the religious and communal significance of the village. Its simple yet elegant design invites visitors to admire its beauty and serenity.


To fully experience Norway’s royal history in Øye, engage in guided tours and activities that delve deeper into the village’s regal connections. Local guides can offer fascinating stories, historical insights, and trivia about the royal figures who have left their mark on this enchanting destination.


By experiencing Norway’s royal history in Øye, you not only gain a deeper understanding of the country’s past but also develop a profound appreciation for the cultural heritage that has shaped this captivating village. Øye allows you to step back in time, where the allure of royalty can still be felt and celebrated in a setting of unparalleled natural beauty.



Øye, with its royal history, spectacular landscapes, and captivating charm, is a destination that truly embodies the essence of Norway. As you explore this idyllic village nestled amidst majestic mountains and serene fjords, you will be transported to a world of natural beauty and regal grandeur.


From the royal connections that date back to the 19th century to the renowned Øye Hotel, Øye offers a unique glimpse into Norway’s royal past. The presence of Norwegian royalty in Øye has shaped its identity and attracted other notable figures from around the world, leaving a lasting impact on this enchanting destination.


But Øye is not just about its rich history. The village is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of activities including hiking, kayaking, fishing, and breathtaking scenery waiting to be explored. From the awe-inspiring Norangsfjorden to the majestic peaks of Hjørundfjellet, the natural beauty of Øye will leave a lasting impression on your soul.


As you wander through the streets of Øye, you will be captivated by the charm of its well-preserved wooden houses, traditional architecture, and vibrant gardens. The village seamlessly blends its historical heritage with contemporary elements, creating a unique ambiance that is both comforting and invigorating.


In Øye, you can indulge in culinary delights, sample fresh seafood, and experience the warmth of Norwegian hospitality. The village offers a range of dining options to satisfy every palate, bustling with flavors that represent the region’s rich culinary traditions.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into Norway’s royal history, Øye has it all. This hidden gem invites you to connect with nature, immerse yourself in history, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


So, pack your bags, venture into the captivating landscapes, and embrace the royal beauty of Øye. It’s a destination where history and nature coexist harmoniously, leaving visitors with a sense of wonder and an enduring appreciation for the captivating beauty of Norway.