7 Accommodation to stay in Iceland
Iceland. The word evokes different images and ideas depending on the traveler. Reykjavík is the capital city as well as the biggest city in the country, lying on the southern shore of Faxaflói bay in southwestern Iceland. The country is seen as one of the oldest democracies in the world, and they had a ban on beer for 74 years which is now memorialized on Beer Day on the 1st of March. Now they have beer but still no McDonald’s. You will not find a McDonald’s outlet in all of Iceland.
Regardless of the season, the universal point of agreement countrywide is Dress right for Iceland where layering is always the way to go. Þetta reddast can be regarded as somewhat of an Icelandic mantra or national motto because they are just cool that way and Everything will be okay! (which is what Þetta reddast translates to in English).
Elves are represented when new construction is being considered on the lava fields. This is because Iceland has a long association with the Huldufólk or hidden people who are believed to live in the lava fields.
Gluggaveður or window weather gives visitors occasion and reason to enjoy holidaying with a hot beverage in hand, looking out over the romantic scenery from inside any of the many cozy hotels in Iceland. There is accommodation in Iceland that is perfectly suited to this form of relaxation. Outdoor enthusiasts get to enjoy all the unique natural and man-made aspects of the country. And there is much to appreciate, whether it be winter, summer, fall, or spring. Leave your hotel to experience the local places of interest, wherever you find yourself in the country. There will indubitably be scenic mountains (fjall), picturesque waterfalls (foss), scintillating natural hot springs (hver) and exciting glaciers (jökull) outside of the town limits. Culturally, get a load of the quaint streets (straeti) and evocative churches (kirkja) in many a nook and cranny that is a town or city.
Iceland accommodation, it stands to reason, will fit seamlessly into the approach to life that is intimated in Þetta reddast: Everything will be okay.
Hotel Gullfoss in Haukadalur
An unassuming family owned hotel is to be found just an hour and a half outside the capital city of Reykjavik, near the Hvítá river canyon and only 2 miles or 3 kilometers from the Gullfoss Waterfall. Hotel Gullfoss has quite the famous traditional restaurant. Here, diners get to savor its daily buffet for breakfast and later in the day seafood and Icelandic lamb.
The hotel offers standard rooms and superior rooms that accommodate from one to three guests.
In the nearby Haukadalur Valley is the Great Geysir, the most well-known of the country’s natural hot springs or geysers. About a half hour’s drive from the hotel is the Thingvellir National Park, strewn with expanses of its unique boulders.
Hotel Laxa in Myvatn
With most rooms of this accommodation in Iceland looking out over Lake Mývatn, guests get to enjoy this modern retreat with views typical of Iceland. Close by guests can enjoy the outdoors and scenic surroundings while hiking and horseback riding. The Eldey restaurant on site has a menu that focuses on the uniqueness of the Myvatn region. Regional food is served, with beef and lamb from Eyjafjordur, Arctic fish from Husavik, and fresh fruit and vegetables grown in heated greenhouses on nearby farms.
It is an easy half hour drive to one of the country’s largest waterfalls, the cascading Godafoss. It is known as the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ and is fed by a river that traverses a seven thousand year old Dimmuborgir lava field that once coursed their way from the Trölladyngja volcano. The Hverfjall crater and the pseudocraters beckon keen hikers. Fans of Game of Thrones can visit the filming location at Grotagja caves. Other activities on offer during winter are ice fishing, cross country skiing, and snowmobile riding on the frozen surface of Myvatn. Guests can view the northern lights from here, take in some bird watching, or take a private superjeep tour to Askja.
Vogafjós Farm Resort in Myvatn
The eastern shore of Lake Myvatn boasts this family-run guesthouse where guests relax idyllically on their secluded patio on a generational farm that has been in the family for over 120 years. The Vogafjós Guesthouse gives the option of Iceland accommodation in any one of two log houses each with ten rooms or a single log house offering family rooms and double rooms.
The cowshed houses Vogafjos Café which serves up locally produced fare including smoked lamb and trout.
Blue Hotel Fagrilundur in Reykholt
A gem among the country hotels in Iceland, on the Golden Circle and less than an hour from Reykjavik, guests can choose between the hotel or the cabins. The Golden Circle is central to places of interest such as Þingvellir national park, Geysir hot spring, Gullfoss waterfall, and the historical episcopal of Skálholt. The western village of Reykholt is not only home to the Blue Hotel Fagrilundur but also the thirteenth century poet Snorri Sturluson. With sweeping terrace views and a hot tub, the Hotel also serve a delicious continental breakfast.
The twelve Blue Cabins sit atop a hill, five minutes by car from the hotel. The views of the quiet surroundings give the impression of being far from the Madding crowd.
360 Hotel & Thermal Baths in Selfoss
The river Olfusá is among the largest rivers in Iceland and on its banks is the town of Selfoss. Selfoss is home to the homely 4-star 360 Hotel & Spa with its firelit lounge and a spa complete with sauna and warm geothermal pool. The congenial hotel and spa staff are fluent in English, Danish, and German. The hotel’s on-site restaurant makes sure that guests enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast and offer freshly prepared cuisine made with local produce.
Kerbyggd in Selfoss
Kerbyggð is a family run business enveloped in the beauty of South Iceland in the Golden Circle, close to Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir, and Gullfoss Waterfall. Kerbyggð offers three options of Iceland accommodation: the three-bedroom house; the 3-bedroom house with a hot tub; and a superior two-bedroom house with a hot tub. All the houses are equipped with a kitchen, dining area, living room and a private terrace which look out over the mountain.
Kerbyggð is within twenty minutes’ drive of Selfoss and only a little more than a mile from the three-thousand-year-old Kerið volcanic crater lake in the Grimsnes region.
Magma Hotel in Kirkjubæjarklaustur
This small and intimate style of accommodation in Iceland in south Iceland is close to Kirkjugólf and Systrafoss twin waterfalls, and Skaftafell and Svartifoss waterfall . The modern rooms of Nordic design have views of Vatnajäkull Glacier, the lava-fields, and black sand river with some boasting patios with their own unique Icelandic scenery.
Bistro 1783 is where the guests take their meals. The bistro is named after the year Lakagígar erupted to create the lava field that has abutted the hotel ever since. The welcoming and cozy eatery looks out magnificently over Vatnajökull and has a certain romantic appeal, offering memorable candle-lit dinners for couples. Guests are welcome to pop in for a complimentary coffee or tea at any time of the day. The hot drink can be enjoyed while perusing the books and magazines at the guests’ disposal or having fun with others playing any of the board games available. The buffet breakfast tempts diners with Icelandic Skyr, freshly baked bread and pastries, cereals, fresh fruit, bacon and eggs, and coffee and tea. The evening home-style dinners are served in an ambiance of friendliness and relaxation.
I know I said seven accommodations! I have included Camp Boutique as a bonus addition because everyone should consider this option for Iceland hotels. Set among the farms on Loftsstaðir-Vestri, a big generational estate on the South Coast of Iceland, Camp Boutique is a fairly unique form of Iceland accommodation. Guests are accommodated in bell tents with no two interiors alike although all have an equipped kitchen and cozy living room. All tents have access to the private beach area and sun terrace.
Now that you have an inkling to visit one of the safest countries on our globe, check the ETIAS requirements during your planning. Citizens of certain countries are required to hold this travel authorization known as the ETIAS visa. An ETIAS application will be available to be completed entirely online and will take only a few minutes to fill out. Pack to layer and remember Þetta reddast!
Góða ferð, travelers.
What is the currency in Iceland?
The currency in use in Iceland is kronur (ISK). Changing currency is easy either at ATMS which are plentiful, banks, currency exchanges, or at the airport on arrival. Visa and MasterCard are happily accepted but not so much Diner’s Card and American Express.
Where is Iceland?
Iceland is an island country in Europe and lies just below the Arctic Circle almost exactly midway between North America and mainland Europe. The capital city of Reykjavik actually lies exactly halfway between Moscow and New York.
Will I be able to use my mobile phone while in Iceland?
Since Icelandic mobile phones use the European GSM system, North American smartphones are generally good to go here. Check with your service provider to make sure.
Can Icelanders understand and/or speak English?
The youngsters in Iceland certainly speak English well enough since they learn it at school. Most Icelanders consider it their second language and show some eagerness at any opportunity to practice it in conversation.
When is the best time of year to visit?
Since Iceland has much to do and see no matter the time of the year, there really is no bad time to visit the country. Winter is noted as the off-season because of the colder months, long nights, rain, and snow. Accommodation and flights are cheaper during the off-season. Winter is also the time to marvel at the phenomenon that is the Northern Lights. For the best experience of the ice at Vatnajökull Glacier which is naturally formed, winter is again the time. Of course, summers are warmer and the days are longer.