Iceland – it’s a wonderful country way up in the north of the Atlantic ocean, further on from Scotland and just a little bit to the left… Yes, there it is, and it’s quite safe to say that this country is one of the most spectacular in the world! You’ll definitely will have seen all the pictures of the Northern Lights and you’ll know about at least one city, Reykjavík. But what you probably didn’t know is that Iceland has so much more to offer you – in every corner of the land and in some very remote, wild and even lonely regions. And that is exactly the reason why I’ve put together a few places to show case the beauty of the country and the amazing accommodation that’s on offer here!
It can get pretty cold in Iceland – it’s not uncommon to see temperatures of -15ºC! But it makes natural thermal baths in the south-west of the island, surrounded by dreamy mountains and Icelandic air, all the better. Around 47km away from Reykjavík is the Blue Lagoon. This blue lake is roughly 5,000m² big and reaches temperatures from 37 to 42°C. The water contains all sorts of minerals and natural substances, which means it’s perfect not just for well-being but also for alleviating skin conditions.
Not far from the baths is the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel – a hotel that’s just waiting to completely pamper you. The hotel’s surroundings are also very picturesque, encircled by mountains and the volcanic landscape. It doesn’t come without a price mind you, but it includes entry to the Blue Lagoon which is only a hundred metres away. For a worry-free stay where you can rest up for the endless adventures that Iceland has in store for you, this is a fantastic choice.
360° views of the Northern Lights – luxury hotel with adventure guaranteed!
Even if you don’t know that much about Iceland you’ll be sure to have seen the breathtaking pictures of the night skies filled with colour. You can admire the Northern Lights almost anywhere in Iceland, but this hotel combines the spectacle of nature and cutting-edge architecture in a very special way. It’s only natural then that the Ion Hotel won the Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor!
This luxury hotel is located 42km east of the capital on the border of Thingvellir National Park. It’s built like a container with one end made of glass so you can enjoy spectacular views of the Northern Lights. Every room offers a great look out over the broad landscapes. The nearest shop is around 40km away, so it really is a place of pure relaxation – or is it? The hotel actually offers a wide range of activities such as hiking across glaciers, thermal springs, water rafting and even going on a pony trek!
The northern and eastern regions of the country are a little less populated than in the south and west, but the nature here is even more spectacular. The choice of accommodation here isn’t the largest, but I was still able to find some places that make for a properly cool stay!
In the small town of Dalvík, right on the northern coast, are a handful of little red bungalows that are ready to be booked for a few nights. The cottages are very traditional, so they’ve been decorated in a style that’s typical of rural Iceland. However what’s more important is the fantastic location where you’ll be staying. Not only is it a great place to watch the Northern Lights over the dark sea, there’s also plenty of hiking routes which lead to impressive mountainous landscapes. There’s also a little harbour a few kilometres away where you can go out to sea and for a spot of whale watching.
Locations can’t get better than this. Hotel Rangá is close to impressive glaciers and volcanoes. You’ll also be able to see the glacier and volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which was behind the infamous eruption in 2010 – now that must’ve been an experience! The hotel itself is of course very stylish, but it doesn’t clash with the natural surroundings. However its the surroundings which make a stay at Hotel Rangá so special. The hotel has all kinds of activities on offer – you could for example go on a day trip to the Vatnajökull glacier which also happens to be one of the largest glaciers in Europe. Hotel Rangá even has its own observatory as its quite far away from the larger villages, so you can gaze at the millions of stars in the night sky.
Seals in the garden – a peaceful place to stay in the far north-west
As a last recommendation I’ve found something that really does smell a bit fishy – or at least the neighbours do, anyway. There’s not a lot nearby, nor are there many hotels, but it makes this region just that little bit cooler to explore. You can book a cottage right on the seafront and offers plenty of relaxation and isolation – in a good way! Not only can you expect a few lazy seals on your doorstep, but you can also observe sheep, foxes, plenty of birds and of course the sweet little Icelandic ponies. Your host is a typical Icelander who knows how to really appreciate the life here and can give you plenty of excellent tips so you can experience all the facets of the Icelandic landscape.
Iceland may be small, but it’s a very impressive country which is worth exploring to the fullest. Finding a place to stay in the more remote and lonely corners of Iceland can sometimes be difficult, so I hope I’ve helped you a little bit in seeing the places that are worth taking into consideration. Heaven forbid you visiting Iceland for two weeks and saying you only stayed in Reykjavík the whole time… You’ll have missed out on so much!