We had planned our week in Iceland to take photos of the Northern Lights, but on the last night, we still hadn't seen them. We were returning to the Hotel Ranga, which is clearly aimed at American tourists, like any hotel you can find across the pond. But finally we saw the Northern Lights ... the experience is indescribable, as you stand there rooted to the spot, extremely tiny against the sky, which has been transformed into an enormous stage.
After visiting Thingvellir we decided to go to the campground where we spent the night. It is north of Lake Pingvallavatn, the biggest lake in Iceland (84 km2) close to Thingvellir. It is easy to find and the visitor center is next to the road. We stayed near the building or down to the lake shore. In the 1st case we have more services available, whereas if we choose the lake area, there is no electricity and only 2 toilets and a place to make food. We chose the 2nd option and went to the lakeside store Pingvallavatn.
During our trip to Iceland we stayed overnight in a hut in Dæli in Víðidalur located in the northeastern part of the island. They are very well equipped and breakfast is included. As you can see in the photos we made the most of the facilities to dry our tent and socks which were all wet after our adventure around Ásbyrgi.
The Vesturdalur Valley is in the Vatnajokull National Park, in the northern belt of Iceland, in one of the country's most active volcanos. It has the most incredible canyons of the island. It is a zone with a lot of biodiversity, with over 230 recorded plant species. From the Park entrance to the camping area, it is around 12 km. The route is amazing and runs through canyons and zones as sobrecogerdoras and Hljóðaklettar ("Eco Rocks" in Icelandic). The camping area has toilets and food area. We come up to the visitor center to pay for the stay. In return they give you a sticker that you put in the store. Install the store along a creek. It rained all day and, interestingly stopped when we started to build the tent. At first we were alone but in the end, most hikers were there. There were 4 shops.
We stayed for two nights at the Guesthouse Frost and Fire. This guesthouse is open from May to September. Interestingly, the hotel also has an art gallery. The rooms, despite having no toilet or shower, are very comfortable. Bathrooms are shared and there are two on each floor. They are very clean. The price of the room includes breakfast. Dinner can be eaten here but it must be booked before 19:00. It's worth doing as the food was very good. I recommend the mushroom soup, lamb and cod.
Experiencing a sunset at midnight is a purely sublime experience. It can only be done in Iceland, land of fire and ice. An exceptional country where inspiration comes to you unintentionally. Incredible scenery makes you feel part of the inhospitable nature that accompanies you throughout the trip. Take a Midnight Stroll hearing only the sound of arctic terns and see the midnight sun, it is simply spectacular.
After dinner on a clear night with a full moon, a mist suddenly appeared and gave the landscape a different view. The small lake was completely enveloped by the mist and the small barn became a mysterious image with horses in the background, blurred by the mist. It all seemed like an Impressionist painting.
We chose this hotel for its proximity to the airport and because they had a free 24-hour shuttle. We decided to get picked up from the airport, as we got to Iceland at 4am (although it was full daylight). Once we collected our bags and went to the hall of the terminal we phoned the hotel. In 5-10 minutes a nice young man came to pick us up. A few minutes later (the hotel is really close to the airport, about 3km.) we arrived at the hotel. We checked-in and proceeded to the room. The right room: two single beds, a sink, table, chairs and a hanger. The bathroom is shared but is clean. After sleeping a few hours we went to breakfast. The dining room is spacious. Breakfast is self-service and it offers coffee machine, milk, yogurt, toast, but it was just right. Finally, I should also say that we were taken back to the airport for free. A room for two people with breakfast, in early June, cost us €71.
Steig Guesthouse is popular for its family and almost rural atmosphere. Next to a farm, it is just one single storey building, with very few rooms (15 to 20). To get there, pay attention to the signs on Highway 1, where a small sign(1 km. approximately)leads you there. There is a parking área just outside the building. We received good customer care, they were very kind to us. The room was plain but very clean. We had a room with ensuite bathroom and breakfast was included. In the evening we used a well-equipped communal kitchen. The buffet-style breakfast was varied but there were small amounts of each thing, they were slow to refill. WIFI was available in the rooms. It is located in an ideal place if you visit the Cliffs of Dyrhólaey and a little further to the east lies Vik. The cost per room for two people with breakast included was 85euros in June 2012
The company Icelandair hotel is situated just outside the Icelandic city of Reykjavik. This is the only downside, but there is a bus stop right outside the hotel. On the other hand, it is a modern, pleasant place, offering great service and a good kitchen ... The breakfast buffet is delicious and very complete! Of course, there is a spa available to guests. I say "of course" because in Iceland this is normal. The sunsets from here are excellent, with the characteristic Hallgrimur Reykjavik church, emphasizing on the horizon. It is also a good place to enjoy the nights of northern lights, if there is enough darkness and with a little luck, of course :)
The Budir hotel is close to the volcano that inspired Jules Verne their "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and is isolated in a inhospitable place in southwest Iceland. It is one of the places to see the northern lights. It is a tiny hotel, warm and comfortable, with an intimate restaurant, definitely romantic and an environment that makes you feel small in the roundness of nature. We were in winter-chasing the aurora-and surprised to see the cemetery chapel nearby. The 6 hours of light they have in winter lead them to exaggerate the Christmas lights, to the extent that they also put them on their dead ... The image of the Christmas lights can hardly be reflected in a photograph ...
Our first night in Iceland we stayed at the Bed and Breakfast Keflavik Airport in a former U.S. military base. It is close to Keflavik airport. The rooms are large and spacious. The price of the room includes shuttle service to Keflavik International Airport and lunch.
Fosshotel Mosfell was our first hotel on our route to the south of Iceland. Located in the small town of Hella (with about 800 inhabitants), and about 94 kms from Reykjavik. We spent 2 nights here. We had a pleasant surprise on arrival. We'd booked a room with a shared bathroom, but we had our own private bathroom! The room also had a TV, 2 enormous beds, a small table, chair and a large closet. It was a very spacious room. There was (free) wifi in the room but the signal did not reach our room. It worked in public areas, though. The breakfast buffet was abundant. Lots of food and good quality. It is served in a large, comfortable dining room. You could park right outside the hotel, and very close there was a gas station, being in Iceland that's very necessary. Fosshotel is an Icelandic hotel chain with 9 hotels, 2 are in Reykjavik and the rest scattered around the country. If the other hotels in the chain are like this one, I totally recommend them. 2 nights cost us € 128 (2 people with breakfast).
There is no cheaper accommodation in downtown Reykjavik (it's about a hundred metres from the parliament building). The Salvation Army hostel offers clean single rooms and beds in shared rooms, with reasonable prices by Icelandic standards (in the dorm - you'll need a sleeping bag - about 22 euro, breakfast for 5). It's great, but must be booked in advance if you're going for a weekend. It takes 20 - 30 minutes to walk to the bus station for the airport or long-distance buses. Check in at 14. Reception is very friendly and helpful, and is open 24 hours. Near the hostel there is a convenience store that is also open 24 hours.
The best thing about this hotel is its location, near the central bus terminal in Reykjavík (bsi.is) and the city center. The hotel is spread over several buildings. The rooms are adequate. We went on two different occasions, firstly at the beginning of our trip and secondly on our last night in Iceland. Both rooms had two single beds. There was a sink in the room and it also had a small fridge. The bathroom was shared. There was wifi in the rooms. In the building where we were there was also a communal kitchen, but I found it dirty and messy. Breakfast was good, buffet style with toast, coffee, pastries, fruit, etc. Rooms from 65 to 80 € per night. If I visited Reykjavik again, I would stay here.
This hotel, opened in July 2005, is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature but also have everything you need for modern life. The hotel offers an excellent venue for meetings and conferences, cocktail bar, lounge diner with a la carte menu, outdoor hot tub, sauna, solarium, wireless internet, flat screen television, bathrooms in every room and more.
The Hotel Edda Laugarbakki is in Hvammstangi, Iceland. It is located near one of the most prominent tourist spots in the region, a place ideal for enjoying the wonderful hot springs. Facilities include a restaurant and TV. It has an exclusive parking area for guests' use.