Part 2 of our 4 part series on planning the ultimate road trip in Iceland. We will cover every aspect – accommodation, packing, driving, shopping – of planning an unforgettable Icelandic road trip
Read Part 1 – The Ultimate Road Trip in Iceland : An Itinerary (opens in a new tab)
Read Part 3- Packing for a Road Trip in Iceland (opens in a new tab)
Read Part 4- How much will that Road Trip in Iceland cost (opens in new tab)
On our last day in Iceland, one of our Icelandic friends, Maria, gifted us a book with a series of Viking proverbs that have been passed down generations in Iceland. The Vikings’ definition of wisdom is fascinating :-
He is truly wise
who’s travelled far
and knows the ways of the world
It isn’t very often that a short proverb takes one on a roller coaster ride but this one did! The Vikings knew what they were saying when they equated wisdom with exploration. Over the years, we’ve discovered that exploring new places makes us appreciate life that little bit more. This is nowhere truer than in Iceland. The country is bound to inspire the poet/writer in everyone. Its magnificent scenery and surreal landscapes seem fictional, straight out of The Lord of The Rings. Don’t even get us started on the caves, hidden grottos, tumbling streams, and expansive grasslands.
But it was the accommodation that made our trip truly special. If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Instagram, you would know that we stayed at a variety of working farms, countryside guest houses, rustic hotels, and self-catering cottages over 2 weeks and each of them provided the perfect backdrop for contemplating Iceland’s majestic scenery. We spent countless hours pondering over the beauty of the fjords in one farmhouse, photographing neighbouring waterfalls in the next , playing with horses at a hotel, and lying down on damp grass at our cottage near Akuryeri. We never wanted to leave!
If you’re considering a road trip to Iceland, be prepared to stay at a different hotel almost every night. We stayed at 8 hotels over a period of two weeks. Individual bookings can be a hassle, especially when the areas in question are so remote.
We booked most of our accommodation with Icelandic Farm Holidays, a company which has hundreds of properties on Iceland’s Ring Road. To be honest, we were apprehensive about booking rooms on working farms but the videos on their website put us at ease. Of course, once we got there we realised we were worrying in vain because we were treated to spacious and impeccably clean rooms, generous breakfasts, and warm people 🙂 Having experienced Icelandic hospitality, we can safely say Iceland has some of the prettiest B&Bs and hotels anywhere in the world.
Of course, you can shop around and choose the hotels you like, but here’s where we stayed.
Day 1 – Airport Hotel Smari, Keflavik
Our flight landed in Keflavik in the evening and we wanted to spend the rest of the day familiarising ourselves with our rental car and stocking up on groceries for our road trip. So we chose to stay at Hotel Smari, which is conveniently located at the Keflavik International Airport itself. Rooms were spotless and breakfast was plentiful. It’s perfect if you have a late night/early morning flight because the departure gates are less than 5 minutes away. Yay 🙂
We booked directly using their website http://www.hotelsmari.is/ and the manager got back to us, with a confirmation, in no time.
Day 2 – Country Hotel Anna
Icelandic Farm Holidays have a number of properties in the area, but we got tempted by Country Hotel Anna when we saw photos of its surroundings on their website. And it did not disappoint. The hotel is surrounded by dozens of waterfalls and farms with Icelandic horses.
We spent Day 2 exploring The Golden Circle, so we were completely knackered (and cold!) by the time we reached Hotel Anna but their hot tub put us in a good mood in no time 🙂 The rooms are spacious and bedecked with vintage furnishings. We’re sure there’s a hidden attic with boxes of heirlooms somewhere in the building 😉
We were rather surprised by the amazing variety at breakfast – expect Icelandic specialities such as Skyr (Icelandic Yogurt) and pickled herring in addition to continental staples such as breads, cereal, milk, and cold cuts. The music playing in their rustic breakfast room with exposed beams made us want to waltz.
Day 3 – Guest House Hali
Guesthouse Hali is just 10 kms away from Jokulsarlon, a glacial lagoon with floating icebergs. The guesthouse is surrounded by towering mountains, which were half covered with dreamy fog when we visited. The yellow cottage and the residential block at Hali offer a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets. The guesthouse is located on a working farm, so there are cute sheep everywhere.
The highlight? Guesthouse Hali’s in-house restaurant which serves delicious meat stew, a favourite amongst locals in the area. The culinary fun continues at breakfast because Guesthouse Hali has the BEST breakfast we got anywhere in Iceland – warm waffles with chocolate syrup, homemade jams, freshly-baked tarts, crumbly cakes and more. It was so good that we were seriously contemplating stealing some of their baked goods (we didn’t, law-abiding citizens and all that 😉 )
You can book Guesthouse Hali with Icelandic Farm Holidays here.
Day 4 – Eyvindara II
Eyvindara II is a little hotel hidden amongst the woodlands around Egilsstaddir. It’s a proper hotel with well-appointed rooms and a large dining room, where breakfast is served every morning. The surroundings are absolutely gorgeous and the hotel’s proximity to Egilsstadir town centre makes it extremely convenient. Having said that, we felt Eyvindara II was a bit expensive for what it offered. Try looking for another property in the vicinity if you’re on a budget.
You can book Eyvindara II with Icelandic Farm Holidays here
Day 5 and 6 – Narfastadir
Oh what do we say about Narfastadir?! This quaint B&B is located deep in the Icelandic countryside. It’s just a short drive away from Godafoss, one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls. Narfastadir has a sprawling complex with spacious rooms and a generous spread at breakfast.
Make sure you catch sunset at the lake next to Narfastadir – it’s an unforgettable experience 🙂
You can book Narfastadir with Icelandic Farm Holidays here
Day 7 and 8 – Ytri Vik
Finally, the one place we’ve been dying to tell you about – Ytri Vik self-catering cottages are located on the outskirts of Akureyri. Our cottage was right next to the sea. For two days, we had snow-capped mountains, endless wild flowers, and glistening waters for company. The cottage is equipped with a large kitchen, a BBQ, and a HOT TUB (ooh yeah!). The second we unlocked the door to that cottage, we knew we wouldn’t be stepping out for the next two days.
Ironically our favourite property was the cheapest of the lot. The cottage costs just £110/night (in May 2014, which is shoulder season – prices are higher in peak season) and can accommodate up to 6 people. If you’re travelling in a group, that’s less than £20/night, definitely cheaper than most hostels in Europe 🙂 We’re definitely going to go back to Iceland and spend a week at Ytri Vik sometime soon – watch this space!
You can book Ytri Vik cottage with Icelandic Farm Holidays here
Day 9 and 10 – Sudur Bar
Towards the end of our road trip, we stayed at Sudur Bar, a tiny B&B located on a farm and golf course. Their rooms were comfortable and spacious but breakfast was minimal. The mighty Kirkjufell, one of Iceland’s most famous mountains is in the area. Don’t miss it if you stay at Sudur Bar.
We loved staying on working farms with Icelandic Farm Holidays – Places such as Sudur Bar offered a typical Icelandic experience and ensured that we met some amazing people on our road trip in Iceland.
You can book Sudur Bar with Icelandic Farm Holidays here
Icelandic Farm Holidays offer over 180 places to stay around rural Iceland. Prices start at £20/pppn for self catering cottages and £35/pppn for B&Bs and hotels (in May 2014, which is shoulder season – prices are higher in peak season). More information on their website http://www.farmholidays.is/
And if you need more convincing to finally pack your bags and head to Iceland, then this video diary of our trip should help 😉
Are you a road trip junkie too? Read about our favourite Road Trips from around the world
If you enjoy unique accommodation, check out the places we’ve stayed at so far – everything from Swiss Chalets to igloos is on the menu 🙂
We were guests of Airport Hotel Smari and Icelandic Farm Holidays. We are two extremely opinionated ninjas – so all views (good and bad) are entirely our own. Click on to read our full Disclosure Policy