One of the main reasons to travel to Iceland is to witness its spectacular volcanoes, picturesque waterfalls, and black-sand beaches. So wouldn’t you want to stay as close as possible to it all? Carrie and I were determined to not only do just that but to find the perfect rustic cottage for our memorable trip to Iceland.
Travelers to Iceland more often than not stay in Reykjavik or nearby, venturing only to the south for day-trips. We are here to say skip staying in Reykjavik altogether as we did and stay in Iceland’s beautiful countryside. What better way to explore Iceland’s famous sites than to stay in the very region that captivated you to take a trip to Iceland. We were in search of staying somewhere off the beaten path that would not only allow us to fully appreciate Iceland’s beautiful landscape but the opportunity to relax and unwind. Isn’t that part of why you travel anyways?
Picture this, you spent all day touring around southern Iceland, which if you’ve been you’ll know is extremely popular with tourists, and you return to your rustic cabin surrounded by farms to sit on your porch overlooking green fields and hills, with nothing but the sound of birds. That’s exactly what we wanted and what we experienced.
Our search of where to stay lead us to the private little cottage on Airbnb located in the middle of the southern Iceland countryside just east of Hvolsvöllur. We were immediately drawn to this cottage not only because of where it was located but because of how cozy and cute it was. The host Heidar was very helpful and communicative before our stay. This was extremely helpful as the cottage has no address. There were a couple of choices on Airbnb to choose from, but this cottage was by far the best located and most beautifully designed.
The cottage is within easy driving distance of several of Iceland’s most famous landmarks, which after visiting we appreciated the isolation of our cottage even more. Seljalandsfoss is only 30 minutes away and further down the highway are Eyafallajökull (famously known as the volcano that brought Europe’s air traffic to a grinding halt in 2010), Skógafoss, Solheimasandur plane wreck, and Dyrhólaey just to name a few of the more popular sites along the road. From our cottage, we could easily do all of these in a single day or over the course of several days as we did. Given that we stayed in the region we were able to explore more of the lesser traveled to sites. Something you wouldn’t do if you stay in Reykjavik as that journey is over an hour one-way.
Not only is the cottage ideally located, but it’s designed really well. It has a good-size open plan kitchen, living and dining room, with a small bedroom and bathroom. The couch folds out into a bed so the cottage can accommodate four if needed. There’s a deck too which we enjoyed after each day of exploring the region. We spent most of our evenings enjoying the quietness of the countryside, playing board games, and watching some of the many movies Heidar has to offer.
The nearby town of Hvolsvöllur, which you pass through on your way from the airport or Reykjavik has a large grocery store so you can pick up everything you need to make yourself meals at the cottage. Heidar conveniently provides many staples like coffee, tea, sugar, etc. so no need to buy everything you might want. If you’re in doubt about what to see and do or how to get there Heidar has developed his own guide to the region, which includes at least one waterfall, not in any other guide to southern Iceland.
When we return to the southern part of Iceland we will without a doubt stay in the same cottage again. You travel to Iceland for its unique landscapes so you might as well stay somewhere you can enjoy it.
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Photography by Albert and Carrie Bond