In the last couple of years I have travelled many parts of Scandinavia, and these journeys have widely varied in occasion and budget. Especially during my time in Iceland, my curiosity for the island and my account balance were often in strong contrast.
For my three week around-the-island-trip I had to think of something clever. Sleeping in the car was obviously no choice (the smallest available car already costed a fortune), so was camping (still meters of snow in the northern part of the island). And of course, one can not expect to find hostels in the remote areas of the Icelandic coast.
After some research I came across a network of Icelandic guest-houses and farmers, who offer bed&breakfast stays in different categories: Icelandic Farm Holidays. Offered rooms range from dorms to cottages, fitting every budget. In winter season (until end of May!) rooms cost from 30€/person, in the summer months from 54€. And you can even choose to bring your own sleeping bag – makes it cheaper!
There are several methods of booking. There are package deals available, including a rental car and a certain number of overnight-stays; but you can also roam free and choose your accommodations yourself. You can book online, or be spontaneous and book by phone while you’re driving. Depending on the season you’re travelling Iceland in, it is better to book some time in advance. Especially for the cheaper accommodation!
As we where travelling the island in April, we did not have any problem with fully booked farms, but finding farms/guest houses that were open during off-season turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Armed with an Icelandic cellphone (get a pre-paid card!) and the farm-stay-catalogue, we went out about the island. Whenever we liked a place, we stopped, called one of the surrounding farms and arranged our stay. Usually the hosts speak English, so no problem there.
During those three weeks we spent our nights in some of the most beautiful and romantic cottages. Most even had an outdoor hotpot (Icelandic national sport) included! Here’s some of my favourite adresses from back then:
Sel i Grímsnesi
Vogafjós by Lake Mývatn
Signýjarstaðir in Hálsasveit
Þóroddstaðir by Sandgerði
Núpar I-II in Ölfus