The old apartment house at Egilsstaðir was built in 1940 and subsequently renovated in keeping with its original style. The house has three two-person rooms and one single room with shared bathroom, lounge area and kitchen. The house is fitted and furnished in the style and taste of its 1940s residents.
Accommodation in an "Icelandic turf farmstead"
In the building next to the old apartment house, a charming old-fashioned dormitory loft has been created on the top floor of the house, reminiscent of old Icelandic turf farmstead dwellings. There is accommodation in several made-up double beds in the shared dormitory space, and in two bed closets. Shared bathrooms. In from the dormitory loft is the "Landowner's Suite", a four-person family room with en-suite bathroom. Guests will undoubtedly be transported back to the turn of the 20th century when they enter the dormitory, and it's a unique experience to spend the night here in surroundings reminiscent of a wealthier homestead from the past.
There's a restaurant on the premises with an emphasis on local ingredients and traditional Icelandic cooking. Guests are welcome to stay in the kitchen and chat with the woman of the house while she cooks. All bread and baked treats are homemade. Breakfast and other meals available. Licensed.
Service and recreation
Marked hiking trails. Guided hiking and horse riding tours starting from the Wilderness Centre. In spring 2016, an exhibition will open both inside the Wilderness Centre and outdoors in the surroundings. The exhibition will be about the wilderness frontiers and the lives and conditions of the people who lived in there. The museum area extends all the way to the Kleif farmstead (3 km / 1.86 mi) and up the mountainside.
Skriðuklaustur Cultural Centre and Snæfellsstofa, the information centre for the eastern section of Vatnajökull National Park (14 km / 8.7 mi). Hengifoss, the second highest waterfall in Iceland (18 km / 11 mi). Hallormstaður and Hallormstaður forest/Atlavík with horse, bike and boat rental (27 km / 17.7 mi). The nearest town with shops, restaurants, and a good and well-equipped swimming pool, tourist information centre, and various other services: Egilsstaðir (52 km / 32 mi). Regular scheduled domestic flights between Reykjavík and Egilsstaðir (flight duration: 1 hour). 80 km / 50 mi to Seyðisfjörður, where the Norræna ferry docks.
The tranquil wilderness, natural beauty, dark night skies and northern lights
The Wilderness Centre is in Egilsstaðir, the innermost town in Norðurdalur valley, which is in from Fljótsdalur valley. Jökulsá river forms many waterfalls around the valley, and it's well worth hiking along it, visiting the Kleif homestead, crossing the glacier river by cable car and enjoying the numerous waterfalls flowing down from the mountainside to the Vesturöræfi lowlands, where Snæfell reaches to the heavens. Hikers will find a lot to choose from and won't have far to go to enjoy the peace and quiet and the vast wilderness.
Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant
The Landsvirkjun Kárahnjúkar Information Centre is within the Végarður Information Centre (12 km / 7.5 mi ). By Bessastaðir (4 km / 2.5 mi further into the valley) there are roads leading to Fljótsdalsheiði and to Kárahnjúkar; it takes approximately an hour to drive from the information centre to the viewing platform by the Desjarár dam. From there you can see the most magnificent – and controversial – power station in Iceland.
Hengifoss, Strútsfoss, Hallormsstaðaskógur
It's about 18 km / 11 mi from the Wilderness Centre to Hengifoss waterfall in Fljótsdalur, the second highest waterfall in Iceland. Anyone who enjoys spectacular natural attractions will also appreciate Strútsfoss waterfall in Suðurdalur (75 m / 246 ft. tall), and from the Sturluflöt farm (25 km / 16 mi ), it's a comfortable 20-minute walk up along the spectacular gorge to the waterfall. Hallormstaður forest (27 km / 17 mi ) has been protected since 1905 and is considered to be the largest forest in Iceland, at around 740 ha / 1829 ac. In the forest is a hiking area spanning about 40 km / 25 mi, with many marked trails. At Hallormstaður there's a family-friendly arboretum with over 70 species of trees as well as a playground for kids and a barbecue area. We also recommend taking a hike around Ránakógur forest in from Gilsárgil gorge (22 km / 24 mi). Ránakógur is considered to be one of the most beautiful and richly-vegetated forests in the country.
Hosts: Arna and Denni