At the gateway to the highlands north of Vatnajökull glacier you will find Grímstunga, where the tranquil and expansive highlands are within easy reach and popular natural attractions by Lake Mývatn and in Öxarfjörður are but a short drive away. Stay in one of Grímstunga’s buildings or at Hólsel, 20 km (12.5 mi) from Dettifoss, Iceland’s most powerful waterfall. Open from 15 May to 1 October.  

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  • Shared bathroom
  • Private bathroom
  • Family rooms 3+
  • Wi-Fi
  • Meals on request
  • Cooking facilities

In the area

  • Dettifoss waterfall
  • Nature Baths 40 km
  • Mývatn/Reykjahlíð 41 km
  • Jökulsárgljúfur canyon in Vatnajökull National Park)
  • Askja Caldera 100 km


Grímstunga I:
Rooms share bathrooms, and some have hand basins. Rooms for two or three people. Cooking facilities. Access to a washing machine. Sitting rooms with TVs. Free Wi-Fi.

Hólsel 6 km from Grímstunga by the route Dettifossvegur (route no. 864)
En-suite/private bathroom rooms in Hólsel; single, double, triple and quatro rooms or cottages.

Reception is at Grímstunga, but breakfast for those staying at Hólsel is served on site.
Hólsel is 20 km (12.5 mi) from waterfall Dettifoss.


Meals, other than breakfast, are available if pre-ordered. The nearest shop and restaurant are in village Reykjahlíð by Lake Mývatn (41 km / 25.5 mi).

Service and recreation

Go hiking around Grímstunga, or travel to village Reykjahlíð by Lake Mývatn (41 km / 25.5 mi) and visit the information centre and booking agent in Mývatnsstofa. You’ll also find shops and restaurants; can go on riding tours; or book hikes and biking tours with Hike & Bike. Try the guided tours to Askja, Ásbyrgi, Jökulsárgljúfur and Dettifoss, or join specialised winter tours like jeep tours and snowmobiling. There’s a swimming pool and a nine-hole golf course by Reykjahlíð, and you can finish your day by relaxing in the balmy Mývatn Nature Baths (36 – 40 °C / 96.8 – 104 °F) that are only 38 km / 23.5 mi away from Grímstunga.

Jökulsárgljúfur, Dettifoss

Travel 26 km (16 mi) from Grímstunga I to reach Iceland’s largest glacial river, Jökulsá á Fjöllum. 10 km west of the river is a road that will take you along the river to the canyons Jökulsárgljúfur, via the northern-most part of national park Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður. Europe’s most voluminous waterfall, Dettifoss, guarded by a majestic row of cliffs, is about 24 km / 15 mi away. Two other waterfalls are worth seeing; Selfoss is a little further up the river from Dettifoss, and Hafragilsfoss is a little further down the river. There are many marked hiking routes in this area, and you can also join organised guided tours that depart from village Reykjahlíð.

Mývatn – Herðubreiðarlindir – Askja

Mývatn, along with the surrounding area (40 km /25 mi), is a unique and breath-taking region, formed by volcanic activity over hundreds of thousands of years. It’s furthermore one of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Here you can explore gems like Dimmuborgir, Hverfjall, Skútustaðagígar and Hverarönd by Námaskarð. Turn off route 1 west of the glacial river (8 km / 5 mi from Grímstunga) and onto highland route F88 to enter the highlands. There, you can travel to Herðubreiðarlindir (60 km / 37 mi), Askja (100 km / 62 mi) and Kverkfjöll, which are a part of the northern Vatnajökull glacier (130 km / 80 mi). You can go on organised tours that depart from village Reykjahlíð by Lake Mývatn and explore this unique world of wilderness, lava fields, volcanoes, oases and glaciers.

The modern hustle and bustle, highland tranquillity, endless wilderness

Grímstunga I is a part of a small hamlet at the northern edge of the expansive highlands north of glacier Vatnajökull. This area of Iceland has been inhabited for more than a thousand years. Despite being very sparsely populated nowadays, modern life is never far away, as highway no 1 (the “Ring Road”) passes close by the hamlet, linking North and East Iceland. With panoramic views and the powerful guard Mt Herðubreið (often called the Queen of Icelandic mountains), hikers and mountaineers who want to enjoy the peaceful and unique magic of the highlands should find all they seek and more when staying at Grímstunga.

Host: Elvar Daði.


In the area

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