Ten double / twin rooms in a separate single-floor building by the farm, all with private entrance and en-suites. Coffee and tea in every room. Also one family room with private bathroom and 5 rooms with two shared bathrooms in the old farmhouse from June 2017.
The restaurant (by the reception area in the old apartment building on the farm) places an emphasis on using ingredients straight from the farm and local to the region. Attached to the cowshed, in a building that used to be the barn, are Íshlaðan café, a restaurant, an ice cream shop and a dairy. Guests can see the cows and watch the farmers working in the dairy while enjoying meals and refreshments straight from the farm. In the dairy you can watch the locals making ice cream, cheese and ‘skyr’ (a traditional and uniquely Icelandic dairy product that has been eaten by Icelanders for centuries). Íshlaðan also sells products from the farm including feta cheese, ice cream and beef. Opening hours are 10-4 during the week and 11-4 on weekends.
Service and recreation
There is horse rental at Efstidalur where guests can get to know the Icelandic horse on shorter or longer riding tours. Good hiking trails nearby. The Slakki Petting Zoo and Family Park in Laugarás (22 km/13.7 mi) is fun for the whole family. River rafting and canoeing at Hvítá river (23 km/14 mi). Trout fishing in the Brúará spring water stream (fishing licenses can be purchased from Sel in Grímsnes, 19 km/12 mi). The closest golf courses are in Miðdalur (8 km/5 mi) and Úthlíð (5 km/3 mi). At Efra-Sel, by the village Flúðir, is an 18-hole golf course (25 km/15.5 mi). There is a good swimming pool at Laugarvatn (13 km / 8 mi) and a spa, Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths, and a swimming pool in the village Reykholt (13 km/8 mi). The nearest towns with shops and supermarkets are Laugarvatn (13 km/8 mi), Reykholt (13 km/8 mi) and Flúðir (27 km/17 mi), where you can also find a liquor store.
Birds singing, the scent of birch and beautiful hiking trails
The Efstidalur farm is located under the densely vegetated mountainside, and from the farmyard is an expansive view over the region to the volcano Hekla in the distance, and all the way to Eyjafjallajökull when visibility is good. Many summer cottages have been built in the area because it is a sheltered spot, and on beautiful summer days the scent of birch and bird songs fill the fresh, clean air. The area has many beautiful hiking trails suitable for all levels of skill, for example around the old road trail that was built for the King of Denmark’s visit in 1907 (Brúarárfoss) or along the trail from the summer cottage area in Úthlíð up to Brúarárskörð. The mountains above the cottages will also undoubtedly tempt anyone who enjoys mountain hikes.
Geysir, Strokkur and Gullfoss
Efstidalur II is an ideal place to stay for anyone who wants to visit many of the most famous natural treasures in South Iceland. It is 17 km/10.5 mi to the Geysir geothermal area, where the Strokkur geyser erupts spectacularly every 10-12 minutes. From there, it is just 10 km/6 mi to Gullfoss, Iceland’s most famous waterfall, considered by many to be the most beautiful waterfall in all of Europe. A little further up the road from Geysir there is a lovely oasis, Haukadalsskógur forest, which has marked hiking trails, and where families can enjoy the peace and quiet of nature away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Skálholt, geothermal cultivation and Þingvellir National Park
For many centuries, Skálholt (18 km/11 mi) functioned as a sort of ‘capital’ of Iceland. There was a bishopric here from 1056 to 1796, and it was an important educational centre for the Catholic and Lutheran faiths. A short distance from Skálholt is the village of Reykholt (13 km/8 mi from Efstidalur II), one of the rural areas where geothermal heat is used for greenhouse cultivation. In Friðheimar, people can visit the greenhouses, learn about the cultivation and sample the produce. Þingvellir National Park, an enchanting location of unique natural beauty, is just a 25-minute-drive from Efstidalur.
Hosts: Halla Rós, Sölvi, Kristín Ingunn, Guðrún Karitas, Árni and Linda Dögg.