A former schoolhouse and dorms that have been converted into a guesthouse with 16 rooms that each sleep between two and for people. Six of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms. A dining hall that sits 35 – 40 people, as well as a sitting room and kitchen. Free Wi-Fi.
The separate “barn” has 7 en-suite rooms and two halls. One can accommodate 70 people, and the other 100. The small and cosy cottage sleeps two to three people and has a bedroom, dining room, bathroom and cooking facilities.
Two campsites are by the guesthouse, and campers have access to cooking facilities, a dining hall, bathrooms, storage and more inside the guesthouse. RV facilities (hot and cold running water, electricity and a sewer connection).
Meals other than breakfast available if pre-ordered.
Service and recreation
There is a swimming pool and hot tub by the guesthouse, as well as a small golf course. There’s furthermore a playground, a football field and a volleyball course. The Steinsstaðir tourist services work closely with the Activity Tours tour operators (6 km / 3.7 mi), who offer white river rafting on the region’s glacial rivers. You can book tours for groups or individuals directly at the guesthouse. Riding tours (6 km / 3.7 mi). The nearest shop is in village Varmahlíð (11 km / 7 mi). The nearest town with shops, diners, restaurants and various services is Sauðárkrókur (36 km / 22.5 mi).
Powerful glacial rivers rush through the so-called Skagafjarðardalir, the collective name for two valleys, namely West Valley and East Valley (Vesturdalur and Austurdalur respectively), and in places, the rivers are confined by spectacular gorges. Roads go from Steinsstaðir and to the outer-most farms in the valleys, and touring them comes highly recommended. The East Valley is known for its terrible beauty. A passable trail goes to farm Bústaðir, where you will see a deep and awesome gorge, Merkigil, which joins canyon Jökulsárgljúfur.
Various hiking options
You can enjoy many interesting hiking routes, both short and long, fit for all. Hikers used to elevation can try their luck at Mælifellshnjúkur, a mountain clearly visible from Steinsstaðir. The marked trail is about 2 – 3 km long (1.2 – 1.8 mi) and the elevation is 630 metres (2,066 ft.). The hike takes about four hours to complete. The peak stands at 1,138 metres (3,733.5 ft.) and the panoramic view is breathtaking.
The refreshing energy of East Valley
East Valley is an unforgettable promised land for hikers who enjoy the challenge brought by steep hills, unbridged rivers and precipitous cliffs. The hike from Bústaðir to the bridge across Jökulsá river (6 km / 3.7 mi) and onto farm Merkigil is quite comfortable. You can take a short cut from farm Gilsbakki, east of the river, along a path over Merkigil gorge and on to the eponymous farm, but note that this route is not for the faint-hearted. Up until 1961, this path was the only way to the gorge.
A lot to see and experience
The Skagafjörður region is historic and home to many interesting attractions. Glaumbær is a good heritage museum located in a proper turf house. The former episcopal seat Hólar in valley Hjaltadalur is a beautiful area located in a green and prosperous valley where wind hardly ever stirs. At village Hofsós, you’ll find an interesting museum about Icelanders who emigrated to the New World in the late 19th century, as well as a remarkable seaside pool with a unique view over the horizon.
Hosts: Jóhanna and Friðrik