Skálafell I



Skálafell I

This guesthouse is literally surrounded by magnificent nature. Located just by the southern foothills of glacier Vatnajökull, it’s also close to glacier Heinabergsjökull. It’s almost midway between the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and fishing town Höfn í Hornafirði in southeast Iceland. This unique landscape, shaped by icefalls and roaring glacial rivers, overlooks the shore and the pounding ocean waves caressing black sand beaches. Marked hiking trails in Vatnajökull National Park. Open:  3 January to 21 December.

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Amentities

  • Shared bathroom with hand basin (Cat.II)
  • Private bathroom (Cat.III)
  • Family rooms 3+
  • Working farm
  • Free Wi-Fi in some areas
  • Bar
  • Meals available
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Open vouchers

In the area

  • Marked hiking trails
  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Glacier jeep tours from Skálafell
  • Glacier kayak tours from Skálafell
  • Glacier tours 3 km
  • Domestic animal petting zoo 12 km
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 40 km
  • Höfn 40 km

Accommodation

10 two to three person rooms: 6 double / twin en suite rooms with private entrances in three cosy cottages. Four double / twin rooms with a hand basin and that share a bathroom in the guesthouse’s main building, where the reception is also located. It’s possible to add a bed to every room. Free Wi-Fi in the main building.

 
Board

Breakfast is served in the dining hall in the main building. A three-course dinner available if pre-ordered. Locally sourced ingredients are emphasised, and you can choose between two or more main courses, either meat or fish. Desserts consist of Icelandic ice cream and home made cake or pie. The menu changes every day. Bar.

 
Service and recreation

Your hosts can tell you all about local hiking routes. A marked trail, kept by the rangers at the national park, starts at the farm and goes on to Skálafellsjökull, which is the southern tip of the larger Heinabergsjökull. There are other interesting trails in the southern part of the national park that you can explore as well, or you can go on guided glacier tours (snowmobile tours) to Skálafellsjökull (route no 985, 3 km / 1.8 mi). There’s also a petting zoo, which is a fun activity for the whole family, at Hólmur á Mýrum (12 km / 6 mi). Relax in the hot tubs at Hoffell, or try the quad tours along Hoffellsjökull (30 km / 18.5 mi). Visit the Huldusteinn rock museum or the Glacier Museum in town Höfn, which is also the local tourism information centre (40 km / 25 mi). Don’t miss the day tours to Jökulsárlón (40 km / 25 mi) and to Skaftafell (98 km / 61 mi). The nearest horse rental is at Árnanes (33 km / 20.5 mi). The nearest town is Höfn, where you’ll find a swimming pool, a golf course, supermarkets, restaurants, tour operators and all basic services (40 km / 25 mi).

 
Vatnajökull National Park – marked hiking trail around Hjallanes

An almost otherworldly cliff guards the guesthouse at Skálafell, and the farm has been inhabited for as long as locals can remember. It’s close to glacial river Kolgríma that originates in one of Vatnajökull’s icefalls, Heinabergsjökull. The river is the boundary between the region Suðursveit and Hornafjörður. The driveway to Skálafell marks the beginning of a trail to the popular Hjallanes just by the icefall Skálafellsjökull. This area belongs to Vatnajökull National Park, which covers 13% of Iceland’s total area, or 13,600 km2 (3,360,633 acres) in total, and is the largest national park in Western Europe. If you travel 3 km (1.8 mi) along road no 985, you’ll find tour operators that offer daily guided snowmobile tours to Skálafellsjökull.

 
The nature lover’s promised land

There’s another magnificent area nearby. By the southern perimeter of the park is Heinabergssvæðið, where you’ll find various marked hiking trails. Drive 7.7 km / 4.8 mi along a gravel road, passable by most vehicles, after turning off road no 1 (the ‘Ring Road’) just east of river Kolgríma. There’s yet another splendid area close to icefall Fláajökull, which is a little further east than Heinabergsjökull and reachable by driving a 10-km-long (6 mi) gravel path that turns off the ring Road by Hólmur (11 km / 7 mi from Stekkatún).

 
Region Suðursveit – a land of wonders by the glacier’s foothills

Skálafell is the eastern-most town in the Suðursveit region, which is the name of the area along the foothills of Vatnajökull by the southern shore, and all the way west to the famed Jökulsárlón (40 km / 25 mi). Suðursveit is a charming place, where nature lovers can get their fill of glaciers, cliffs, mountains tops, deep valleys, green pastures and black sand beaches. Head to Lækjarhús in Borgarhöfn (11 km / 6.8 mi) to go on various tours like jeep tours and coach tours (where you might or might not know where you’re headed!). From there, you can travel 12 km (7.5 mi) to Hali í Suðursveit, where there’s a good restaurant that emphasises locally sourced ingredients. You can also visit a museum about one of Iceland’s most beloved 20th century authors at Hali, which is only 14 km / 9 mi from Jökulsárlón.


Hosts: Þóra and Þorsteinn

 

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