Golden Circle and Langjokull glacier

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Galtafell guesthouse

Galtafell Guesthouse

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Downtown guesthouse build by the famous Icelandic artist, Muggur

Beautiful & historic guesthouse in downtown Reykjavik with apartment suites, single and double/twin rooms available. You will enjoy free on-street parking and free WiFi internet access in every room. The guesthouse is in walking distance to popular cafés, restaurants, shops and museums.
The apartment suites are bright and non-smoking, comfortably furnished and all have private entrance. They consist of bedroom, bathroom, living room, fully equipped kitchen corner and can comfortably room up to four persons. The building has laundry facilities. Bed linen and towels are provided. They also offer double rooms and single rooms. All the rooms have TV, DVD, internet access, hairdryer and an iron. There are possibility of an extra bed. Children are welcome. Free parking outside of the building.

Location & Directions

Below you can see routes to best places to watch the northern lights

Below you can see the location of the guesthouse and couple of routes to popular places for viewing the northern lights. Before you go be sure to check out the northern lights forecast and see in real time if the location you plan to go to has much of clouds here on the northern lights webcam page.
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Drive to Grindavik and visit the light house. Dramatic location with the sound of the ocean and great places to shot nice photos with the light house in the background. Do wear warm clothes as it can be very cold in a open area like this.


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Drive to Grindavik and visit the light house. Dramatic location with the sound of the ocean and great places to shot nice photos with the light house in the background. Do wear warm clothes as it can be very cold in a open area like this.


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Prices & Booking


The amazing aurora in Iceland

The amazing aurora in Iceland


Iceland is a beautiful country with many beautiful and magical sites to see and adore. This stark island-nation straddles the North Atlantic and Arctic ocean. It is one of the five Nordic Countries that forms the roof of Europe. Although Iceland shares continental plates with both North America and Europe, it is still classified as European for its culture, politics and historical background.
Iceland is sparsely populated by a hardy breed of 320,000 people. It is home to many wild, natural and unpolluted places to marvel at. Chief of these are the northern lights. The capital, Reykjavik, may be filled with extravagant city lights, but it is unable to hide the beautiful Northern Lights. Just a few kilometers outside the city and you have a spectacular view of this magical spectacle.

What are the Northern Lights?

2045648290_d420530048_z“Aurora borealis” is another name for the Northern Lights. Aurora is Latin for the Roman goddess of sunrise, Dawn. In the high northern latitudes, the Aurora is a stunning display of curtains of colored lights in the sky, chiefly visible at the beginning and end of winter.
This marvelous display is caused by the collision of charged energetic particles with atoms in the thermosphere, the boundary between the earth’s atmosphere and outer space. The charged particles come from the magnetosphere and also from the solar wind which are both directed towards, among others, the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere.
The product of the collision of these charged particles with an oxygen molecule leads to green or brownish-red lights. The produced light depends on the amount of energy absorbed by the collision of particles. The more intense the bombardment, the brighter the display. Nitrogen emissions cause a display of blue or red lights to seemingly hover above the Earth’s atmosphere. The Northern Lights turn blue if charged air particles regain an electron immediately after being ionized. And if it returns to its surface state immediately after an excited state, it will release red lights.

When to Look for Northern Lights in Iceland

7088449099_61d52408af_zNorthern lights in Iceland are visible for nearly 8 months in a year. This gives tourists a long window to marvel at the marvelous sight without having to travel to Alaska or northern Scandinavia. You don´t have to drive far from the capital to see them either. If it is too bothersome to leave the comforts of Reykjavik, you can see these beautiful lights from downtown. From the city center, the aurora may not so bright but still a marvelous natural phenomenon. Each night, there is a Northern lights forecast, which you can take note of to maximize your viewing pleasure.
As early as the start of fall, in August, this heavenly spectacle begins to manifest. The moment the northern heavens darken for the long winter twilights, the Aurora Borealis become visible. Of course, it is also important that weather conditions are favorable for sightseeing. Even halfway through spring, as late as the month of April, these marvelous lights can still be seen. The Northern lights can be viewed at any time, between dusk to dawn. All you need is a clear dark sky. And yet, the most beautiful spectacle that you can ever behold is when you see the Northern lights as the sun is rising, or as it sets. It is the most enchanting sight that you shall ever see in your lifetime.

Where to Find the Northern lights in Iceland

From Keflavik International Airport you can look out your airplane’s window and see the Northern lights dancing in the sky if it is dark outside. Once you land, you take the road to Reykjavik through an empty, moon-like landscape. This 45-minute drive is a perfect place to spot your first Aurora borealis. 
One can visit the Blue Lagoon where you can sit in the steamy pools and watch the Northern lights as long as you want without getting cold. Hiking or camping in the highlands is another picture-perfect place to see the Northern lights. Traveling far from the city allows solitude, peace, and serenity as you gaze upon the Northern lights away from the city noise and lights. The geothermal area of Landmannalaugar is a popular destination to view the lights. However it would be better if the travel is planned in advance, because the area is not open the whole year round, and only 4x4 vehicles can access this area.

Plan Your Own Northern Lights Hunting Trip

Since the nights are longer in the North and Westfjords, it is better to seek out the Northern lights there. One of the most magical places to take in a northern light show is on a sandy beach in the South Coast near Vík. Here, you can also enjoy the lapping waves creating the perfect background music for a perfect Northern lights experience. Sitting on a rocking dock somewhere in an old harbor is also cozy spot to take in the view. Borgarnes has a dock that you can drive your car onto and sit and wait inside while little fishing boats float beside you - a good trick if it’s cold or stormy outside.

Guesthouse Hestheimar

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Guesthouse at Hestheimar

Guesthouse at Hestheimar is an outstanding Bed & Breakfast provider in a lovely country side town

A bed and breakfast provider in Hella, Guesthouse at Hestheimar is a gem in the middle of a very quiet and peaceful town. This guesthouse includes a main house and some separate cottages that provide not the basic needs of the guests, but also the comfort and relaxation one would like to have after roaming around the busy streets of Reykjavik and other popular Icelandic cities and towns.

Guesthouse Hestheimar

Our review for Guesthouse Hestheimar

The guests loved how the staff of Guesthouse at Hestheimar politely let them choose the place where they wanted to stay – either in the main building or in one of the cottages. All rooms and apartments/ cottages were spotless and very comfortable. Some cottages were several kilometres away from the main building, which presented an advantage and a disadvantage for the guests. The long distance from the main building provided more privacy and peacefulness, but also meant being too far from the services of the staff in the main building. Other things that customers thought were great about Guesthouse at Hestheimar is that the bathrooms are spotless clean and larger than the typical size of bathrooms in other hotels in Iceland. However, what makes the stay in Guesthouse at Hestheimar worthwhile is the warm welcome and friendly service of the hosts and staff.

Just like other BBs in Hella, Guesthouse at Hestheimar satisfied their guests with the wide variety of hot and cold breakfast, including delicious pancakes, cereals, cakes, breads and more.

Although the guests noticed how some of the staff of this BB were somehow reserved when serving their guests, they appreciated how the staff became very engaging and enthusiastic in their services as they get along with their customers.

Hotel Vestmannaeyjar

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Hotel Vestmannaeyjar

Hotel Vestmannaeyjar is a lovely hotel in a small quiet town.

Hotel Vestmannaeyjar is a small but exquisite hotel offering 19 guest rooms. From the hotel, you can easily access the best restaurants and tourist attractions in the island. Some rooms offer a great view of the Icelandic waters, while others don’t. Each guest room has a comfortable bed but the beddings are not of premium quality. The toilet and shower are separated by an enclosure, and the bathroom amenities are very basic but still useful. The hotel also features free access to high-speed Internet via WiFi and free parking.

Hotel vestmannaeyjar

Our review for Hotel Vestmannaeyjar

Guests found the location of Hotel Vestmannaeyjar to be very accessible to and from the island’s prime destinations such as the volcano, the island golf course, the cliffs and other attractions. Upon entering the hotel, customers were delighted with the friendly welcome given to them by the staff assigned at the front desk.

In terms of the accommodations, previous customers said that the guest rooms were spotless clean but could use some improvements in their interior design to show more character and spice up the rooms a bit. The guests were able to use the fast and strong WiFi connection in their rooms, as well as the flat screen TV with several channels that feature local and international news. Some guests were able to enjoy the relaxing Jacuzzi in the large rooms.

The guests described the breakfast as typically Icelandic and nothing special. The breakfast was comprised of milk, cereals and some cold cuts. The coffee, however, was one of the best ones they’ve tasted in the country.

The owners and staff of the hotel were very friendly and professional. The guests commended them for making tour arrangements upon request plus giving out some good advices on what to do while touring the small but beautiful island.

Self drive idea - 3 days Long Weekend in Iceland

Long Weekend in Iceland

3 days self-drive idea including northern lights hunt, Blue Lagoon, glaciers, Jokulsarlon, Seljalandsfoss waterfall & Golden Circle

A long weekend in Iceland where you will rent a car from Thrifty, drive to the famous Geysir geothermal area and the Gullfoss waterfall, hunt for northern lights in the evening at Hotel Ranga, drive in day 2 all the way to Jokulsarlon, see some of the famous watfalls on the way back and in the last day stay in Reykjavik, and enjoy Blue Lagoon on your way back to the airport.

Iceland self drive tours


Day 1 - Arrival in Keflavik, Iceland

After arrival at Keflavik Airport, you can either pick up your rental car at the airport or simply take the Flybus to Reykvik for day one. This might save you one day of rental car charges, but it all depends on when you arrive if this is feasible or not. In Reykjavik we recommend Centrum Hotel for your first day. If you arrive early in the day just use the day to walk around downtown Reykjavik, check out some museums, go to the public swimming pools (that is were you find the locals soaking in hot tubs - often very lively discussions!!), have some hot dog at Bæjarins Bestu in downtown or simply go and shop from some of the local fashion stores e.g. Akmo at the end of Laugavegur. Check out e.g. this northern lights tour northern light tour with Arctic Adventure if you want to increase your chances to see the northern lights while you are visiting Iceland for only 3 days.

Day 2 - Golden Circle trip

Begin your day with picking up your car rental. You can do that at BSI. Today is a day for the Golden Circle tour. Visiting Thingvellir National Park and then head to Lyngdalsheidi on our way to Geyser hot spring area. See all the hot spring, photograph Strokkur and check out Fullsterkur - some interesting stones to lift close to Strokkur. Go to the Geysir shop and shop some Icelandic knit "lopapeysur". Drive to Haukadalur - a small forrest close by and check out the small country style church. Great area. Drive to Gullfoss waterfall now. Get close to the waterfall and experience the spray from the waterfall in your face. Shoot some photographs and head up to the restaurant next the waterfall. The Icelandic meatsoup is the best choice on the menu. Head back to Reykjavik now - but stop at Kerið on our way home. Kerið is a dormant volcano close to Selfoss. Arrive in Reykjavik close to 19:00 should be possible. Go for some nice restaurant in the evening e.g. Sjavargrillid before driving out of Reykjavik around 9pm to hunt for the northern lights. It depends on weather condition where to head and best to ask the hotel personnel for direction.

Day 3 - Snæfellsjokull glacier and Hotel Budir

Driving to Snæfellsjokull today with some stop-over at Landsnamssetrið (The Settlement Centre). It is in the village of Borgarnes just one hour drive from Reykjavik on road no 1 towards the north (and Snæfellsnesjokull). In the centre we recommend The Egils Saga Exhibition. We head now towards Snæfellsjokull with some stop at Lysuholl swimmingpool. After hiking a bit around Snæfellsjokull glacier we head to Hotel Budir that is a nice country style hotel at Snæfellsnes. We stay here for one night. Great place for hiking and seeing the nature in Iceland. Especially hunting for the northern lights in the evening.

Day 4 - Departure day

Today is your departure day so just wake up, pack your things and drive to Keflavik airport. This is of course only possible if your flight leaves late in the day - and if time allows, go to the Blue Lagoon and relax before you fly back home.

Photo credit: Flickr - AlexKr, Arian Zwegers, Ophelia, Matito, Jeremy Vandel, Yellow book

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Rescue work in north Iceland

13. Sept. 2012 - Farmers in northern Iceland did not expect a snowstorm end-of-summer - full size car rental

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Rental cars from Thrifty can be found on 4 rental locations: Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik, Down Town Akureyri and Akureyri airport. It is a rental car company with ISO 9001 certified, offers great shuttle bus service and everything is done so you can easily change or cancel your booking whenever you need - no questions asked.

car rental iceland

The Red House, Eyrarbakka, Iceland

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The Red House

Take a trip back in time for a meal in a romantic and relaxing atmosphere by the southcoast

We recommend the Red House as they have the greatest seafood courses (especially the lobster soup) you can find in Iceland. Located in a fishing village, Eyrarbakki, on the south coast it is known for serving local food directly from the farmers. It is a very cosy restaurant with a Icelandic fishing village atmosphere.

Red House


The Seafood grill, Reykjavik, Iceland

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The Seafood grill

The restaurant ranked #1 on Tripadvisors of all the 201 restaurants in Iceland. Do we need to say more?

We recommend the Seafood grill as they are probably the best seafood restaurant in Iceland. It has been known for fantastic food from the start when the founder / master chef was awarded the title "CHEF OF THE YEAR 2010" in Iceland.

Seafood grill


The Tapashouse

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A great tapas house. A fusion of food and frolic. Well known for exciting taste combination of Spanish-Icelandic food

We recommend the Tapashouse as they serve some of the best tapas food in Iceland. The Tapashouse is not only about food, they also take fun seriously, making sure you get the most out of the night. Located at the old harbor in the famous Sólfell house - delivering a unique atmosphere.

Steak House in Iceland


The Steak House, Reykjavik, Iceland

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The Steak House

Great Argentinean Steak House at the Old Harbor in Reykjavik. Known for its good atmosphere, great service and of course the best steaks in town

We recommend the Steak House as they serve some of the best steaks in Iceland. They are at a great trendy location next to the old harbor in downtown Reykjavik. People recommend especially the spectacular lamb grill feast. The atmosphere is very relaxing and romantic. It is also known for being a local favorite.

Steak House in Iceland


See a whale breaching in Iceland

See a whale breaching in Iceland

It is unique experience to watch these lovely animal breach in the ocean

This idea is not only for animal lovers, it is for anyone visiting Iceland. Whales are such a wonderful creatures and you need to see it breach in the ocean at least once in your lifetime. The video is shot close to Reykjavik on a Android phone by the author of this Pinterest account. See the itinerary below how to get to our preferred whale watching tour company - Specialtours

Whale breaching in Iceland

The itinerary

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Amazing aurora borealis video from Iceland

The Beautiful Aurora Borealis

2012_09_19_2332 from Olafur Haraldsson on Vimeo.