The tourist boom in recent years has put a lot of pressure on Icelandic tourism to find new ways to accommodate all those people eager to visit our tiny island. It takes time to build hotels which means that Icelanders had to be original to make sure all our guests had a place to stay. In this blog I will cover most choices for accommodation in Iceland and point out few of my favorites.
Hotels, Hostels and guesthouses in Iceland
For many tourists this is the only way to travel. It's safe, easy to find reviews and you know that if something goes wrong while staying in a hotel in Iceland the hotel is liable. I encourage those people to check out all options since nowadays we have a lot more diverse choice then we had a couple of years ago.
Hotels in Iceland are expensive especially if you are staying in downtown Reykjavik. The good thing about our capital is that it's so small that even if you stay in the "suburbs" it will only take you 15 minutes to drive to the center. So do your homework and you will save a lot of money. When I do my research for my travels abroad I make sure to check out all major booking sites such as www.booking.com , www.hotels.com , www.expedia.com and many more. Once you find a hotel you like check out all the sites again for prices since prices can vary a lot. It goes without saying to check the official hotel site also since sometimes the hotels have special offers there and not on the big booking sites.
Air bnb's in Iceland
More then 1000 apartments can be found for rent in Reykjavík, Icelands capital, through the ever so popular airbnb site. In fact you can find an air bnb in every inch of Iceland nowadays. We especially like the diversity you can find there. Most hotels in Iceland are similar though you can find some unique here and there but air bnb's are usually normal Icelandic people renting out there private home or family cabin. You can find everything from tiny studio apartments to big villas so everyone should be able to go out of the comfort zone of big hotel chains and support the common Icelandic people. Reviews can be easily found and it's a good rule to read at least 10 reviews for a property you might like. One person's dream can be another person's nightmare ;) I would also make sure that the place you are renting has an operating license. Although the legal framework is not that clear getting a permit is easy and should be something that everybody has that is renting out his home. That way you can be sure that the house is safe for you and your family to stay in.
Campers in Iceland
I wrote a blog on renting a camper in Iceland and you can read that here.
Camping in Iceland
For those traveling on a budget this is an excellent choice. We have countless camping sites with good facilities. If you intend to do this your best bet is to buy the Icelandic camping card. For only 110 EUR you have access to camping sites all around Iceland. So basically your only cost will be renting your car in Iceland and buying food :) Make sure the camping sites are open though since many of them are only open during the summer/high season. The cost for one person staying at a random camping site in Iceland is usually around 1500 ISK so it's a lot cheaper then a hotel or guesthouse.
House exchanges in Iceland
Sites like www.homeexchange.com are getting more and more popular in Iceland. Since Icelandic people love to travel you should find a nice house/apartment to swap with wherever you live in the world. We are experiencing a big tourist boom in Iceland these days and accommodation in Iceland can be a big part of your budget. This way you save a lot of money and you can be sure that the person renting your home will take good care of it since you are staying in their home in Iceland. Just make sure that you read reviews so that you are booking with someone that people have been happy with in the past. I've heard from people that have had really bad experience with this also.
I have to use this opportunity and tell you that the owners of Golden Circle Day Tours has 2 family cabins that they rent out through Air Bnb. Those who rent our houses get 5% discount of all of our tours and car rentals so hopefully you like what you see and you'll be in touch :)
Here is the cottage in South Iceland located near Hella & Hvolsvöllur
Here is the cabin in South Iceland located near the Golden Circle & Selfoss