Gisting í landinu

Description of accommodation around the country, away from Reykjavik. 

  • Along the coast, in rural areas
  • In the Highlands

On our Discoveries, we will sometimes be able to offer you two options:

  • Superior accommodation
  • Standard accommodation

These labels will only apply to our Discoveries and do not represent an official standardized norm in any way. (It doesn’t exist here).

 

Superior accommodation in B&B**, B&B***, Hotel *** or Hotel ****/*****
This rating is easily understood, as it almost follows the international standard. However:

  • Top rated ****/***** will usually not be as luxurious as you would expect.
  • Low rated **/ *** on the contrary can be cleaner and in better condition than elsewhere.
  • Two stars** : Shared bathroom and toilets.
  • Three stars*** and over : private bathroom and toilets.
  • In Iceland, as in most Scandinavian countries, a double room will often consist of a twin room with reunited beds. But then again, when you are in love, anything goes.
  • For Queen size or King Size beds, upgrade to at least***/****

 

Standard accommodation
These could also be called simple, basic, or at times spartan accommodation. They can be quite a surprise when the tour operator hasn’t been able to describe them properly to the traveler.

It has to be said that without these simple but usually well kept places, travel wouldn’t be possible in Iceland, Greenland, northern Scandinavia and many other scantily populated areas of our planet. The simplicity of these dwellings is a part of your Icelandic experience in itself.

Those who will only accept four-star hotel rooms actually miss out on the more charming and secret aspects of the country.

No matter your budget, traveling requires that you come equipped with the right dose of fatalism, imagination and poetry. In fact, the blind enforcement of international standards ends up leveling all peculiarities and takes away the very essence and grit of all things.

 

Things you should know about standard accommodation in Iceland :

  • Each of these places is quite unique in itself, so trying to classify them would be taking us nowhere. Some are simple but cosy, others are roughly finished, arctic expedition style.
  • Concerning private groups and “a la carte” self drives, we cannot give a precise description of your accommodation before it has been booked and confirmed.
  • It is not possible in hostels and B&Bs to decide the exact allocation of rooms in advance. The manager will of course see to that and try to keep couples, families and groups of friends together wherever possible.
  • During off-peak season (25 June – 20 August), things are much smoother as availability increases.
  • Whenever possible, concerning groups, we will do our best to privatize a place.
  • Otherwise we will try to ensure that our clients get double-twin rooms, and this can be confirmed in 90% of cases.
  • We cant allocate rooms in advance and have our clients accept this principle of 10% incertitude.

Describing standard (basic) accommodation :

  • A B&B, a hostel, a converted farmhouse, a former hotel, the dormitory of a boarding school. Double, triple, quadruple, 6 to 8 bed dormitory. Shared toilets and bathroom. Hot shower included.
  • A community hall in the middle of nowhere : huge empty dance hall with wooden floors, white walls, professional kitchen, cotton lined foam mattresses, multiple toilets and showers in separate Ladies & Gents bathrooms.
  • A wooden mountain hut in bunk beds with good double mattresses. Separate sanitary building and optional hot showers.
  • A converted lighthouse.
  • A converted barn, stable, or sheepfold.

In Iceland, putting everything back in its place, sweeping and mopping the floors before leaving is a traditional duty of the guests.

Things you will need for your nights in standard (spartan) accommodation 

  • In Scandinavian countries you never enter a home without first taking off your shoes. Bring a pair of slippers, flip-flops, sandals, anything, but avoid walking around in your socks only, as they are bound to get wet in the kitchen or bathroom, which wouldn’t do you any good if the floors are cold.
  • A good sleeping bag with a side zipper to regulate your heat. Avoid extreme arctic mummy sleeping bags unless you are that chronically chilly person. Temperatures at night vary -12/15°C in huts, 18/20°C in hostels.
  • A cotton sheet (120 cm x 200 cm) to cover the mattress.
  • A travel pillow.
  • Headlamp for reading and other post-curfew activities.
  • A blindfold face mask in May/June/July, as Icelandic buildings do not have shutters to keep the midnight sun out.
  • Earplugs.
  • Teddy bear or other cuddly toy (optional).