The Big Six: Wild Icelandic lodges

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Northern Lights, salmon fishing and cosy cabins

Hotel Ion Thingvellir

This adventure hotel opens tomorrow on the outskirts of Thingvellir National Park. In tribute to the landscape, rooms feature graphics of pure-bred Icelandic horses and sidetables carved from chunks of wood. The Silfra Restaurant specialises in Nordic cuisine, while the Northern Lights Bar flaunts floor-to-ceiling windows in the hope of glimpsing the Arctic's seasonal spectacular. Activities range from glacier tours and white-water rafting to fishing in glistening fjords.

Hotel Ion, Thingvellir, Selfoss (00 354 482 3415; ioniceland.is). Doubles from Isk19,900 (£98), including breakfast.

Grimsborgir Grimsnes

Grimsborgir offers a luxury base for those tracing the Golden Circle route. There are two doubles in the main house and some posh apartments and split-level cottages with kitchens and outdoor hot tubs elsewhere. A pretty restaurant with white-washed walls, a piano and views of the grassy plains, unites guests with homemade pastries each morning and hearty dishes at night. The gushing hot springs at Geysir, waterfalls of Gullfoss and beauty of Thingvellir are all within reach by car.

Grimsborgir, Asborgir, Selfoss (00 354 555 7878; grimsborgir.com). Doubles from €98, including breakfast.

Hotel Budir Snaefellsnes

First opened on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in 1948, the Hotel Budir was completely burnt down in 2001, before reopening two years later. Far removed from any light pollution, it has long been a favourite base for spotting the Northern Lights. Its homely rooms feature traditional furnishings, earthy colour tones and prints of Icelandic wildlife. The restaurant hauls unusual treats such as ling (Atlantic cod) on to plates each night alongside Icelandic moss and kale.

Hotel Budir, Snaefellsnes Peninsula (00 354 435 6700; hotelbudir.is). Doubles from Isk21,500 (£106), including breakfast.

Eyvindara Egilsstadir

This cluster of woodland cabins overlooks a scenic fjord on the far east coast. The feel is a little Center Parcs, but the look is altogether Icelandic, with 10 new double rooms and some self-catering cottages in a series of crimson-coloured huts. Some have small kitchenettes, but those that don't can make use of the communal restaurant. Spend days fishing for trout and salmon in glacial waters, walking amid wildflowers or relaxing in quiet seclusion back at the lodge.

Eyvindara, Egilsstadir (00 354 471 1200; eyvindara.is). Doubles from Isk16,400 (£81), including breakfast.

Hotel Ranga Hella

Thick log walls shield guests from the elements at Hotel Ranga, which stands on a wild windswept plain. There are 44 doubles and seven World Pavilion suites inside that nod to different corners of the globe. Choose Africa for thatched roofs, animal hides and tribal art, or Australia for surf boards, beach motifs and a didgeridoo. The restaurant dishes up salmon from the River Ranga, alongside fermented shark and reindeer carpaccio. Outside, dogsledding, snowmobiling and 4x4 tours beckon.

Hotel Ranga, Gamli Sudurlandsvegur, Hella (00 354 487 5700; hotelranga.is). Doubles from €194, including breakfast.

Glymur Hvalfjordur

This collection of rooms and suites creeps up the banks of the Hvalfjordur or "whale fjord", which flows down to form Iceland's highest waterfall. There are 22 split-level rooms and some larger suites to choose from, but the best are the six new villas, which come with broad decks, private hot tubs, built-in kitchens and designer furniture. Elsewhere, there's an honesty bar, restaurant and lounge with weird and wonderful artefacts, collected by the owners on their travels.

Glymur, Hvalfjordur, Simi (00 354 430 3100; hotelglymur.is). Doubles from €205, including breakfast.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas