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Guesthouses in Iceland

Date 03 January 2020

Guesthouses in Iceland

Guesthouses in Iceland

B&Bs, more commonly known here as guesthouses, are the preferred types of accommodation if you're visiting Iceland. They are found everywhere on the island, even in the most remote areas far inland, and when it comes to value for money they are unbeatable.

Book a night stay in a guesthouse

Les chambres d'hôtes en Islande

The vast majority of hosts catering to tourists in Iceland use, so that's where visitors can find the largest selection of guesthouses even in the farthest corners of the island.

All these establishments take reservations, but you'll need to plan ahead, especially when booking during summer and holiday seasons. Some bustling tourist sites and bigger cities like Reykjavík have enough hosts to ensure you can book easily, but in some of the more remote areas there are only a select few options. This is the case for example with Jökulsárlón or Lake Mývatn.

Picking the right guesthouse for you will be based on several criteria:

  • The price per night
  • The location of the guesthouse
  • Amenities: breakfast, hotpot, bikes, kayaking...

Hey Iceland

Another useful resource is HeyIceland (formerly Farm Holidays), a chain of about 170 rural B&Bs, "farm inns", and shelters, located all over the country which offers travelers accommodation and various amenities.

These can takes many forms: farms, guesthouses, country hotels, chalets, cottages... And the packages are different too, from bed and breakfast with private or shared bathrooms to camping in your own sleeping bags.

The various accommodations are divided into 4 categories, similar to hotel "stars", offering a different level of quality and service (with private or shared bathrooms, for example). Breakfast is of course available as an option in B&Bs.

Farm inns often offer other services such as horseback riding, fishing and hunting expeditions, golf, etc... This type of accommodation is probably the most popular among tourists as it's more personal, hosts can help with useful advice and insight into life in Iceland.

Remember to book well in advance during the June to August season. As mentioned, guesthouses really offer the best value for money depending on the category and the options chosen. Here is the list of accommodation options and rates

Farm guesthouse:

Rental of rooms in a farmhouse building. The rooms are simple and comfortable and some are offered with private shower/WC.

Private farm guesthouse:

Rental of rooms in a farmhouse building but with a private entrance, or in a separate building, bungalows, or other dependencies, some with private shower/WC.

Country hotel:

Closer to hotel services, more luxury and amenities, and rooms are better equipped. These rooms are in category 4, the top class, with private shower/WC.


Cottages are more independent, with kitchens equipped for the number of people in the reservation. Duvets are provided, but guests must bring sheets or rent them on site.

Accommodation categories I, II, III, and IV

  • I: The rooms are simple and comfortable. They are cleaned daily, the beds are made, towels are provided, and there is a lounge for visitors.
  • II: All of the above, plus a sink in the room.
  • III: All of the above, plus a private shower and WC. This is the usual room category of farmhouses, guesthouses, and cottages.
  • IV: All of the above, plus a television, radio and sometimes a coffee machine.

Sleeping bag accommodation: These accommodation options have rooms for 1 to 4 people, but as the name suggests these are just bare beds sometimes just mattresses on the floor. Breakfast is as you can imagine not included in this package.

Cottages — A, B, C, or D

Cottages are much like AirBnB full holiday rentals charged per day or per week. These are very well maintained with shower/WC. You are provided with warm duvets and can rent sheets for a fee or bring your own, and all cottages have a full kitchen equipped for the number of people in the booking.

The difference between A, B, C, and D categories is mainly a matter of size, comfort, and additional equipment. Initially, visitors are asked to keep the cottage clean. Room cleaning during the visit is possible on request at an additional cost.

  • A: These accommodations are simple and generally only contain one bedroom and WC.
  • B: All of the above, plus at least one separate bedroom, a coffee machine, and showers on site but in another building.
  • C: All of the above but with a private shower or a bathtub, a toaster, garden furniture and a barbecue.
  • D: The luxury level accommodations are larger and have at least one bedroom equipped with a bedside table, a wardrobe, and a comfortable bed. They are tastefully furnished and in addition to the outdoor table and bbq, there's even a jacuzzi.

Guesthouse rates in Iceland

Les guesthouses en Islande

As you can see, the range of services and the category of bed and breakfast is rather vast, so the price range is quite broad, but generally it's hard to find a double room in a guesthouse for less than €100 per night. On the bright side, as is often the case in Iceland, children are almost always entitled to discounts.

Prices vary depending on:

  • The location and other options in the region
  • The season
  • Services offered
  • The breakfast option
  • Private rooms or private bathroom/ WC
  • Upfront payment or not

Here are a few examples for July 2021:

  • Media Luna guesthouse: double room in Seyðisfjörður with private bathroom without breakfast: €170
  • Lyndas guesthouse double room in Seyðisfjörður with shared bathroom without breakfast: €95
  • Blabjorg guesthouse double room in Borgarfjörður Eystri with shared bathroom and breakfast: €125
  • Bed & Books guesthouse double room in Reykjavik with shared bathroom and breakfast: €140

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