Southern Iceland is home to most of the most popular tourist routes in Iceland—with good reason. The coastal Ring Road road from Reykjavík to Höfn is a trail of picturesque towns, black sand beaches, dramatic mountains, powerful waterfalls, basalt cliffs, towering glaciers and sprawling lava fields. It’s a completely immersive and visceral experience of Iceland’s natural environment that you could easily spend weeks exploring. These are just a few of our favourite sites along the way.
Jutting out from a cliff overlooking Lake Þingvallavatn, this multiple award-winning design hotel is a true gem. Powered by the neighbouring geothermal plant with the cleanest mineral water possible, it’s fully sustainable and cleanly luxurious. “It has the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. I’m still dreaming about it,” said one panellist. “Everything is so fancy.” It’s nestled hillside location makes it feel secluded in the beautiful area, surrounded by hiking trails and gorgeous scenery. “It’s great when the area is covered in snow,” said another panellist, which is ideal since the hotel can get snowed in for several days in the winter—but the wine cellar is always fully stocked!
Located in the former village schoolhouse of Laugarvatn, this affordable and friendly hostel is a completely charming building with history shining out of the walls. There’s a cosy café, nooks to hide in, and accommodation to suit anyone’s needs, from dorm bunks to cheap rooms, to fancy lakeside apartments. It’s steps away from the Fontana nature baths, and surrounded by stunning sights.
Run by an amazing family of local expert guides, the atmosphere of this place is top notch. Opened just last May in a former car mechanic warehouse, this simple, clean and friendly hostel aims to be a home-away-from-home for its guests. “Ending a day of adventuring with a dip in the rooftop hot tub that looks out to Eyjafjallajökull will always be memorable,” said one panellist.
More Best Of Iceland Awards
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Iceland 2018 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Iceland—here, posted worldwide. We also have a Special Offer double-pack that also includes our Best Of Reykjavík magazine, about places to eat, see, swim, visit, and shop in the country’s capital city, here.