A lot of people who travel around Iceland tend to not spend much time in the northeast of the country. However, there are pockets of wonderful places that still encapsulate the typical Icelandic countryside, and are less disturbed by the ever growing number of tourists who flock to the country. Nearby the small town of Vopnafjordur, nestled amongst rolling hills is Hvammsgerdi, a family-run bed and breakfast on a farmland. Warm and welcoming, you will feel right at home at this wonderful place.
Arriving at HvammsgerdiOnce you step out of your car, you will be greeted by the friendly owners, and their friendly dogs are likely to join them as well. Inside the entrance, there is a space for guests to store their shoes and hang up their coats. In Iceland, shoes are not worn inside the house.
Each bedroom feels light and airy, with bright wooden interiors and a wood floor. Towels are provided for guests and there is a sink and mirror in each room as well as drawers for storage. The beds are very comfortable with down duvets to keep you feeling warm and toasty.
The rooms and amenities at HvammsgerdiThe bed and breakfast has seven bedrooms in total. There are different types of rooms, from a family room fitted with a bunk bed and a double bed, to a twin room and a bedroom with two singles. For those travelling on a budget, there is a budget twin economy room on the floor below, with additional access to the kitchen. There is no en suite bathroom and guests share two bathrooms, one equipped with a shower and hairdryer. The bed and breakfast is well-heated inside and there is no need to worry about being cold, even on a nasty winter night. At Hvammsgerdi, guests also have free access to Wi-Fi.
Another additional plus about staying at Hvammsgerdi is the sauna room. Guests can book the sauna for 3000 ISK or 24 USD per hour. Up to four guests are allowed in the sauna at a time.
Hvammsgerdi has nice spaces for guests to hang out, so you do not have to spend all your time inside your room. There are two bookshelves and some chairs in front of the bedrooms for guests who want to enjoy a book or two, or you can sit and relax on the sofa in the living room. There is a cable TV or you can enjoy the view outside. On a nice summer day, guests can use the terrace and BBQ facility outside. Next to the open living room is the dining table.
Dinners and buffet breakfasts can be purchased separately, with breakfasts costing 1,500 ISK or 12.46 USD for adults and 750 ISK or 6.20 USD for children. Breakfast is free for those younger than seven years old.
The buffet breakfast is highly recommended. You will be served fresh eggs from the farm, Icelandic cheese and ham, as well as vegetables and fruits. There are also cornflakes, muesli and Icelandic dairy products that you should try, such as Súrmjólk, cultured skimmed milk. It is very tasty with a bowl of muesli and some dried fruit.
Friendly animals at HvammsgerdiWhat makes Hvammsgerdi feel even homier are the animals that live there. Don’t be surprised if you see a cat or two sharing the living room couch with you—they enjoy the cosy living room as much as people do. Apart from cats, the Hvammsgerdi also has two dogs, two horses, some sheep and chicken. These animals are part of Hvammsgerdi’s charm. If you have some free time, the dogs will enjoy a game of Frisbee in the yard.
Around HvammsgerdiBeing located in natural surroundings means that you can expect a number of outdoor activities. About a fifteen to twenty minute drive from Hvammsgerdi is a salmon fishing river. To fish in the river, however, you will be required to purchase a fishing permit. Depending on the fishing season, prices will vary, but bear in mind that it will be expensive. Fishing is not the only activity by the river. Just a five kilometre (~three miles) drive from the farm, there is Selárdalslaug, an outdoor heated geothermal pool with a small hot tub and a separate small pool for children. The swimming pool is located next to the Selá River. It is a great place to go for a swim or relax in a hot tub while listening to the river. The pool’s opening hours are limited during winter, unlike summer, so it is best to get in touch with the tourist office in Vopnafjordur beforehand. Admission prices are 500 ISK or 4 USD for adults and 200 ISK or 1.63 USD for children.
If you are looking to experience a bit of history, there is a great museum located in the nearby town of Vopnafjordur, just a 15 minute drive from Hvammsgerdi. At the beautiful red farm with a turf roof, you will get to see and experience old Icelandic farm life. The admission is 900 ISK or 7 USD for adults and 200 ISK or 2 USD for children under the age of thirteen. The museum is open between the 10th of June to the 10th of September each year but requests can be made if you plan to visit outside these times.
The area in general is also a great bird watching spot during the summer. With the varying habitats, such as small lakes, rocky fields and the seaside, the types of birds that can be spotted include Arctic Terns, Golden Plovers and various seabirds and duck species. There are possibilities for hiking in the area as well. Information on different surrounding routes can be obtained from the tourist information centre in Vopnafjordur.
Although in winter, things might seem quieter for outdoor activities, Hvammsgerdi can be a great location to see the northern lights. In general, the winter landscape is very different from that of summer, but if you are looking to experience something different, it is quite something to experience the area in winter, something for those who are after the arctic scenery.
Getting thereThe only way to get to Hvammsgerdi is by car. It is always a good idea to rent a car that is not too small. Bad weather out in the countryside can make journeys around Iceland difficult for small cars. Hvammsgerdi is located north of Vopnafjordur and is an additional eight minute drive. If you do not plan to drive all the way from Reykjavik to the northeast, you can take a flight from the Reykjavik Domestic Airport to the town of Egilsstadir and rent a car from there. Bring plenty of warm and waterproof clothing. Even in the summer, Icelandic weather is very unpredictable. In winter, the roads are bound to be slippery and visibility could be low, so be sure to drive carefully.
A lovely little place amongst the hills
Whether you are looking for a short or longer stay, you should consider Hvammsgerdi. It is a no-fuss kind of place, where the friendly owners and their animals will make you feel right at home. Hvammsgerdi is for those who prefer a comfortable and authentic experience. Being out at Hvammsgerdi also means that you will be surrounded by Icelandic nature. It is a great base for exploring the surrounding areas at your own leisurely pace and you are not far from the nearest town Vopnafjordur, should you need further information on what to do and see in the area.
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