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The Bubble Hotel at a discrete location in South Iceland, only revealed to guests after booking.

Glamping on a private island?

11 of Iceland's unique and strange accommodations in Iceland

Icelanders do not sleep in igloos – but you are welcome to. Here are 11 accommodations where architecture and design create a night destined to be remembered.

Dream big in a capsule

The Galaxy Pod Hostel is a futuristic hostel with dorms of varying sizes.

The Galaxy Pod Hostel in Reykjavik’s city center, is modeled after the popular Japanese pod hostels. This luxury pod hostel has a futuristic theme so that the capsule rooms feel reminiscent of where one might sleep on a spaceship. It is very popular with Star Wars fans. Don’t forget the virtual reality games in the hotel lobby.

Visit the Galaxy Pod Hostel

Glass igloos

The Panorama Glass Lodge opened in 2020.

The Panorama Glass Lodge is located on remote land near the town of Hella, South Iceland. Made up of several igloos fitted with large windows for viewing the landscape, this offers an immersive experience where sunlight and auroras serve as the room's light switch. Each house includes a private hot tub and hammock nets.

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Mongolian yurts

The island of Traustholtshólmi in the middle of the powerful Þjórsá River.

Wait for the dinghy to arrive! The island of Traustholtshólmi is for those truly seeking distance from the trappings of society. Once a farm in the middle of river Þjórsá, the island is now dotted with four elegantly furnished yurts and one wooden house with a windmill on top — the owner’s home. The yurts are fire-heated, with wool-insulated walls, but open only during the warmest weeks of the year. Wild salmon is caught in nets over summer, cooked over fire and served with home-grown salads and vegetables.

Visit Traustholtshólmi

The bus is not in service

Reykjavík city buses get a new life on a property in Kjalarnes by the base of Mt. Esja.

Esjan offers unique accommodation in refurbished busses just outside of Reykjavik on a farm in Kjalarnes. Each bus includes a seating area, kitchenette, and large bus windows with sea views. As the location is on a farm, there are many options for horse riding, hiking, and swimming. You can meet domestic animals just outside the front door of your bus. For this reason, it’s a great choice for families.

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The turf house retreat

The wooden façade is a 19th century style in the history of turf houses.

For most of history, living in Iceland meant living in a turf house, with a grass roof and walls made from rocks and mud. Like any architectural style, the houses evolved over the centuries. The 19th century wooden structure has now come to live as a ‘luxury retreat’ in South Iceland.  The Torfhús Retreat is a place of ten exclusive cottages showcasing the distinct Medieval building style; most of the houses are a single bedroom unit but a double-bedroom is an option, too.  Attached to the premise is a longhouse serving as a gorgeous reception and a restaurant.

Visit Torfhús Retreat

The sci-fi hotel

Iconic architecture at Nesjavellir, South Iceland.

For a unique boutique hotel experience, try the Ion Adventure Hotel located near the Þingvellir National Park. The hotel is built into the landscape in a minimalist sci-fi style. The location offers many hiking opportunities off-site as well as an indoor heated pool and hot tub on-site. In case you are afraid of missing the Northern Lights, you can ask the hotel receptionist to give you a wake-up call at all hours of the night whenever the sky shows signs of activity.

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Domes in a Reykjavík backyard

The Reykjavík Domes have a fireplace and a private jacuzzi.

Part glass, part tent; The Reykjavik Domes is the closest thing to living in an igloo in Reykjavík. The domes are on a quiet field in a seaside neighborhood with a view over the bay to Mt. Esja. Each comes with a private jacuzzi and a fire place. The windows can be closed to the outside world for privacy if preferred.

Visit The Reykjavík Domes

The little house by the sea

The tiny house in Bolungarvík was once home to a family of eight.

In Iceland’s Westfjords one can find unusual accommodations offered by locals on Airbnb, such as this restored classic Icelandic fisherman’s cottage from the 1900s in the village of Bolungarvík. The cottage is small and cozy and includes a sun deck and a garden, as well as views of both the mountains and the sea. From the upstairs loft one can even see the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve nearby.

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Live in a bubble

The Bubble Hotel is a picturesque sensation.

The Bubble Hotel is perfect for those Aurora Borealis hunters. The “hotel” is an actual transparent bubble allowing you to sleep under the Northern Lights in a remote forest, far away from the light obstruction of the city lights. Open from mid-April to September, we recommend booking ahead as it is a popular getaway, especially for couples. But be flexible with your expectations -- the Northern Lights are a phenomenon that appear without a schedule. To protect the privacy of guests, the location of the premise is only revealed via GPS coordinates upon booking.

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Glamping by the river

On the banks of Skjálfandi, a glamping spot.

Voted one of the best glamping spots in Europe in 2020, Original North is located on a private estate on the banks of the glacial river Skjálfandafljót. The tents have been designed with Icelandic weather conditions in mind and are very well equipped with furniture, heating, and Wi-Fi. The camp is located near many worthy sites includes the waterfall Ullarfoss, the forest Fosselsskógur, and the ancient parliamentary sites of Þingey and Skuldaþingsey.

Visit the Orginal North

The island of Vigur

The puffin stays on the island of Vigur to feed and rest; it's a puffin B&B.

The peaceful island of Vigur in the Westfjords is delightful even for a daytrip. From April to September some 7,000 breeding eider ducks, more than 100,000 puffins, a rare colony of black guillemot as well as nesting arctic terns are present on this tiny island. In fact, the main occupation of the island farm is collecting and cleaning the soft down left behind by wild eider ducks in their nests, which is a valuable insulation material used in many products. To stay overnight on this bird paradise, on which only one family lives year-round, there are a few options in historic housing. All revenue from overnight stays on Vigur greatly contributes to the efforts to develop the conservation activities on the island.

 Visit the Vigur Island

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