This is what accommodations in Iceland look like. I’m not sure the country was prepared (or, honestly, ever wants to be prepared) for such an influx of travelers.
The UN estimates Iceland’s population at 338,000. The Icelandic Tourist Board estimates 2.2 million tourists visited the country in 2017.
That’s a big number for such a small country!
So where do all those tourists stay?
We stayed at a horse farm one night! It was the closest place to where we planned to go ice caving the next day (Jokulsarlon).
This was in a very rural, but still accessible part of Iceland. This was on the south eastern shores near Hofn.
If you need room service, a heated pool, a spa and valet this might not be your style. But the benefit to staying in guest houses, like this horse farm, are that you will meet people from across the globe.
In just this one night stay…we met a family from France, a couple from Taiwan and 3 childhood best friends from South Africa.
We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning drinking gin and tonics and admiring the Northern Lights together. It was an unforgettable night. And thanks to social media we still stay in touch with many of them.
I won’t lie. This place was hard to find. We got distracted stopping at waterfalls on the way there. And whatever Siri told us was wrong, it took much longer to drive to this spot. We had not seen a building or light (other then our own headlights) in 3 hours. But when we saw lights up on a hill we knew that was our horse farm.
This may sounds absolutely crazy to some people. But for me, I find this far more exciting than staying at a fancy hotel. Though we do make sure to fit in a few nights here and there because let’s be honest, we all love those amenities sometimes too.