Cheap Holidays to Iceland
Iceland Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Iceland
A Nordic island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Iceland entices people in with its dramatic scenery, natural hot springs and the chance to see the spectacular Northern Lights. Thanks to its northern location, Iceland has short winter days featuring just 4 hours of sunlight; meanwhile, in the summer the country comes to life with 24 hours of sunshine, leading to the natural phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun. Nicknamed the Land of Fire and Ice thanks to its landscape of volcanoes, glaciers and geysers, Iceland offers something for every season - making it the perfect spot for a quick weekend break or a longer dream getaway!
Iceland’s accommodation is as varied as its landscape. In the cities you’ll find a mix of deluxe hotels, rooms in historical buildings and simple, mid-budget accommodation, all just a stone’s throw away from the action. Look further inland and you’ll find a smattering of self-catering guest houses and hotels to suit all budgets.
Where to stay
The world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik is visited by thousands of holiday makers each year. People flock to the city to see its mix of iconic, world-famous sights, but also to use it as a base to see more that the country has to offer. From Iceland you can take day trips out to nearby glaciers and cascading waterfalls, or simply soak up the city’s cultural scene.
Accommodation in Iceland runs the gamut of chic waterfront hotels to 5* boutiques, cosy guest houses and chain hotels on the lower end of the budget. Reykjavik itself is very walkable, with most hotels dotted around the city centre. Hotels on the outskirts of the city offer up more affordable rooms, and are ideal for those who want a little more independence on their trip.
Only 30 miles from Reykjavik, Keflavik is home to the international airport that sees onward travel to both Europe and North America. Those opting for a quick stopover in Iceland may want to base themselves in Keflavik and enjoy trips out to the many areas of interest nearby.
While Keflavik’s accommodation may not have the variety of Reykjavik’s, it still has plenty of options. There are bed and breakfast options close to the airport, as well as cosy guest houses and 4* hotels in the nearby town of Reykjanesbær.
What to see
From family-friendly city attractions to spectacular scenes of nature out in the middle of nowhere, Iceland has got something to offer everyone. Reykjavik is packed with sights, ranging from the striking Hallgrimskirkja church - designed to resemble the landscape - and the Perlan, which boasts interactive Iceland-themed exhibitions and a mesmerising planetarium show. Other famous sights to see in the city include the Sun Voyager sculpture and the contemporary Harpa Concert Hall.
Outside of the Capital, there’s plenty to see. In fact, to see the breathtaking Northern Lights you’ll have to get out of the city and away from its man-made lights. For your best chance at seeing the Northern Lights, head to Iceland between late-September and late-March - there are plenty of local tours run by expert guides.
Fans of relaxation will lap up the warmth of the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located in a lava field between Keflavik and Reykjavik. Visitors can take a long soak in the warm seawater, treat their faces to a silica mud mask, and sip on drinks from the in-water bar. Another popular day trip from Reykjavik is the Golden Circle. This tour takes in some of the area’s most famous sights including the Gullfoss waterfall, geysers and Þingvellir National Park. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even go snorkelling in between tectonic plates that are visible above ground.
By day Reyjavik is a calming haven of colourful buildings and quiet streets; by night the city comes to life with an eclectic mix of nightlife opportunities. Downtown is where you’ll find the majority of bars and pubs - there’s everything from a carefully crafted ice bar to English pubs, cosy cocktail lounges and sports bars. Fans of craft beers won’t be disappointed by the number of bars dedicated to the tipple, and there are also plenty of restaurants and high-end bars to enjoy a quiet drink with friends. Expect to find the streets buzzing with customers into the early hours of the morning, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
What to eat
No trip to Iceland is complete without sampling some of the country’s best-loved delicacies. Some of their most famous snacks include Skyr yoghurt (best enjoyed with a selection of fruit) and harðfiskur - dried fish that’s often eaten smothered in salted butter. Hearty meat stews keep locals and tourists alike ticking over during the freezing winter months, and seafood dominates the menus at restaurants and cafes across the country. Another thing you’re likely to chance upon is rúgbrauð, Icelandic rye bread that is traditionally baked in the ground. It can be eaten in lots of different ways, including with a simple butter topping.
Reykjavik is home to many souvenir shops selling small trinkets and gifts for loved ones, especially along the main shopping street of Laugavegur. However, Iceland is a notoriously pricey country, so for the best - and most unique - bargains you’ll have to look a little further. Kolaportið is the city’s biggest flea market and is open solely on the weekends. Here you can find everything from home decorations to cosy Icelandic sweaters and more. A top tip? Head there late on a Sunday afternoon while everyone is packing away to pick up the best bargains.
Fast Facts about Iceland
- Direct flight time: 3 hours from London
- Time Zone: GMT
- Currency: Icelandic króna
- Language: Icelandic
- Average price of a domestic beer: 1,200 ISK
- Average price of a bottle of wine: 2,500 ISK
- Number of Brit tourists per year: Around 300,000