K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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If you’re planning that dream trip to Iceland, you might want to consider a vacation rental for at least part of the time. Most come with all the conveniences of home like a full kitchen so you can save on pricey dining out and some include special perks like hot tubs. It’s hard to beat soaking while surrounded by the beauty of an Icelandic landscape, and if you visit in winter, you might even get to watch the northern lights, especially when in a more secluded location outside of the city.
A three-bedroom house for up to six guests, a stay here will put you in the heart of it all, with Snæfellsjökull National Park practically on your doorstep. Enjoy stunning mountain and lava views, along with easy access to scenic hiking trails and many other popular attractions. There are views from every window and if you time your visit right you might get lucky and catch a colorful display of the northern lights. It includes a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, a bathroom with heated floors, strong Wi-Fi, and a TV with a DVD player for watching movies.
This large four-bedroom smart home is something that you’d expect to see in Architectural Digest while offering beautiful views located just outside of Akureyri. It sits in a secluded spot on a hill overlooking the fjords and sleeps up to eight. You’ll have many luxuries, including lots of high-tech features, but the highlight is arguably the hot tub, perfect after a day of exploring. Other features include a full kitchen with a dishwasher, microwave and coffeemaker, washer/dryer, Wi-Fi, a TV, stereo, and music library.
This spacious two-bedroom home is located on a farm and provides breathtaking panoramic views. From the kitchen and living room, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the fjord, and at least a glimpse from every room. Melt every last inch of stress away with a soak in the covered hot tub, while enjoying the awe-inspiring scenery. It sleeps up to six with one bedroom that includes four beds and another that has a king-size nutwood bed. In the designer bathroom, there’s a washer, dryer, and a large shower. You’ll have a full kitchen with a dishwasher, exercise equipment, a stereo, an extensive music library, books, and Wi-Fi too.
Located on the stunning Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a destination known for offering a little of everything that Iceland has to offer from black sand beaches to waterfalls, this cottage offers three bedrooms for six. You’ll be away from light pollution providing a great opportunity for aurora viewing while enjoying plenty of space. The two-story rental has a large living room with a TV and DVD player, a full kitchen with a dishwasher, and laundry facilities. The spacious terrace stretches around three sides, providing a great spot to watch the light show – with lots of cozy blankets and heaters, it’s easy to warm up inside afterward.
This luxurious riverfront home sits near the Golden Circle, just 30 minutes from the capital city near the unique geothermal town of Hveragerði which hosts Laugaskarð, a public bath with whirlpools, hot pots, and a natural sauna. It sleeps up to 10 in four bedrooms and has a large open kitchen/living area, a big-screen TV with Apple TV and Netflix, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a washer/dryer. There’s also a large deck with a BBQ grill for cookouts and a hot tub where you can relax with a picturesque view.
Ideally located for exploring both the Golden Circle and the South Coast, this lakeside home offers a wonderfully tranquil setting with no one but you and dazzling views of the mountains, Hekla Volcano, and the lake. That view can also be enjoyed from the hot tub that sits on a large wooden terrace. It has underfloor heating throughout, a full kitchen with some basic cooking supplies, a living/dining room area with Iceland guide books and games along with a pull-out sofa bed for two. There are two separate bedrooms, sleeping up to a total of six comfortably.
A cozy cottage for two, you’ll be far from light pollution here yet the small town of Hella which offers supermarkets, eateries, and shops, is just 20 minutes away. It’s a great jumping-off point for day trips to the South Coast, including black sand beaches, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. While you’re here you’ll be surrounded by nature yet you’ll have everything you need, including a large bed, a 43″ TV with Netflix and local channels, a well-equipped kitchenette with a small refrigerator, cooktop, microwave, coffeemaker, toaster, and kitchenware. Coffee and tea are supplied as well.
This Northern Lights cottage is conveniently located just an hour from Reykjavik, 30 minutes from Selfoss, and close to many attractions along the South Coast too. As the name belies, it’s a good spot for taking in the aurora during the season, and if you’re here during the Midnight Sun, around the summer solstice at twilight, you’ll get a sunset that lasts for several hours with the sun setting just below the horizon for lingering natural light. It sleeps up to four in two bedrooms and includes a private hot tub, an outdoor fire pit, full kitchen, satellite TV, and a washer/dryer.
A luxurious rental, the SJF villa is just a short drive from Reykjavik and includes a private balcony with a 4-burner propane gas grill and a hot tub where you can soak with a fantastic city and mountain view. The outdoor sauna was built in the style of an old Icelandic turf house, perfect for your Instagram feed. It sleeps up to six in three bedrooms and has all the essentials and then some, like a gourmet kitchen and large dining space with the living room featuring 17th-century hand-carved furniture, a 65″ Smart TV with Netflix and YouTube, strong Wi-Fi, and a telescope for stargazing.
For those who want to be close enough to city attractions yet the lack of light pollution provides the opportunity to watch the aurora, this gorgeous villa is a great pick. It sits on a 1.2-acre forested property with a lake, fields of blueberries, and abundant wildlife, while two geothermal pools are just a few minutes away. There are two living rooms and three large master bedrooms, accommodating up to eight, along with a bubbling hot tub. You’ll have all the essentials like satellite TV with Netflix, Wi-Fi, a full kitchen, grill, and washing machine.
This cottage is in the perfect spot for enjoying the beauty of the South Coast, including top attractions like black sand beaches, the glacier lagoon, and some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, with Seljalandsfoss only a couple of miles away. You’ll be far from noise and light pollution for tranquil aurora viewing with the only sounds heard here the songs of the birds and the river that flows down the mountain. The sleeps four in one bedroom plus a sofa bed and while it’s retained traditional character, it has modern amenities. You’ll have a kitchen with a fridge and freezer, microwave, toaster, kettle, and a coffeemaker, along with a TV, high-speed Wi-Fi, and laundry facilities.
Ideal for traveling the Ring Road, Borgarbrekka offers accommodation for up to 10 less than 22 miles east of Hofn. You’ll be surrounded by nature, with both mountains and black sand beaches nearby. It has free and fast Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, and a TV, but who needs a screen with views like that?