Going Local with Icelandic Farm Holidays

Magnificent waterfalls, lunar lava fields and massive glaciers- Iceland is on many traveler’s bucket list for good reason. When planning my first trip to Iceland I found a few options to get a taste of the country in the four days I would be there. Plenty of people choose Reykjavik as a base and visit south Iceland’s popular sights on day trips with organized bus tours I knew I wanted to experience Iceland with the freedom that only four wheels and the open road can provide. While I am always up for a new adventure I did find the prospect of planning my Icelandic road trip a little daunting- this would be my first time driving in another country, let alone one with famously unpronounceable towns, a rugged lava-hewn landscape and the occasional volcanic eruption that will disrupt European air travel for weeks. On the recommendation of a good friend I decided to enlist the help of Icelandic Farm Holidays.

Explore the best Iceland has to offer with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.com

Icelandic Farm Holidays has a collection of over 170 hotels, B&Bs, farm stays and cottages throughout Iceland as well as connections with most of the popular sightseeing activities. Because I only had 4 days and it was my first time in Iceland they directed me towards their Amazing South self drive tour. This package included stays at my choice of charming country guesthouses and Reykjavik city hotels as well as a rental car with GPS.  While I opted for to use them just for my accommodations and rental car Icelandic Farm Holidays can also arrange nearly any tour or activity in Iceland.

South Iceland is known for its famous volcanic black sand beaches.Explore the best Iceland has to offer with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.com


From the very first email communication with Icelandic Farm Holidays was fast and seamless. Arriving at Keflavik airport early in the morning we headed straight for the rental car counter and received a packet with all of our accommodation vouchers,maps, guidebooks and even a discount card for gas-basically everything we would need for our trip. Our first stop would be Efsti-Dalur II , a family-run dairy farm with modern updated cabins located near the Golden Circle attractions of Gullfoss and Geysir. The cozy cabins, like many of the homes in Iceland, were warmed with in-floor radiant geothermal heat which felt like our own personal little sauna (this was quite welcome after a particularly chilly and rainy day and getting soaked at the Gullfoss waterfall). A generous breakfast buffet is complimentary for guests but the restaurant serves lunch and dinner all day as well. If you’re in the area be sure to stop by for some of Efsti-Dalur’s delicious homemade ice cream, regarded by many to be the best ice cream in Iceland.

Stay at the cozy cabins at Efsti-Dalur II while exploring the Golden Circle. Explore the best Iceland has to offer with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.comTaste farm fresh country far at the restaurant at Efsti-Dalur II. Explore the best Iceland has to offer with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.com

Our next farmstay was the welcoming Guesthouse Steig. This working farm is located a short distance from the town of Vik making it a convenient base for visiting the waterfalls, glaciers and black sand beaches that south Iceland is famous for. As soon as we arrived we were quickly greeted by Guesthouse Steig’s furry canine welcoming committee. Set against the beautiful Myrdal mountains, you can see the cliffs of Dyrolaey on a clear day. Each morning of my stay I’d head out to watch the sheep and lambs frolic before enjoying the ample breakfast buffet. Rooms here are large and bright and there is a shared kitchen available if you prefer to make your own meals.Our canine welcoming committe at Guesthouse Steig near Vik. Explore the best Iceland has to offer with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.com

Experience Icelandic farm life with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.comExperience Icelandic country hospitality at Guesthouse Steig with Icelandic Farm Holidays. www.casualtravelist.com

After three days exploring the rugged beauty of south Iceland we would end our trip in the charming capital of Reykjavik where we traded cozy farmstays for a sleek urban hotel.  Fosshotel Reykjavik, Iceland’s largest hotel, is located in Reykjavik’s business district and is a quick walk from the shops and cafes of Laugavegur. Modern Nordic design can be seen throughout the hotel and rooms on higher floors have stunning views over Reykjavik’s Harbor

Stay at the modern Fosshotel Reykjavik while exploring Iceland's capital. Explore the best Iceland has to offer with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.com Stay at the modern Fosshotel Reykjavik while exploring Iceland's capital. Explore the best Iceland has to offer with Icelandic Farm Holidays www.casualtravelist.com


This was also my first time using a tour company to help arrange our travel and I’m happy to say our experience with Icelandic Farm Holidays, from the first email to the last checkout, was flawless. Their service and the ability to get a more local, in-depth experience made my first trip to Iceland both worry free and memorable. I would recommend Icelandic Farm Holidays to anyone looking to get a taste of the real Iceland.

44 Comments on “Going Local with Icelandic Farm Holidays

  1. How did you find driving to be? My husband and I want to do a road trip through Iceland next summer, but are worried about some of the same things. Was it easier than you expected to navigate??
    Jacqueline recently posted…a few wrong turns to BeipuMy Profile

  2. Thanks for sharing about this. I am planning a trip to Iceland in 2017. It will be my 30 year anniversary trip from the first time I went. Already making plans 🙂

    • If you’re planning now I’m sure your Icelandic adventure will be epic!

  3. Hi Brianna!
    I like your writing style, it is always pleasure to read! I am planning to go to Iceland next year and it sometimes get very overwhelming (I am currently planning a one month trip to Bali and my head is going to explode) so your recommendation for Icelandic Farm Holidays is just what I was looking for.
    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Danka! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in Bali.

  4. Iceland is one of top destinations on my list! I can’t wait to get there next year. Looking at your pictures makes me want to move up my travel date, lol! Nice to know there are things to do outside of the big cities. Your last photo is stunning. I could sit there all day and look at that view!
    Mia recently posted…GRAND PALACE & WAT PO – BANGKOK, THAILANDMy Profile

    • Thanks Mia, I think Iceland is at its best when you get outside of Reykjavik. Its nature is absolutely stunning!

  5. What a great way to experience Iceland Brianna!

    It is really nice to read about an alternative experience in Iceland as it is a popular destination these days and a lot of the angles have been done to death!

    I’m a big fan of being about to interact to the locals when travelling. To me it is one of the most rewarding travel experiences.
    Jen Seligmann recently posted…26 Photos That Prove Wanaka is AmazingMy Profile

    • I agree Jen. You really get a connection staying at B&B’s and guesthouses that you don’t get from a hotel.

  6. I have heard about these farm stays they sound so cool! I didn’t know about them when I was there in 2011 and I based myself in the city doing day trips. I would love to go back sometime and do the whole ring road staying at the farm stays along the way. 🙂

    • I only saw a small portion osouth Iceland, I too want to go back and do the ring road.

  7. This sounds like it was worth it! I never thought of doing a tour company, because I personally like to explore on my own, at my own pace, although it know it depends on the tour company. But! I’m open to try it one day 🙂 I heard how beautiful Iceland is! Perhaps like many others, when I was little, I always thought the land was full of ice, nothing else. Then eventually, I heard it was quite the opposite – comparing to Greenland!
    Stacey Valle recently posted…Visiting the world’s most heavily fortified border: The DMZMy Profile

    • I too like to explore on my own and Icelandic Farm Holidays helped me to do just that, they just helped me with figuring out how to see as much as I could in the 4 short days I was there.

  8. We visited Iceland several years ago and among our many regrets was not renting a high clearance four-wheel vehicle, and getting more into the interior. We’re planning a return visit next year and will definitely look into farm stay.
    Tom Bartel recently posted…Crater Lake National Park, OregonMy Profile

    • Iceland is amazing, I haven’t met anyone who has gone and didn’t fall in love with the country.

    • I’ve talked with a few others who have worked with Icelandic Farm Holidays and had a great experience.

  9. The one thin that attracts me the most about Iceland are the aesthetics – the design of everything is absolutely gorgeous!

  10. I totally agree about self-driving. Iceland is way too pretty to see if go by from a tour bus. You really want the flexibility to get out and explore when you see something interesting. We rented apartments and cabins but the farm stays sound like a great way to go.
    Tamara recently posted…Why I Didn’t Love the Blue Lagoon in IcelandMy Profile

  11. We’ll be travelling to Iceland this August for 20 days. We wouldn’t like to book in advance all the accommodation for that period, as we prefer to have the flexibility to extend or shorten our stay in certain places as we tour the island.

    • Be careful with that in August, its high season and a lot of accommodation may be booked.

  12. Iceland is a fantastic island, but one thing you will quickly learn is that the words “Iceland” and “cheap” can’t be used in the same sentence. When budgeting for your trip estimate how much spending money you think you should take from reading travel brochures, articles etc,

    then, double it.


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