The 10 best Airbnbs in Iceland and along the Ring Road

Disclaimer:

This post is sponsored in part by the owners of the Airbnb rentals I stayed at during the duration of my Iceland road trip. This article also contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are my own. 

When it comes to finding lodging in Iceland, there are certainly not a lack of options. Tourists can stay in glass igloos to cabins in the remote wilderness. On my recent trip to Iceland, I searched for the quirky getaways that are unlike anything.

Here’s what topped the list:

wooden, remote Ring road cabin north of Reykjavik with a hot tub
A secluded, wooden cabin located in Reykholt, north of Reykjavik. A perfect place to soak in the hot tub and enjoy the Northern Lights.

Unplugged oasis 

When I first pulled up to the Hrísmóar Cabin, I knew that I was in for an evening of relaxing and rejuvenation. After a long day’s journey, I was ever so grateful to soak in a hot tub and stare at the night sky, often graced by the Northern Lights. What makes this cabin unique is that it forces you to unplug from the outside world. With no wi-fi, visitors tend to make friends with the stars and nature during their stay at Hrismoar. (Don’t worry, if you really need wi-fi, there’s a little town nearby called Rekyholt that offers wi-fi).

To read more about my stay read in my in-depth review.

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Dreamy, historic harbor home

If I were to live in Scandinavia, I’d call a quaint harbour house home. This yellow home, called Gardur, is one of the original houses in Stykkisholmur. The house transports you back to times where communities rallied together to strive. The best part? It sits on top of a hill and overlooks the harbor below. The colorful ships and boats and the orange lighthouse are just a few quirks that this fishing village in Eastern Iceland possesses.

To read more about my stay, read my in-depth review

Glamping near the Arctic Ocean

The Hvammstangi Cottages are definitely for travelers who are not afraid to get a little rustic and creative during their stay. The cottages, located just north of the fishing village of Hvammstangi, where tours for seals and whales are frequent, overlook the village below. There are seven little cottages clustered together in a flat field. With only a church located nearby, this is the optimum place to view the Northern Lights. I witnessed a “milky” Northern Lights showing during my stay, which was still fabulous. Make sure to bundle up for your stay! 

To read more about my stay, read my in-depth review

Celebrate and live like a Viking

Reigning over the Scandinavian seas and plundering your wealth doesn’t seem like a ridiculous reality or dream when staying at the Guesthouse Hof í Vatnsdal. Modeled after a historic Viking longhouse, the home is tucked into the remote farmlands of Iceland. If guests would like, owners will take them on a horse rides or even on a short tour of their sheep farm.

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Inside the guesthouse, each guest has their own private room with two beds. Guests will share the dining hall where breakfast can be requested and the outdoor areas. Outside guests can relax by an enclosed fire pit or in a roaring hot tub. Even with the guesthouse located by a farmhouse and other farm buildings, it’s still possible to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Guests can also rent a glass igloo at the same property. This is ideal for viewing the Northern Lights and stargazing.

Editor’s note: The Viking Long House is no longer available through Airbnb, but the glass igloo is. If you are looking for more of a hostel type accommodation on Airbnb, this is what is in the area.

Vacationing with a local 

After venturing into a blizzard and soaking in the Myvatn Nature Baths, I was excited to take a hot shower and chat with other travelers and locals over a cup of tea.  Óli´s homestay was just the place for that. Oli is an Icelandic local, who was an African dance in Reykjavik before moving north and retiring.

Oli’s house is decorated with organic-inspired, handmade crafts that Oli crafted himself. Oli now spends his days remodeling his house and creating inspirational artwork. Oli has two guest rooms in his house, so you’ll be able to interact with other travelers while you are there.

An artist’s inspirational vision

After another day of battling the winds and snowflakes, I was welcomed into the lovely Gíslastaðir Cottage. The cottage was nestled in the mountains and was an artist’s paradise. Inside the cabin, the walls were decorated with the artwork of earlier travelers.

The rest of the cabin had a bohemian vibe that was a great retreat from the bitter cold. Since the cabin is nestled at the foot of the mountains, visitors are often graced with not only the Northern Lights but can also spot wildlife out the windows. I prayed all evening to spot a reindeer. I wasn’t that lucky, but the owners mentioned that it was very likely to happen, especially on milder winter evenings or early in the morning.

sunrise behind wooden, tiny cabin on southern coast of Icleand
Cozy, tiny cabins at sunrise located nearby Iceland’s Golden Circle.

Southern Island’s luxurious tiny, barrel cabins

The Ásahraun Cottages take some creative liberties when it comes to tiny homes. These cabins, modeled after tiny homes, are cozy and secluded from the hectic buzz of the Golden Circle nearby. Though these cabins don’t boast large amounts of square footage, they definitely do not lack tranquility.

These cabins also have a private bathhouse and a hot tub that guests can use during their stay. While soaking in the industrial-modeled hot tub, I saw the most spectacular show of the Northern Lights in my life. The skies danced with pink and greens for several minutes. The showcase was life-changing.

These cottages make it possible to feel luxurious while staying in the rustic wilderness.

While the Golden Circle and South Coast are definitely the most-visited parts of Iceland, you can avoid the crowds and still have a spectacular time. These cabins definitely were a welcomed oasis for at the end of the day. 

Nestled by the seaside

It’s also been a dream of mine to live in a little fishing village and enjoy the simplicity of life. The Bakki Apt located in Eyrarbakki fulfilled that dream for at least one evening. The studio is part of the Bakki Hostel in town. Visitors can opt for a private apartment-style room or stay in the hostel’s dormitory.

I opted to stay in the apartment side of the facility and enjoyed an evening relaxing on the shores of the sea. I woke up in the morning to a magnificent sunset that was unreal.

As an added bonus, Eyrarbakki located only an hour away from Reykjavik and even closer to the Golden Circle. It makes for a great home base for visitors as they venture the South Coast of Iceland.

In the heart of the Reykjavik, in a local’s backyard

I found a little nugget in Reykjavik located close to the harbor, yet nestled in a quaint neighborhood. In the Downtown Backyard Cottage, you can enjoy an entire cottage to yourself. This was a great landing base for me as I ventured Reykjavik for the next couple of days. The cottage was located within walking distance to all the major attractions.

The cottage was also outfitted with a small kitchen, so visitors could cook their own meals if they opted to. I used the small stove to heat up water for my morning oatmeal and tea.

I thoroughly enjoyed staying in the heart of Reykjavik, and the owners, who were located nearby, did not disturb me during my stay. The backyard cottage will be an oasis for any weary traveler for one night or for an entire week while exploring the country.

Save some money on your next stay

If you’d like to save $40 off an Airbnb stay, use my referral link.

Hrísmóar Cabin | Harbour homeHvammstangi Cottages |  Guesthouse Hof í Vatnsdal | Óli´s HomestayGíslastaðir Cottage | Ásahraun Cottage | Seaside StudioDowntown Backyard Cottage

This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by the owners of the Airbnb homes I stayed in for the duration of my trip. This article also contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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Quirky Globetrotter

Hi! I'm Martha! The mastermind behind Quirky Globetrotter a feminist travel blog. Quirky Globetrotter is devoted to telling narratives devoted to female solo travel and hidden gems worldwide with an emphasis on intersectional feminism and how that impacts travel on a global and local level.

53 thoughts on “The 10 best Airbnbs in Iceland and along the Ring Road

  1. I love, love Iceland, so all of these are wonderful choices. However, if I have to choose, I’d go with the tiny barrel cabins, they’re so quaint! I’m sure they’re popular, if only for the photo taking angle! Will come back here the next time!

    1. Hi Lisa! Iceland is definitely one of my favorite destinations. I was absolutely in love with these tiny barrel cabins! Sometimes a cabin is a little cold and nippy, but these were so warm and luxurious! Definitely an added bonus to their cute exterior. Thanks for reading; happy travels!

  2. What beautiful places to stay and while I’m a complete addict to the internet, it would be amazing to unplug and just enjoy the sky. Not to mention Iceland is a great place to do that with so much less light population. I’ll admit, i was hoping that you did an igloo 🙂 The hubby and I want to do one of the ice hotels!

  3. Wow! I’m actually thinking about visiting Iceland later this year as a belated birthday present to myself. I think that glamping would be my first choice of lodging and is something I’m definitely going to look into! Although I wouldn’t say no to checking out those barrels! 🙂

    1. Hi Rachelle! That would be a fantastic birthday present to yourself! And yes, I definitely recommend staying in Airbnbs all over Iceland. Each is so unique and so much cheaper than hotels/hostels. Let me know if you stay at any on this list. Thanks for reading; safe travels!

  4. wow, these are truly some amazing choices for a stay over. I personally would love to explore the tiny barrel cabins, they look so intriguing, but I hope the experience wouldn’t be claustrophobic. i also loved the idea of staying in the backyard and by the sea side. The pictures are fabulous.

    1. Hi Aditinona! I was fortunate and had fabulous Airbnb stays while I was in Iceland! And the tiny barrel cabins were not claustrophobic at all! The owner, Torif, did such a fabulous job designing them. He really thought of everything! Thank you for reading! Happy travels.

  5. Those are some lovely choices. Let’s see, I like the barrel styled cabins as well as being by the artic circle. The Viking one also, appealed to me. Now I must definitely pin the post to remember when I get to Iceland.

  6. Great choices for a stay over. I am curious about the tiny barrel cabins, they seem interesting and different kind. Staying in the backyard and by the sea side also seems charming. You got us great pictures.

  7. I’m visiting Iceland in a few months and I’m quite happy to read this. All my accommodations are in cabins, living with locals and some even own Icelandic horses! I’m way too excited. And your photos are so stunning

    1. Hi Samah! Fun fact, a lot of Icelanders own and breed Icelandic horses, so you’ll meet quite a few of them! The Vikings Longhouse I stayed at was actually on a horse farm and the owners take you on tours and riding lessons as well. So fun! Hope you have a fantastic time and stay warm!

  8. This is the perfect post for me as I buy each of the word. I love staying with the locals and don’t mind a rustic setup in a countryside. These cabins are simply awesome. I am definitely bookmarking it for my future visit. Its a dream for me.

  9. This is the article I was looking for, so useful! I’m going to Iceland at the end of the month and taking lots of notes from your tips 😀

    1. Hi, Val! Iceland is spectacular! I hope you have a blast. I honestly expected the country to be overhyped and I wasn’t as excited, but, boy oh boy, did it blow me away! I exceeded all my expectations and is one of my favorite travel destinations to date. Have a superb time and let me know if you need any help planning!

  10. I love living like a local when I travel. The rustic feel is so amazing, and these look so tranquil. We’re dying to visit Iceland as soon as the Little get a bit older. Bookmarking this!

    1. Hi Angelica! Iceland would be a great country to travel with a toddler. On my road trip I was able to spend so much time outdoors, which a toddler would love. Thanks for bookmarking! If you need more help on your Iceland trip feel free to peek at my Iceland archive for more details about budget, accommodations and hidden gems.

  11. There are some great places to stay here in Iceland. My favourite would be the Asahraun Cottages. I am really into tiny spaces at the moment and that looks perfect.

    1. Hi Jane! The Asahruan Cottages are the definition of a tiny home, which was so magical to experience. I watched the best Northern Light display while I soaked in the geothermal hot tub there!

  12. This is such a comfy looking area. I can see it being an amazing place to get away from everything and relax!

      1. Hi Liz! Iceland was definitely the perfect destination to unplug and truly enjoy the scenery. There weren’t many metropolises for me to get lost in. I definitely want to head back in the summer to do more hiking!

  13. This is such an interesting side of Iceland, thanks for sharing those unique accommodations!
    Relaxing in a hot tub, looking at the stars and the northern lights is definitely something I need right now 🙂

    1. Hi Aryane! I love that most of my accommodations had a hot tub for me to relax in. I felt like such a queen! Definitely would make a great spot for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway of any sort. Happy travels!

  14. Wow..That’s some list. Also, lodging along iceland’s ring road sounds perfect with so many vivid options. I really found barrel one and locals backyard very curious. I wonder how will it be to live in that.

    1. Hi Stuti! Living in the Asahraun Cabins would definitely be a tiny home experience. I love how cozy it felt though. I had so much space in my backyard cottage in Reykjavik. For more details on both of these accommodations make sure to check out my in-depth reviews on each.

  15. The Hrísmóar cabin sounds like such a cozy romantic little place in the middle of nowhere! So cute. In fact all the cabins you have mentioned sound so dreamy!! I am so considering booking cabins over hotels when I visit Iceland now 😀 Btw, that picture from your seaside cabin in stunning!

    1. Thank you, Vishvarsha! I found that it was fairly easy to take spectacular photos in Iceland, ha! I loved staying in cabins because I felt more like a local than checking into a hotel. I also loved that each of my accommodations had a quirky element that made it different from the rest. My vacation was definitely dreamy and I’m so grateful for that!

  16. Those tiny barrel cabins!! <3 I stayed somewhere similar looking in New Zealand, but not as tiny and adorable. A completely secluded cabin anywhere in iceland would be the dream for me, especially if the northern lights were out!

    1. I was actually fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights nearly every night I was in Iceland. I love how secluded and peaceful every area of Iceland felt. Even when I was in the heart of Reykjavik it felt serene. Happy travels, Rhiannon!

  17. Iceland is the perfect place to go offline, relax, and enjoy nature! I stayed in the Ásahraun Cottages a couple of years ago during my first trip to Iceland and this brought back so many nice memories. You mentioned some other pretty cool places too- perhaps for my next visit. Thank you for sharing these suggestions

    1. What a small world, Daniel! I’m so happy that you got to stay in the Asahraun Cottages as well. I’m sure you found them as magical as I did. Like you, I definitely want to book a trip to Iceland again ASAP!

  18. This is such a comfy looking area. I can see it being an amazing place to get away from everything and relax. It’s a really a dream location for me!

    1. Iceland actually wasn’t at the top of my bucket list, but I’m so glad that I ignored what I thought was “over hype” and went! Iceland blew me away and literally changed how I travel. I hope you get to visit there someday, Liz!

  19. I really want to visit Iceland, but being one expensive country, the trip keeps getting postponed. The lodging ideas you have talked about sound really good, unique, and i’m sure cheaper than hotels. Although the scenery from anywhere in Iceland is supposed to be dramatic, I especially like the barrel room. I’m glad they come with private baths, because that’s the one thing I always need when travelling.

    1. Hi Raghav! Lodging in general is very expensive in Iceland included Airbnbs, hostels and hotels. This is due to the exorbitant increase in tourism in recent years. Booking in advance definitely does save you money. Iceland’s scenery is unlike anything I’ve witnessed before. I definitely want to visit again ASAP!

  20. I been to Iceland but to the tourist spots in the west of the island but I am planning to do a road trip or a cycle trip on the ring road. I would totally love to check out the barrel accommodation, I never seen anything like that before. This is my sort of accommodation, out in the wilderness and away from everyday life and that is what I love about Iceland. So can’t wait to return.

  21. Amazing choices for a stay over! A stay by seaside would be my first choice, reminds me of my childhood. Barrel styled cabins look so new to me, very creative places to stay. Interacting with locals sounds good. Very helpful post to plan stay in Iceland.

  22. What a fantastic range of options! Luckily, travelling the ring route slowly means trying out a few different accommodation styles over the length of the road-trip. Living like a Viking sounds like fun, but my inner wine-lover would choose a barrel cabin!

  23. I love each of these places. A great little out of the way spot that is cozy and welcoming is the perfect place to relax in the evening. I really love the tiny barrel homes so much especially. They seem quite inviting!

  24. Iceland’s on my bucket list. I had to cancel a trip two years ago and haven’t found time to reschedule. Hopefully, this year I like the idea of staying in Airbnbs but would need Wi-Fi. The Hvammstangi Cottages look cute and the perfect setting to view the Northern Lights.

  25. I am totally sold out for this secluded, wooden cabin located in Reykholt, in the north of Reykjavik. It is really a perfect place to soak in the hot tub and enjoy the Northern Lights. I cant believe this as it looks very dreamy to me by soaking in tub and watching out wonderful sky. Those round wooden cabins with a private bath house and a hot tub looks very tempting and a unique type of stay too.

  26. I am in love with those wooden cabins, I mean the idea of a weekend spent in the wooden cabin fits just right to me. I have yet to travel to Iceland but Reykjavik is totally on my list and stay in a cozy looking cottage. Hopefully I will travel to in a year or two and totally saving this post for the future reference.

  27. You really did manage to find some amazing places to stay along the Ring Road. I was in Iceland a few months back and absolutely loved it, rented a campervan so did not quite look at airbnbs but you’ve found great ones I must say. Hrísmóar Cabin with its hot tub and the views looks magical as does Gíslastaðir Cottage, which looks cute and cozy. How amazing would it be to spot the Northern Lights from there at night or some wildlife!

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