Favorite Places to Stay,  Iceland - Places to Stay

Malarhorn Guesthouse, at the rim of the habitable

If you wish to get the feeling of true Iceland, it might be a good idea to visit Malarhorn Guesthouse in Drangsnes, a small village on the rim of the habitable. Perhaps it is a bit too much to say that beyond that is impossible to live. However, when you drive through the village you find out that once you have come to the end of it, there is no longer asphalt on the road.

Drangsnes is a typical Icelandic fisherman’s village with only 65 inhabitants. The structure hasn’t changed much over the years, in a way it feels like stepping back in time. Fortunately with all of today’s modern comfort. Malarhorn Guesthouse is run by a former skipper and his wife that, because of changes, decided to dive into the tourism industry. In the video above Ásbjörn tells us about his guesthouse. (Push cc for English subtitles)

Photo from Malarkaffi, the owner Ásbjörn, his wife, daughter and granddaughter
At Malarkaffi restaurant, Ásbjörn with his wife Valgerður, their daughter Þurý and their granddaughter.

Family run business

Malarhorn Guesthouse is family run and several family members are involved in its operation. The rooms are simple and comfortable, with a cozy feeling that reminds of the charm of Icelandic summer houses. The guesthouse is in close proximity to the sea. When you step out of your room, you have a view towards the island, Grímsey.

Grímsey in Steingrímsfjörður.

During the period from the 15th of May to the 30th of September, the Guesthouse offers an amazing breakfast buffet. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth in the mornings, you are in for a treat. It doesn’t mean that you have to worry about being more conservative in breakfast selection, there is enough variety for everyone.

Breakfast buffet at malarhorn guesthouse, bread, pastries, fruits, eggs and many other options
Breakfast buffet at Malarhorn Guesthouse

The restaurant is also open during summer time. It offers much of the local food with emphasizes on the fish of course. Also, you are able to order the very Icelandic Shark and brennivín as an appetizer.

Get close to nature

In the summertime Ásbjörn’s fishing boat, Sundhani has a new role. It is used to ferry passengers over to the island Grímsey. The island has a huge colony of puffins that can be examined up close. Along with the puffins, there are many other bird species that nest in the island. From 15th of June, there are 2 trips to the island every day, each of 3 hours. It is good to be aware that the island is demanding to its visitors as there are no walking paths.

hiking in the grímsey island in steingrímsfjörður, view towards the lighthouse and the sea
When at Grímsey island, there is just you and your co-travelers from Sundhani and the nature.

To visit the island is as close as you can come to nature. In case it has awakened your more primitive side, you have the possibility to go sea angling at the end of the journey. The island trips are usually into the beginning of August when the puffin leaves. Note that some days within that timespan trips may fall down due to rough sea conditions.

Þurý fishing/Sea Angling with Grímsey island in the back
You can catch a lot of fish after visiting Grímsey.

The cold area becomes hot

Drangsnes used to be classified as a “cold” area. What it means is that they had no recourses of hot water for district heating. So houses were heated with electricity. That all changed late last century.

Early June 1997 the inhabitants faced a problem. One of the cold water pipes froze and they had to drill for a new water source. As it happens, what the residents got was more than they had bargained for. Hot water came up from the hole and within four hours temporary hot tubs had been installed. The locals used what was at hand, fish tubs to bathe in the new found treasure source.

Hot tubs in Drangsnes with a view out to the sea
Hot tubs in Drangsnes, locals and visitors favorite.

A swimming pool was built and is located beside the Guesthouse. What has the biggest charm in our mind, are the hot tubs situated by the sea in the middle of the village. It is remarkable that when you have showered you need to walk across the main road to get to the hot tubs. Fortunately, there is not much traffic. Once you are in, the view over the sea to Grimsey, the tranquillity of the village and the warmth of the hot water gives the feeling of the time standing still for a moment.

Things to do near to Drangsnes

Other interesting things nearby is the Gulfstream Garden.

Wall with tiles with picture of Poseidon riding seahorse.
In honor of the Gulf Stream, Poseidon rides his seahorses.

The swimming pool in Bjarnafjörður is also an interesting spot to visit with its natural hot pots. The water is said to have healing powers.

Inga relaxing in a hot spring in Bjarnarfjörður
Relaxing in the healing waters of the natural hot spring in Bjarnarfjörður, less than 30 minutes drive from Drangsnes.

In the summertime, it is possible to take whale watching tours in Hólmavík, only a 30 minutes drive from Drangsnes. Hólmavík is the biggest village in the Strandir area, with a population of 506. In Hólmavík you can also visit the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft. 

Important to note

Drangsnes is a small village of 65 persons. During the summer Malarhorn opens its restaurant.

Drangsnes has one small grocery store. Opening hours may vary during summer and wintertime.

Important during winter time:

During the winter time, the nearest restaurant is in Hólmavík, 30 minutes drive from Drangsnes, you will pass the turn when you drive to the village.

You can book your stay at Malarhorn Guesthouse here. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.