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Fljotsdalur Hostel Hvolsvollur Reviews
Feb 24, 2008
A lovely old farm with grass rooftop now functioning as a HI hostel. It has two small rooms with about 8 or 10 beds in total, so book in advance if you're there in Summer. I was there in April 2007 and had the whole hostel to myself!
The views are amazing (onto a glacier), it's in a very isolated and tranquil place (so bring your own food, there is a well equipped kitchen). Some excellent hiking can be done along a deep canyon. The hostel's living room is filled with old travel magazines and books and maps, very cozy.
There is a normal toilet but no shower; you'll have to use the pan of warm water that's always kept warm.
Friendly owner too.
It's only a 30 minute ride off the Ring Road.
The last bit (20 meters) up to the hostel is a very steep path with round rocks. Someone had told me that they had made it up to Fljótsdalur in their little car just a few days earlier (winter, April), so I thought I should drive my car all the way up the rocky path as well. Later it turned out the lady was very surprised I had managed with my (2WD) Citroen C4, but as you can see I managed just fine (without damage too! :-)). But maybe it's better not to try if you have a 2WD only.
In April I paid 1700 ISK as a non-HI-member. In Summer it will probably be more expensive.
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Sep 07, 2005
If you spend any time in Iceland, you may notice the lack of trees gracing the landscape. It is believed that if trees ever did grace the country of Iceland, the Vikings depleted the resource long ago. So what did Icelanders use to build their homes? Sod.
This charming hostel isn't purely made of sod or turf, but it does take advantage of the concept by padding the roof and walls for extra insulation. I believe it is one of the few turf homes that you can actually stay over night in.
The hostel is quite small and quite primitive. You'll only find the bare essentials here. There are only two sleeping rooms in the hostel, so expect to share a co-ed dorm room with at least 8 people (4 bunk beds in each room). Because of its size, you'll want to book ahead. There isn't much around there, so you don't want to show up and have no place to sleep. You'll find a bathroom and a kitchen to use. There are no lockers here. The hostel has sheets you can rent and extra blankets, but I would recommend having a sleeping bag. It gets down right cold in the hostel over night.
The hostel is the perfect place to escape too. It is primarily used as a rest stop for travellers hiking through the area. It also serves as a great launching point for various hikes. If you are in the mood to do some hiking, this is definitely the place to stay. The common area is stocked wall to wall with guestbooks and hiking books detailing traveler's journies all over the world. If you need information about a hike in Iceland, you'll find it here.
I believe the hostel is owned and operated by one or two people. I can't speak for the friendliness of the staff, I didn't have much interaction with the guy running the place, but according to the guest books others enjoyed their time with the staff.
The place isn't highly accessible. You'll have to travel far off the beaten path to get to this place, which is both attractive and unattractive. Easiest way to reach the hostel is to take road no 261 at Hvolsvöllur. The hostel sits on a steep hill. If arrive by a car without 4wd, you'll want to leave your car at the bottom of the hill. Don't even try driving up it. Put it in park, grab your bags, and hike up the hill.
If you need luxary and a 5 star hotel, this isn't the place for you. But if you are a hiker and like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is a welcome escape for you. Afterwards, you'll have some great photos and a great story to tell others. After all, how many people can say they stayed in a Icelandic turf home?
Part of the Iceland 2005 travel blog