Northern Lights Retreat
Gamli bær Guesthouse in Húsafell
Húsafell is one of the best places in Iceland to see the Northern Lights and is only two hours’ drive from Reykjavik. Its surroundings include lava fields, an amazingly beautiful river and waterfalls which make the ideal setting for prize-winning photographs.
A local source of geothermal hot water provides the guesthouse with its space heating as well as hot water for the hot tub. “After dark in winter, it is the best place to sit and watch the Northern Lights,” says host, Steinunn Jóhannsdóttir.
Gamli bær Guesthouse was originally a farmhouse
built by a woman in 1908. “At the time it was very unusual for a woman to build a house”, says Steinunn. “Many wondered why she needed such a large house but it turned out to be a good investment. A new mountain road to Þingvellir National Park (F-550) was opened in 1930 and since then, Gamli bær Guesthouse has been a popular place to stay.”
Tourist attractions in the area include two glaciers, waterfalls and a lava field about 1,100 years old. Gamli bær Guesthouse is only a stone’s throw away from Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls as well as Eiríksjökull and Langjökull Glaciers.
A farm church stands next to Gamli bær. It is used for christening, weddings and funerals. Local artist Páll Guðmundsson, who lives next door, has made a stone-bar xylophone for the church as well as dozens of sculptures on and off the property.
In winter, families and small groups can rent the 10-bed Gamli bær Guesthouse in its entirety for a modest price.