Pick up your hire car at Keflavik Airport and head north along the coast to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula; the drive should take around three hours. On the way, call in atthe Settle merit Center in Borgames, which has entertaining exhibitions on the sagas, with plenty in English. It’s also an excellent place to stop for a meal, with assorted local produce, from lobster tails to lamb, on the menu.
Spend your first night in Hotel Framnes in the coastal town of Grundafjorour. Rooms are warm, quiet and comfortable. The real highlight is the food, which might include lamb, blackened cod and skyr pudding, and daily seafood specials fresh from the harbour. The hotel also offers a northern lights wake-up call and can arrange whale – watching trips.
Spend the day exploring the north coast of the peninsula. Be sure to visit Kirkjufellfoss waterfall and call into the Storyteller’s Lodge in Grundarfjorour so Ingi Hans can share some Icelandic tales. Bjarnarhofn farm is a 15-minute drive away, few can resist sampling the fermented shark, and the museum is full of fascinating farm and fishing antiques.
The following day, head further round the coast to the black lava beach of Djupalonssandur and the sea stacks at Londrangar. Buoir church is further along the coast – it’s not often open, so stroll around the surrounding lava fields and peer in through the windows if your luck’s out. Hotel Buoir overlooks the church and serves excellent dishes, with lamb and fish featuring heavily.
It’s time to move on to your next hotel: the drive to Vogur Country Lodge on Breioafjorour Baytakes 2 1/2hours. Be sure to visit Eiriksstaoir on your way north, which recreates a 10th-century longhouse. It’s normally closed in winter so call ahead and see if manager Siggi is around to open it for you.
At Vogur, comfortable rooms, in pared-back modern Nordic style, are in old cow sheds, and the dining room is in a former barn. The walls are decorated with farming implements and cow skins, and the floor warmed by underfloor heating. The food is a highlight here, as is the opportunity to watch the northern lights from the hot tub. A visit to Skaro farm, to learn about eiderduck down and the family’s own centuries-old personal sagas, can be arranged through the hotel.