Looking for places to stay in northeastern Iceland? The remote area is home to breath-taking nature, jagged mountains, quiet fjords, and grassy plains.

The hostels in the region are cheap and cheerful options for accommodation when you visit this beautiful region.

North East Iceland is fast becoming the latest magnet for travellers looking to explore off the beaten track. The remote area is home to breath-taking nature, jagged mountains, quiet fjords, and grassy plains. The natural elements still reign supreme here; thrilled adventurers come for emptiness and hiking.
 
Photo; Iceland
 
Visiting Northeast Iceland
The north-east region of Iceland is as far away from Reykjavik as one can get in the country. Route number 85 tracks along the coastline, heading from Húsavík to Kópasker, and then across the Melrakkaslétta Peninsula towards Thórshöfn. A more interesting route is road 870, which loops around the peninsula towards the small village of Raufarhöfn. From here, 870 turns back into 85 as it heads south to the main route across the peninsula towards Thórshöfn.
 
 

Where to Stay in Northeast Iceland

The hostel is a great location for those travellers looking to explore further into the unexplored northeast. The owner is welcoming and has an extensive library of books on Iceland and classical music. It’s a homey and comforting stay, with a self-catering kitchen, laundry room, and common area for relaxing. Dorm rooms hold four people, while you can also book private rooms from one to four people. This is the best option for cheap accommodation on this side of the peninsula.
 
 
Located on the edge of the vast wilderness area of northeast Iceland, Kópasker is a small town of around 120 people. But what it lacks in people, it more than makes up for with its location. To the northeast is the Melrakkaslétta Peninsula, with a windswept coastline filled with driftwood and seabirds. To the west is the northern territory of Vatnajökull National Park, with magnificent Ásbyrgi and Dettifoss. These two giants are powerful shows of force of just what a glacial flood can do in a matter of days. The visitor centre is at Ásbyrgi, only 33km away from Kópasker. Originating from here are many hiking trails up around the rim of the canyon, of varying length and difficulty. There’s also a small forest and pond at the base of the canyon.
 
 
It takes about an hour to drive from the Kópasker HI Hostel to Dettifoss waterfall. To get there, there are two roads you can take. Road 864 on the eastern side of the canyon is a dirt track but offers great views of the waterfall. On the western side of the canyon, road 862 is newly paved (almost all the way) and leads to the main parking area for Dettifoss. There are many viewing platforms here, and an easy trail to the waterfall Selfoss.
 
Photo by Jennifer Boyer
 
Kópasker is home to the Earthquake Educational Centre. This exhibition is dedicated to the 1976 earthquake that rocked the town and other seismic events in the area’s history. There is also a small folk museum that shows a collection of 19th and 20th century objects, materials and photos from the area.
 
 
Located by the harbour inside a historic blue house is the Thórshöfn HI Hostel, a perfect stay for those looking to explore the surrounding wilderness. Inside you’ll find cosy four person dorms and private rooms, self-catering kitchen and warm common room. The restaurant Báran across the street serves breakfast and local dishes that revolve around lamb, fish, burgers and pizzas. 
 
 
Thórshöfn is the most north-eastern town in Iceland, a remote fishing village of about 400 people. Early settlers believe that the god Thor slammed his hammer down on this coastline, giving the harbour its perfect shape. The town enjoys views over the waters of Thistilfjörður and the low-lying hills of Melrakkaslétta, and easy access to the Langanes Peninsula. This uninhabited corner of Iceland is ripe for exploration; on the peninsula you’ll come across abandoned farms, thousands of seabirds, and lots of empty space.
 
Thórshöfn is a short drive to the village Bakkafjörður, which is the designated end point for the new Arctic Coast Way. This speck of a village survives thanks to its fisherman and has only recently seen tourists making their way there. It’s 
 
Photo by Jennifer Boyer
 
What to See and Do on the Melrakkaslétta Peninsula
Following the road around the coastline, you’ll pass a lot of silent vistas over driftwood-laden beaches, lagoons and rivers. Rough tracks divert from the main route out towards the ocean, where during the summer you’ll find thousands of seabirds. Visitors should make their way to Rauðinúpur, a cape at the north western edge of the peninsula. A 45-minute trail from the parking area will lead you out to the rocky beach, with a 75-metre-tall cliff at one end that’s coloured red. Follow the path up to the top to reveal a bright orange lighthouse, and great views of the two sea stacks Karlinn and Sölvanöf. During the summer, these are both filled with hundreds of nesting gannets.
 
On the other end of the cape is Hraunhafnartangi, the northernmost point in Iceland, marked by another lighthouse. This is the closest mainland Iceland gets to the Arctic Circle, and as such it’s a fantastic place for the midnight sun and northern lights. Further south past Raufarhöfn is Rauðanes, a peninsula made up of rocky coves, interesting sea caves and stone stacks. An easy walking trail loops through the entire area.
Travelling here you are visiting a section of the Arctic Coast Way that was voted top destination of The Lonely Planet.
 
Photo by Jennifer Boyer
 
 
What to See and Do on the Langanes Peninsula
Those who make it here agree that this feels like the end of the earth. Grassy hills slope down towards the ocean, crashing onto tall cliffs filled with squawking seabirds. It’s desolate, remote, and blissfully quiet; those looking to be on their own for a while should immediately make their way here. As you drive along the rough main road (869), you’ll pass abandoned farms reclaimed by the landscape. This road leads you all the way to the tip of the peninsula, Fontur, marked by yet another lighthouse. 
 
 
 
Along the way you’ll pass the towering cliffs of Skoruvíkurbjarg. The locals have built a viewing platform here that teeters out over the edge, allowing you a full view of the colony of gannets below. Also, before you reach the lighthouse a road branches away towards the south, where the ghostly remains of the fishing village Skálar lie. The stone foundations of buildings and a former dock are all that remain of this fishing outpost that rose to prominence in the early 20th century. In the distance, you can also spy the remains of a Cold War-era NATO radar system.
 
 
 

James Taylor is a travel journalist from Australia who lived in Iceland for three years.

Falling in love with the country, he began to write about his travels for magazines and websites in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A.