Renting a summer house or cottage or staying on a farm are pleasant, economical alternatives for those seeking more independence. Icelandic Farm Holidays has a listing of places around the country. A double room on a farm with breakfast costs IKr 3,000-IKr 6,000 per night; sleeping-bag accommodations without breakfast cost IKr 2,000-IKr 2,800 per night.
Summer cottages can be rented by the week, with rates varying according to number of beds, location, and conveniences. For example, a six-bed cottage may run about IKr 30,000-IKr 45,000 during peak season. A number of cottages are available nationwide from Viator, with a minimum of three or four nights' rental. These should be booked well in advance during high season. Contact the local Tourist Information Center for other cottage options.
Organized campgrounds are available throughout the country. Some are on private property, others are owned and operated by local communities, and still others are in protected areas supervised by the Nature Conservation Council. For a comprehensive listing of campgrounds, write or call the Association of Leisure Site Owners (c/o Tourist Information Center). On the road, look for signs reading tjaldstæi" (camping allowed), or tjaldstæi bönnu" (camping prohibited), or a simple tent symbol. Most campgrounds charge about IKr 500 per person per night, plus IKr 200 for the tent. Campsites in national parks tend to be more expensive.
It is forbidden to use scrubwood for fuel; bring kerosene or gas stoves and buy fuel locally for cooking. Camping equipment can be rented in Reykjavík from Útilíf sporting goods.
In summer, 16 boarding schools around the country open up as Edda hotels, now privately operated under the umbrella of Icelandair Hotels and offering both accommodations with made-up beds and more basic sleeping-bag facilities.
Icelandic Farm Holidays (Síðumúli 2, Reykjavík, IS-108. 570-2700. www.farmholidays.is.)
Both Icelandair and Radisson SAS have affiliate hotels offering points in their frequent-flier associations. In addition to the Icelandair-operated Edda summer hotels, there are two other local hotel chains: FossHótels and KEA Hotels. In summer, hotels and even youth hostels may be fully booked, so make reservations well in advance.
FossHótels (Sigtún 38, Reykjavík. 562-4000. www.fosshotel.is.)
Icelandair Hotels (Nautholsvegur 52, Reykjavík, IS-101. 444-4000. www.icehotels.is.)
KEA Hotels. (Hafnarstræti 87-89, Akureyri, IS-600. 460-2000. www.keahotels.is.)
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