Solitude, coziness, and untouched beauty. These are just a few of the ways I could try to describe the Nónhamar Guesthouse. Here sit three of the most picturesque cabins that lye at the foot of Vatnajökull glacier mountains and boast a view of the vast coastline that seems to be endless. This guesthouse is tucked away in the southeastern coast of Iceland, in a town called Hof. Sure, this place is nearly perfect in itself, but it’s true appeal is it’s proximity to everything and nothing at the same time.
The isolation is purely bliss, due to the fact it’s a 4 hour drive from Reykjavik. Thus only attracting those looking to really see the true beauty of Iceland, not the tourists that venture out from the city and back in the same day on some type of “full-paid excursion”. Even though, right down the road is the most famous national park on the island, Skaftafell, we chose to create our own adventure. The cabins sit right at the base of a mountain, so why not walk out our door and get lost in the them for a day, right? There were no trails, no maps, just a vast and empty valley that was calling our name. Slowly, but surely, we navigated our way up the cliff’s edge to eat one of the most memorable lunches of my life. Surrounded by birds in the sky, a flowing waterfall to our left, and the rest of Iceland sprawled out in front of us. All of this was able to be had, from what seemed like a stones throw away from our cabin below.
Inside each cabin is just as simple, and beautiful, as the view is from the outside. As you walk through the door, next to you is a nice, little kitchenette. Sufficient for pretty much anything you’d want to cook or prepare. The cozy cabin has two sets of bunk beds to sleep 4 people and has a full bathroom in the back corner. For a cabin with such a small footprint, smaller than most westerners’ bedrooms, it feels tremendously spacious for four people to share the experience. But anytime you put four beds that close to a bathroom, it’s bound to draw a few complaints here and there. At this point, one might think the cabin has expended all it has to offer, until you turn back towards the open front door and realize you have such a vast view of Iceland. I can’t tell you how long I laid in bed after a long day of hiking, just peering out the front door and gazing upon the horizon.
If you’re looking for a lively nightlife or delicious restaurants nearby, this is not the place for you. The town, which is famous for a turf church (which we didn’t even see), probably only has a population of under 20 people. Most being farmers. The only restaurant in Hof required reservations early in the day, I can only assume it’s to decide wether or not to open for the night. So we ended up getting delicious burgers from a truck stop down on route 1, which weren’t as bad as you would think. Our night was spent playing cards in the cabin, listening to music, drinking a few beers, and reminiscing on the trip of a lifetime Iceland showed us.