Holidays to Iceland give you snow-capped adventures for less
Iceland’s glacial landscape might seem like a world away, but cheap holidays to this outdoor-centric spot are only two hours and 40 minutes off.
Iceland is a destination known for its landscapes – icy, beachy and mountainous all at once. Few other places on this earth exist where you can scale a glacier in the morning and by the afternoon be lounging by the beach, though we’ll admit it does help that some of these shores are heated up by geothermal springs. Even the sky is special, courtesy of the Northern Lights. Experiencing this dynamic spot doesn’t have to mean returning home from your holiday with an empty wallet – Iceland is packed with cheap activities both of the natural and manmade variety.
Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city, and therefore the best place to anchor a holiday on a budget – its offerings are vast and varied. You’ll have your pick of the ultra-popular geothermal pools, walks around black sand beaches and hiking trips to help you get the best views of the city. If you’re looking to score a deal, you might consider visiting Iceland in the off-season, from September to March. Temperatures might be a little colder but that’s when the Northern Lights take to the sky.
Cheap days out in Iceland
Making the most of Iceland on a budget means getting outdoors and experiencing this gorgeous landscape firsthand. Within Reykjavik alone, you’ll find beaches, hot springs, museums and a gateway to hiking and biking trips, all free of charge.
At the top of the list is the Nautholsvik geothermal beach, a manmade creation where warm water from natural hot springs and cold from the sea mix together in a sandy lagoon to make one seriously comfortable day on the coast. A crazy number of geothermal pools pepper spaces in and around the city that only cost a small entrance fee. If you’re looking for high-flying sights, there’s the breathtaking peaks of Mount Esja, part of a volcanic mountain range. But if you want to stick to exploring the ins and outs of the city itself, you can simply join a free walking tour.
Other cheap holidays to take a look at
If you’ve still got your sights set on a cheap holiday but aren’t totally sold on Iceland, we can point you in the right direction. Have a look at destinations like Lapland and Slovenia, or go for something completely different with sunny Spain or Greece.
But if it’s Iceland you’re keen on, have a look at our travel guide for more information on this Nordic wonderland. In the meantime, here are our top hotels for a cheap Icelandic holiday.
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Staying at this simple-yet-sleek hotel will not only get you a prime location within Reykjavik but a buffet restaurant serving breakfast and an in-house bar. You'll have free Wifi, plus the hotel staff are available to book you an excursion for sites in and around the city, two of which are included with your stay. Not to be outdone in the character department, the hotel features a large boulder on the ground floor. It's rumoured that developers didn't touch the boulder when building in fear of disturbing the elves living inside.
The Cabin Hotel is tucked alongside the waterfront and the Kringlan shopping mall, great for some good old fashioned window shopping. Here, you'll have free WiFi, a restaurant and a bar available, all with a simple, modern design. What's more, staying here means you'll have two excursions included, saving you even more cash that you can easily spend in the hotel's teeny little souvenir shop instead.
The Fosshotel Baron combines waterfront with the cityscape, both of which are just steps away. You've got the best of both worlds with shops, bars, restaurants and the seaside all at your fingertips. Staying here will get you free Wi-Fi and breakfast, plus a bar serving up light bites in the evening. You'll also have two excursions included with your room, so exploring wider Reykjavik and Iceland just got a whole lot easier.
The inside of this hotel is serious eye candy, with cool greys, upholstered walls and bright swaths of white. On tap are a breakfast buffet and a bar, plus free Wi-Fi zones and two excursions rolled into the price. The hotel itself lucked out with its location, too – it's just around the corner from Reykjavik's main drag, Laugavegur. Here, you can expect wining, dining and window shopping galore.
The Centerhotel Plaza hits all the right notes with funky mood lighting, sleek wood floors and a contemporary dining area, all in the heart of downtown Reykjavik. Bars and restaurants are all on your doorstep, as is the harbour. There's a room for breakfast here, plus a bar, not to mention free Wi-Fi. On top of this, included in the price are two excursions to help you get out and about for less.