I’ve been in a good mood with a broad smile on my face for a few days, thanks to beautiful weather just outside the window. The nature is slowly coming back to life. Everything around us is getting green. Colourful flowers are appearing here and there pleasing our eyes. Besides lush greenery, also animals are coming back to life … together with long forgotten sparrows which I haven’t seen for ages, and which used to be my faithful companions in the years of my childhood. High temperatures in mid-April make me start thinking about summer vacation, and consequently far and near travels. Despite the fact there are still a couple of months left until summer is back for good, it’s great to start thinking about our dream holiday destinations and places, in which we’d love to spend our free time.
Today, I’d like to present you an amazing place located in a beautiful country. This spot will change your attitude towards hostels and what you may expect from them forever. I found this venue while browsing the Internet and checking hundreds of holiday offers, and it stole my heart at once. I had also a chance to talk to Daria who works in this extraordinary hostel. However, let me start from the beginning … Iceland is a country located in the Northern Europe on the Iceland island, and a few smaller ones in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital city is Reykjavik. Iceland belongs to the group of the Nordic States, which have always opened my mind to imagination. In spite of being situated close to the Arctic Circle, summer temperatures are bearable and they vary from 12°C to 15°C. Autumn and winter are quite windy accompanied by darkness. However, you should keep in mind that regardless of the season of the year, this island offers its visitors stunning landscapes and unforgettable experiences.
One of the places, which I’d love to recommend to you, in this picturesque country is Akureyri. A city which is second largest city in Iceland, and is regarded to be the capital city of the northern part of Iceland. What’s most interesting, Akureyri has only about 20 thousand citizens. This spot is well-known for its locals who are the friendliest people in the world. They’re always willing to help, as well as to give good advice to newcomers.
Now you’ve probably started thinking what Akureyri, a city which is a real tongue twister for you, can propose to its tourists … I must surprise you here quite positively, as the city offers many attractions and unique places to see, which are truly worth visiting even for the most demanding tourists. One could even say that it’s a kind of paradise on earth … I know, I know I’ve already claimed that Greece is my paradise … but is it really possible to love only one place, while the world has so much to offer?
If you want to get away from it all, from everyday hustle and bustle of the world, Akureyri is a place just ideal for you. It’s the oasis of peaceful people, who know how to appreciate every moment of their lives. Their omnipresent optimistic attitude towards everything around, will make you feel home, relaxed and full of energy to explore this truly mysterious country.
What’s worth visiting while being in Akureyri? For sure you can’t forget about Hafnarstraeti, the most popular street with tourists. This place is the center of the city’s life. One can find there numerous restaurants, pubs, bars, cinemas, souvenir shops and guest houses. It’s an ideal place for relaxing walks, and a great opportunity to shop for souvenirs.
In this charming and vibrant city everyone will find something for oneself. If you are a nature lover, you simply can’t forget about visiting the Botanic gardens, which despite an unfavourable climate delight guests with their lushness and diversity. If you travel with kiddos, you should definitely pay a visit to the Santa’s house, which regardless of the season will move the little ones into a fairytale atmosphere of Christmas. If you’re an enthusiast of different forms of relax, you should check the local swimming pool and its offer, which includes such facilities as sauna, jacuzzi or water slide. All the adrenaline seekers should take part in a so called Whale Watching, which is an extreme motorboat tour leading directly to the waters of the longest fiord in Iceland. In this remote place you’ll be able to admire majestic whales at your fingertips. If you’re a fan of stronger beverages such as beer, you should visit an unusual and one of the few in Europe beer spas, which is located not further than 30 km from the city. You can take there long, soothing and very pleasant baths.
The next question, which probably springs to your mind, sounds as follows … where am I going to spend the night after the day full of excitement and sightseeing? Now it’s the right time for today’s highlight! The place which will change your attitude towards hostels forever … and nothing will ever be the same! I found it among numerous offers, and it caught my attention at once. You got to stay at a family-owned Hafnarstraeti hostel ( www.hhostel.is ). The owners of this unusual place are Sandra and Baldur. The hostel, in its modern concept of space capsule, attaches great importance to satisfaction and happiness of its guests. The staff want the visitors to feel homely in the family atmosphere on the whole site. All the guests are offered a night’s lodging in single or double capsules, taken out of the films like Star Wars or Star Trek.
According to the information which I managed to find … and from what I got to know from Daria, this unusual hostel offers places for 90 people, who can spend an extraordinary night in one of the previously mentioned lodging space capsules. You can choose from single or double capsules. Each of them is equipped with a TV set, which includes picture streaming function from such devices as smart phone, tablet or phone. What’s more, you’ll also get the access to headphones, safe with a private personal identification number, as well as sockets to charge your devices. Additionally, inside of each capsule you’ll find a mirror, a bedside table and LED lamps with adjustable brightness level. All the doors are equipped with an electronic security system, which can be unblocked with a personalized card. These are not all the assets of this unique place. The most important feature of this particular spot is that it’s a family-owned hostel. The owners always pay attention to satisfaction and contentment of all the guests. Everyone is treated there in a special way. The hosts make every effort to make their visitors feel home. That’s why, they took care of a fully-equipped kitchen with a pantry, oven and dining room. The Hafnarstraeti hostel is also equipped with four washer-dryers, as well as nine neat and renovated bathrooms, in which you’ll find fresh towels and some hygiene products.
What’s more, all tired travellers will find there different forms of relaxation. The hostel offers the pool table, piano, a wide range of books, board games, which together with a good company make the visitors’ stay more pleasant and are a good occasion to make new friends, as well as to get to know each other better. Despite the fact that this place is functioning as a hostel, thanks to its unusual ‘rooms’ and extraordinary atmosphere, all the guests have the feeling of comfort, privacy and safety.
After making use of the hostel’s attractions and spending the night in the space capsules, all the visitors are invited to home breakfast. We all know the saying that the way to the heart is through the stomach, that’s why the owners make use of the beloved Sigrún grandma’s recipes. Everyday at 6 am, they fry pancakes, bake muffins, as well as other fruit pies. What’s more, the hosts also serve more typical breakfast products, such as cereal, muesli, crackers, yogurts, buttermilk, cold meat and many more. I can assure you that everyone’s tastes will be satisfied.
Another exciting fact for me is that according to the information placed on the website until the end of May you can get a 10% discount after using the code nordictalking, even for the bookings for 2020 … taking into account the fact that I’ve never had a chance to visit such a place, and the reviews provided by the guests seem to be quite positive, I think it may become one of my future holiday destinations, which I’d love to visit. It will definitely be marked on my holiday map. If you’re a driver, you can also get a special discount for renting a car from IcePol company, which offers a 15% discount for all the hostel guests. I’m not a driver, but I know it may be useful information for some of you.
Interesting facts about Iceland:
In Akureyri traffic lights display red hearts instead of standard red stop colours.
Approximately 67% of Icelanders including Sigrún – the owner’s mum, believe that elves exist.
In 2010 Iceland hit the headlines around the globe, when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted after 187 years long break. This eruption blocked the air traffic in the whole Europe.
Other tourist attractions near Akureyri:
Aldeyjarfoss, Dettifoss, Goðafoss waterfalls
- Hverir geothermal field of bubbling mud pools
Can’t you wait for summer vacation? Would you like to spend it in a pleasant family atmosphere … with a little bit of adventure? If your answer is yes, you should definitely visit Akureyri and one of the most futuristic hostels in the world.
And what do you think about this place? Should I visit it? I hope you’ll share your opinions with me!
See you around!
This article was written in cooperation with Daria Galent, who occurred to be a great source of information related to Iceland, Akureyri and the hostel in which she works.