Skalanes Mountain Lodge
The sympathetically renovated Icelandic farmhouse of Skalanes is set within its own nature reserve at the mouth of Seydisfjordur in the East fjords region of Iceland. Dramatic snow capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, vast sea cliffs, vibrant meadows and secluded sandy beaches are all bounded by the sea, making Skalanes the perfect place for relaxation, learning, contemplation and a different pace of life.
With environmental and economic considerations in mind, Skalanes works towards greater self-sufficiency and is in the early stages of developing a smallholding. It currently consists of a vegetable and herb garden, chickens, ducks, pigs and cows, while not forgetting the very friendly dog Bjartur – Lord of Skalanes! Beyond the local produce and nature’s bounty, the owners source their ingredients as locally as possible and mainly work with raw ingredients to produce wholesome meals for guests. They bake bread and cakes, brew beer, smoke fish and meat, pick berries and wild herbs and gather honey from the hives in the nature reserve.
A stay at Skalanes will leave you with not only a greater understanding of the area but also with many happy memories of the place. As a guest at Skalanes you will have access to a wealth of knowledge not only from the staff but also from the various groups who use the centre each summer as a base for study, research and information exchange. The diversity of on-going projects running at Skalanes gives access to current thinking on subjects such as ecology, natural history, geology, archeology, conservation, traditional skills, self sufficiency, sustainability and many others, all of which can be passed on to you in as little or as much detail as you wish.
At Skalanes there are 4 person bunk bed bedrooms of which two have an option of a double bed for couples. A fireplace, a spacious living room, a library, sauna, hot tub and a outdoors fireplace connected to a large outdoors deck are some of the things you can enjoy while staying there.
Open daily 1st May – 30th September. Out of season accommodation is also possible.
Meals are served in the spacious Mountain Lodge’s restaurant and mostly consist of locally sourced, traditionally cooked food with the occasional contemporary twist. Skalanes takes full advantage of the rural position to offer you fresh fish, Icelandic lamb, reindeer and many other regional delicacies. You may also have the opportunity to try smoked fish and meat from the traditional turf-built smoke house.
Relaxation options include a fireplace lounge and small library.
Skalanes is in the middle of a well connected network of mountain huts and marked hiking trails so a stay there fits into an active holiday in the mountains of east Iceland. There are also a fair number of very interesting day long hill walks, hikes, climbing, ice climbing and mountain skiing possibilities making Skalanes an ideal base for these activities.
The reserve has within it habitats and ecosystems representative of the East fjords region including all the common species of flora and fauna you might expect plus a few rarities.
Wander a few minutes from the door and you are either by the shore, staring in awe at the sea bird colonies on the cliffs or surrounded by wild flower meadows and that is just around the house – the rest of the reserve has many natural spectacles for you to discover including waterfalls, snowfields, reindeer, interesting geological formations and a large arctic tern colony.
Anybody interested in birds will be rewarded with close encounters of some of the 47 species that use the Skalanes site each summer. The ponds around the house are home to a good sized Eider colony. During May and June some of the down is collected from the nests and used to make duvets and pillows; an Icelandic farming tradition. Due to their close proximity to the house it is possible to watch their day to day activities without even leaving your room. Some other bird species of note include Black-tailed Godwit, Red-necked Phalarope, Golden Plover, Merlin and you may even be lucky enough to observe Europe’s largest falcon the Gyr Falcon.
Contact us for information on species, migration times, and interesting spots for spotting different birds.
Being in Iceland and staying at Skalanes has reminded me that wildness has the capacity to capture the soul in ways that civilization cannot understand.Paul – Scotland, August 2009
Wow! This is heaven on earth. I wish we had more time here. The drive out here was rough but definitely worth it and the food was absolutely delicious!Mark and Karla – USA, June 2010
Hiking in as the sun set (and hoping we’d find the place before nightfall!) was magical. We enjoyed our time here so much.Liza and Karl – USA, September 2011
We stayed the extra day. Wish we could have stayed the extra month. Skalanes definitely gave us the ‘at the edge of the world’ feeling we were looking for in Iceland.Oskar and Marjella – Netherlands, July 2011