What It’s Like to Stay At a Luxury Lighthouse in Iceland

Iceland has become one of the world’s top destinations for travelers who seek both adventure and luxury. There are a myriad of adventures to be had, from hiking on glaciers to going deep into volcanoes, from touring ice lagoons by boat to staying at unique and luxurious hotels. Our family recently had the opportunity to stay at the famous Iceland lighthouse hotel: The Dyrholaey Lighthouse on the central south coast of Iceland. If you love lighthouses, you’ll want to add this experience to your travel bucket list. Imagine getting to play lighthouse keeper for a night or two while enjoying the amazing views of the Dyrhólaey peninsula!

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Dyrholaey Lighthouse at night. Photo: Icelandair Hotels

We had spent a fun day hiking on glaciers and zipping through a glacier lagoon, and we were anxious to get to our accommodation for the night. We stopped at Vik to pick up our dinner of pizza at Strondin Bistro and Bar. The Reynisdrangar rock formations are spiky basalt sea stacks that just out from the ocean. The view of the stacks from the restaurant was amazing, but we knew our view of the black sand beach and the Reynisdrangar Cliffs would be even more amazing from the lighthouse. So we picked up our pizzas and drove the 15 minutes toward the Dyrhólaey.

iceland lighthouse hotel
View of Reynisdrangar rock formations on Reynisfjara Beach at sunrise in Vik, Iceland. Photo: Wasin Pummarin

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Dyrhólaey is a 120m high promontory and its name means “the door hole island.” The promontory got its name from the massive stone arch that the sea eroded from the headland. While in the past, farmers often went fishing around Dyrhólaey, today they have developed a nesting site for eider ducks for the gathering of down. Many other birds also find a home here. Therefore all the cliffs and rocks are protected and Dyrhólaey has been a natural reserve since 1978. From the top of the hill you get the best view of the massive stone arch. When the sea is calm, boats can sail through it and once upon a time a stunt pilot is said to have flown through it as well. It was foggy while we were there but the views were still breathtaking!

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Dyrhólaey literally means “the hill island with the door hole.” Photo: Icelandair Hotels

Looking north you can see the whole western coastline – on a clear day you can see as far as the town of Vestmannaeyar. To the east the big glacier Mýrdalsjökull, where we went snowmobiling the previous day, is visible. It reaches a height of almost 1450 m. And north east you can also spot the mountains and glacier Eyjafallajökull.

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A view of the lighthouse on top of the steep promontory. Photo: Priya Vin

We were at The Icelandair Hotel in Vik the previous night and had made arrangements for the staff to meet us at the lighthouse and give us a tour. The lighthouse in the Vik area of Iceland has been transformed into a boutique hotel perfect for a family stay, it can accommodate up to 5 people.

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Amazing views from the top of the light house from the panoramic viewing balcony. Photo: Priya Vin

The light station at Dyrhólaey was established in 1910. The first lighthouse was a skeletal steel tower prefabricated in Sweden, and the present lighthouse was built in 1927. The light is still is one of the guiding lights on the South coast and is controlled from Reykjavík. We got to see the light up close as well. We learnt that top Icelandic interior designer Gudbjorg Magnusdottir has transformed the castle-shaped lighthouse into a boutique. He certainly did a marvelous job.

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The views were truly spectacular. Photo: Icelandair Hotels

You are only 15 minutes from the town of Vik but it feels like you are in a world of your own. In case of emergencies, the hotel provides a cell phone with direct connection to the staff at Icelandair Hotel, so you can sleep in peace that should you need any help, someone will be there.

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Downstairs there is a bathroom, compact kitchen, a dining area and a comfortable sitting room and some cute slipper to keep you cozy. Photo: Priya Vin

With magnificent volcanoes and glaciers glaring at you from a distance, a stay at Dyrhólaey Lighthouse is truly a once in a lifetime experience, so go ahead and book that trip to Iceland and make your booking to the Lighthouse through Icelandair Hotel Vik. Nowhere in Iceland can you stay at a lighthouse, so this is the most exclusive accommodation on the entire island. Also, it is offered for only from August 10 to October 31 each year.

iceland lighthouse hotel
Upstairs are the bedrooms – 1 double, 1 twin and 1 single room on 3 floors. Photo: Priya Vin
iceland lighthouse hotel
A nice living area to watch movies, play some board games or work on those social media updates. Photo: Priya Vin
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We woke up next morning, had the whole place to ourselves while we enjoyed our coffee. Photo: Priya Vin
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We saw some puffins around the cliff but didn’t take good pictures of them, so here is a pillow to show how cute those puffins are! Photo: Priya Vin
iceland lighthouse hotel
The fridge was stocked with a wonderful breakfast spread: smoked salmon, cheese, milk, eggs, the famous Skyr yogurt and some Icelandic donuts we have come to love. Photo: Priya Vin
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Our family in front of the lighthouse. Photo: Priya Vin
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The lighthouse in the distance. Photo: Priya Vin
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The lighthouse. Photo: Priya Vin
iceland lighthouse hotel
The lighthouse was a peaceful place to catch up on some stories of elves and the hidden people of Iceland. Photo: Priya Vin
iceland lighthouse hotel
Stunning view of the Reynisdrangar rock formations. Photo: Priya Vin

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About Priya Vin

Priya VinPriya Vin is a family travel blogger who believes that exposing children to the world outside the suburbs is key to having an enriched childhood. Life is pretty routine with school, music lessons, baseball tournaments, friends from very similar backgrounds inside our suburbs. There is so much that books teach you but to experience something – visiting a museum, marveling at architecture, learning a few phrases in a new language, trying a new dish or just being in nature teaches kids so much more, these exposures makes for lasting memories and life lessons. The world outside is limitless with things to do, places to see, people to know, foods to savor… our intent to break away from the known is the only thing limiting us. Travel is not about counting countries or passport stamps but making memories and cherishing them! Visit her blog, Outside Surburbia, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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