Top 5 Reasons to Stay in Selfoss
A growing commercial town by Ölfusá (Iceland’s largest river by volume), Selfoss is the ideal place to stay when visiting Iceland. Located in South Iceland, only 55 kilometres (34 miles) from Reykjavik city center, staying in this small charming town has several advantages compared to staying in Iceland’s capital city. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Selfoss is close to all the main attractions of Southern Iceland
I think we all know them by now, they’ve become classics. The Golden Circle, the South Coast, and even Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell National Park are all much closer to Selfoss than they are to the capital city. In the summer, the uninhabitable highlands of Iceland are a perfect road trip from Selfoss, and you could even travel to Reykjavík for a day if you want to experience Icelandic city culture in Iceland’s only city. When going on trips from Reykjavík you always have to pass through Selfoss before you get to your destination, so why not just skip the extra drive and stay closer to Iceland’s breathtaking nature?
Photo: Inspired by Iceland
2. Experience authentic Iceland
Most tourists in Iceland stay in Reykjavík. In fact, the tourists population in Reykjavik city centre outnumbers the locals! If you want to experience real Icelandic atmosphere, Selfoss is for sure a better choice. The town is quite the hub for people living in South Iceland, being a centre for trade and commerce, especially in agriculture. Many establishments in Selfoss have been there for decades, run and frequented by locals for generations, giving the town a real authentic charm.
3. Northern Lights!
Now that’s a pretty good reason!
If conditions are right in winter (that is, if it’s not cloudy), there will be northern lights in the sky. The biggest enemy of the northern lights is light, and there’s plenty of light pollution in Reykjavík. In Selfoss, however, there’s very little light pollution and it takes only a couple of minutes to drive into complete darkness. Those are the absolute best conditions to see the northern lights and that’s why, if you’re interested in seeing the northern lights, the best option is staying outside the capital.
Photo: Ada / Embraced by the North
4. Selfoss is so much cheaper than Reykjavik!
Let’s face it, Iceland is a pretty expensive place. And a trip to Reykjavík will for sure never be cheap. There are so many blog posts about visiting Iceland on budget, how to travel in Iceland for less, cheap trip to Iceland… well look no further! If you want to cut your costs, think outside the box (or actually, think outside Reykjavik) and stay in Selfoss. Accommodation: Same quality, less expensive. Restaurants and cafes: Same quality, less expensive. Money spent on gas: Less, since there’s less driving, as explained in reason no 1. To sum it up, for a less scary credit card bill, Selfoss is your way to go.
5. Winter Accessibility
During winter, scheduled day trips from Reykjavík could get cancelled due to bad weather. There is a mountain road between Reykjavík and South Iceland called Hellisheiði. The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration often closes this road during winter because of very bad weather conditions. This means that you can’t go there on your rental car either. Selfoss is on the other side of this mountain so you can still go on your day trips to the South from there. You can still get to Keflavík Airport from Selfoss, even if the mountain road is closed, with a road that directly connects Selfoss to Keflavík. So while staying in Reykjavík for days can be cozy enough, you won’t see much of Icelandic nature that way.
Photo: Ada / Embraced by the North
Are you planning a trip to Iceland?
We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!