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Here is the church, here is the steeple…

iceland hostel..........................(4432.jpg)

Is it a church? Is it a… church? No, believe it or not, this is the only tourist accommodation in Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland (unless you brought your tent). Although it's technically a hostel – you need your own sleeping bag – for a fraction of the price of a Rekjavik hotel room you get a self-catering cottage which has to rank as one of the cutest you could find, in Iceland or anywhere else.

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There's a sign on the door with a phone number – call it, and someone from the village will bring you the key and show you round.The church was built in 1925, and bought by its current owners to preserve the building and its history. And then – in a stroke of absolute genius – transformed into what we see today. Inside, it still feels like a church – the congregation could have moved out yesterday, and one of the owner's children even got married here. Altar and pulpit are still in place, and a couple of pews provide seating at the dining table.

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Yet the building has been transformed into a well-equipped holiday home: everything is tiny, but perfectly formed. There's a shiny new shower-room by the door, and small kitchen tucked into the corner of the main living area – which also has sofas, dining table, and loads of original church features. Sleeping accommodation is a double bed (plus a stack of spare matresses) up in the gallery.

iceland hostel..........................(4433.jpg)

Most tourists visiting Stöðvarfjörður come by coach, spend a couple of hours in Petra's Rock Museum – which claims to be the largest collection of rocks in the world – and leave the same day for hotels in larger towns nearby. If you enjoy splendid isolation, Iceland's eastern fjords deserve a longer stay. RC

Images by Rachel Cotterill


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  • George Hari

    January 6, 2009

    Rachel, I found it on google by following several links. As for the price, it’s my mistake, sorry, by reflex I just exchanged SEK into EUR instead of doing ISK into EUR. Yeah, it’s cheap, there is also the plane and everything, but it’s worth. See you there! 🙂

  • Rachel Cotterill

    January 5, 2009

    I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Icelandic Eastfjords to anyone – but don’t all rush at once or we’ll spoil the tranquility!

    George – well done finding the website, there was no record of it on their paperwork and I didn’t manage to find it on Google. Before you worry too much about the prices, 2,500Kr is about US$20 – we had the place to ourselves for less than the price of a meal out!

  • George Hari

    January 5, 2009

    I found it: . The prices are shocking.

  • George Hari

    January 5, 2009

    How much does it cost? Does it have a website with more photos?

  • Lajja Gandhi

    December 22, 2008

    Ah! the bliss of solitude and a unique living experience.

  • Sue Rowbotham

    December 18, 2008

    Congratulations on your first published travel piece! I look forward to many more… We didnt get to eastern side of Iceland. Need to add it to the list now!

    Sue R

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