The Wilderness Center in East Iceland is an authentic hideaway that takes you back in time to 19th century Iceland. Located in remote wilderness and surrounded by lakes, mountains, and rivers, the Wilderness Center invites visitors to join authentic Iceland tours and travel in a sustainable way, riding Icelandic horses or hiking through the wilderness just like our ancestors did.
Authentic Iceland Tours
Authentic tours offer an escape from modern chaos. Spend two to five days exploring Icelandic nature, tasting traditional Iceland food, and staying in authentic rooms at the Wilderness Center.
Travel alone or with family, choose a multi-day tour or a specifically tailored experience. Whatever trip you choose, authentic Iceland tours will bring you close to deep-rooted Icelandic culture and traditions.
Where Is the Wilderness Center Located?
The Wilderness Center is nestled in the Icelandic Highlands, right by the edge of Northern Europe’s largest wilderness and far away from city chaos.
The center is surrounded by sublime nature. Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull, stands on one side, while Iceland’s third-largest lake, Lagarfljót, rests on the other. The closest town of Egilsstaðir is about an hour’s drive from the Wilderness Center.
See Iceland Like a Local
The Wilderness Center gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience Icelandic culture first-hand. Only here you can spend nights in authentic rooms designed to make you feel like a local in the old days. The home-made food adds to this special experience!
Sleep in the Museum!
The Wilderness Centre is one of the most unique places to stay in Iceland.
All the rooms, both private and dormitory, are designed to reflect Icelandic culture. Each room features a different style. The Landowner’s suite is crafted to the smallest detail to make guests feel like they’re staying in the master bedroom of a wealthy landowner. The Old Farmhouse is a cozy room with hand-crafted authentic beddings and an old sewing machine on a desk between two single beds, just like it would be placed in the old days.
Staying at the Wilderness Center is like staying in a museum. The authentic, cozy and warm accommodation breathes history and culture with the comfort of modern days.
Taste traditional Icelandic food
All the meals at the center are prepared inside the house, using fresh ingredients from the Icelandic Highlands. The menu features traditional Icelandic food including Icelandic meat soup with home-baked bread, marinated sheep from the Norðurdalur valley, vegetarian dishes, and a selection of homemade cakes.
If local traditions and culture interest you, the Birth of Spring – Living with Locals tour is the best way to learn about Icelandic culture first-hand. The 4-day summer tour includes fishing trout with local farmers, visiting sheep stables, and bird watching, among other exciting activities!
Things to Do Around the Wilderness Center
The Wilderness Center offers plenty of activities for everyone.
Visit the Wilderness Exhibition
The Wilderness Exhibition showcases the history of the Icelandic wilderness and the lives of the farm’s original inhabitants. The exhibition is open from May to September and other times upon request.
Relax in the Hot Spring Spa
The Hot Spring Spa under the sky features views over the valley. The spa is a great place to relax and enjoy the serenity of the center. The Hot Spring Spa encompasses a sauna, a hammock by a fireplace, and a cozy relaxation room. The entire bathhouse is styled in an authentic Icelandic way. The hot spring is built from stones in the same fashion Icelandic ancestors built their traditional steam houses.
Cross a River in a Cable-ferry
In the old days, the cable-ferry was used to cross Iceland’s second-longest river, Jökulsá. The cable box has been rebuilt and those who feel adventurous can tow themselves across the glacial river. An abandoned farmhouse is waiting to be explored on the other side!
Observe the Sky in the Stargazing Station
The Wilderness Stargazing Station is based in renovated sheep stables. The open roof allows you to point a telescope toward the sky and observe stars and planets. During the summer months it’s the perfect place to enjoy the Midnight Sun. Those who join the winter tour might be lucky and witness the Northern Lights appear in the sky!
Hike in the Icelandic Highlands
Hiking in the Highlands is another great activity to enjoy around the center. The Two Rivers Hiking Trail tour invites adventurers to explore the rugged wilderness of East Iceland on foot. On this tour, packhorses accompany hikers and help to transport the luggage, adding authenticity to the hiking experience.
Sightseeing Around the Wilderness Center
Hengifoss is Iceland’s third-largest waterfall, with the water dropping from 128m (420ft) height cliff. The cliff is colored with interchanging layers of red clay and basalt, making the waterfall look like a painting!
Litlanesfoss Waterfall is located on the way to Hengifoss, making it easy to visit both waterfalls in one hike. Litlanesfoss is framed by tall basalt columns and the water drops in two stages and into a small pond.
Lagarfljót Lake, also known as Lögurinn, is famous for its mysterious folklore. According to legend, the Lagarfljót Wyrm, a venom-spitting monster, lives in the lake. Similar to its cousin the Loch Ness monster, the Icelandic lake monster has been seen by many, but no one can confirm it really exists. But our authentic Days of Darkness tour gives you a good chance to learn more about the monster, and perhaps even see it with your own eyes!