Top Eco-Hotels in Iceland for the Green Traveler

Looking for an eco-hotel in Iceland that offers comfort but respects the nature at the same time? We got you covered!

Key to eco hotels in Iceland

blog authorBy Samuel Hogarth shield verificationVerified Expert

    As we become more aware of our impact on the planet’s natural systems, humanity is changing the way it travels. The focus has shifted to environmentally friendly holidays, where visitors can be more in harmony with nature.

    Nowhere is this truer than in Iceland, the Nordic Island nation that boasts in some of the world’s cleanest air and water supply. 

    Icelanders want to keep it that way, protecting the massive areas of pristine land and water which were here long before them. Therefore, a determined effort is being made to provide eco-friendly tourist accommodations. We’ve aimed to do just that as well, with this list of hotels catered to green travelers.

    Along with your hotel, don’t forget to book an up-to-date rental at Reykjavík Cars to make your sustainable travel goals a reality.

    The Bubble Hotel

    Also known as the “five-million-star hotel”, The Bubble allows you to stay in a transparent plastic bubble in Icelandic nature. Since there’s only a small electric light inside alongside the double bed, the environmental impact is very low. It’s certainly one of the more exciting and unique eco-hotels in Iceland.

    This is your chance to see Iceland’s sky in its full glory. If the weather is good, you’ll be treated to a dark blanket full of bright stars, and perhaps even the magical northern lights. On the other hand, a summer visit means you’ll have front-row tickets to the midnight sun and the calls of numerous bird species.

    bubble eco hotels in Iceland

    The Bubble hotel now offers two types:

    • The regular bubble. This version you can only stay in as part of a tour, either of the Golden Circle or South Coast. The bubbles will be the last stops on the tours, and transfer back to Reykjavík is included.
    • The tree bubble. Located in Ölvisholt, about an hour east of Reykjavík, past Selfoss, this one is suspended above the ground and can be booked separately without joining a tour.

    These bubbles take up very little space and are fully immersed in nature. As such, their environmental impact is about as low as you can get, without sleeping in a tent. There are shared toilets and showers near to the bubbles, but no food is provided, so bring something to eat.

    Panorama Glass Lodge

    Here’s another remote accommodation that will facilitate a fully immersive experience into Icelandic nature. The Panorama Glass Lodge focuses on quality over quantity, with only a few lodges set in a large space. This allows each to have privacy and an unobstructed view.

    The four lodges are located about 3 hours from Reykjavík, far from any urban noise and close to Hekla volcano. They’re easy to reach, as the road to arrive is just a short way past the town of Hella. While a 4x4 is not mandatory to get to the Panorama Glass Lodge, we definitely recommend you rent a 4WD if you travel in winter. Our Land Rover rentals in Iceland are the perfect choice for those willing to experience the most remote and scenic landscapes in comfort and style.

    The best part about these lodges are the glass walls and ceiling, giving visitors incredible views of their surroundings. Each of the lodges contains a private outdoor hot pool, whose water is heated by geothermal energy. The structures themselves are built using sustainable materials and filled with local, organic cosmetics.

    The Panorama Glass Lodge has won awards for its environmental awareness, thus making the accommodation extremely popular. It’s often booked out months in advance, so plan ahead if you’re keen on staying here.

    HI (Hosteling International) Chain

    This chain, which contains 29 locations across Iceland, is committed to supporting sustainable travel. This location is the Iceland branch of a worldwide community with around 4000 hostels committed to the mission.

    With dedicated recycling, tree-planting initiatives, and energy-saving strategies, HI is leading the way in making travel greener.

    eco hotel in Iceland green travel

    HI runs two hostels in Reykjavík, both of which offer the option of dorm and private rooms. Loft Hostel is centrally located, right in the heart of downtown, and contains a lively bar.

    Dalur Hostel is slightly outside of downtown but there’s easy access via bus to central Reykjavík. It’s also next to the city’s largest geothermal swimming pool, Laugardalslaug.

    The HI brand covers a hostel in most of Iceland’s major towns, as well as some rural locations on farms. If you like their style, you can purchase a membership to receive a 10% discount in all HI hostels.

    Although the properties all conform to a certain standard of sustainability, they all have their unique character. While no two experiences are the same when staying with HI, you’ll leave knowing that your carbon footprint is being offset. And if you really want to limit the carbon impact of your trip, you should also consider renting a Kia Rio, or a similar low-emission vehicle, to make sure your Iceland road trip remains eco-friendly.

    For those who haven’t stayed in hostels before, they’re a great way to meet other like-minded travelers. With communal kitchens and living areas, it’s easy to strike up conversations with new people.

    After all, you’ll already have something in common: you’re both staying in accommodation that is committed to eco-friendly tourism.

    Check out HI’s range of Iceland accommodations here.

    Ion Adventure Hotel

    This hotel is very remote, and yet not too far from the capital city. Within an hour of leaving Reykjavík, you could be relaxing in this luxurious accommodation tucked away in the Icelandic wilderness.

    Here, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding area no matter what room you choose. The building contains huge windows that will provide great views if the northern lights choose to appear. If not, the stars and local plant and animal life will give you more than enough to admire.

    Certainly one of the fanciest eco-friendly hotels in Iceland, located in Nesjavellir, near the famous Golden Circle and above the dormant Hengill volcano.

    Hengill volcano in Iceland

    And now, onto the real eco-friendly part. Much of the hotel’s furniture is made from recycled local materials, and everything bought is organic and fair trade.

    The rooms utilize water-saving shower systems, and the building is powered using geothermal energy. Unsuprisingly, Ion Adventure Hotel has won numerous awards for both sustainability and design.

    If you want access to challenging hikes and popular tourist stops while keeping your environmental impact low, stay at Ion.

    Grand Hótel Reykjavík

    A premium accommodation located within proximity to downtown and with lots of amenities, Grand Hótel Reykjavík is a wonderful place to stay. With over 300 rooms of various sizes, free parking, a fitness center/spa, and an on-site bar and restaurant, all types of guests are sure to feel well catered to here.

    Additionally, the Grand Hótel was given the Nordic Swan Ecolabel in 2012, an award presented to hotels that meet strict requirements. This ensures its high standards of energy efficiency, sustainable use of raw materials, and more.

    Therefore, it’s easy for consumers to see how the Grand Hótel maintains the balance of being environmentally friendly without compromising on quality.

    With free parking, you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to leave your car every night. If it’s a city day for you, the hotel offers a free shuttle bus into the center.

    The Importance of Eco Hotels in Iceland

    As our knowledge grows and technology becomes more advanced, we as a species continue to improve our relationship with the earth. The tourism industry is great at adapting, and so it meets the new and increasing demands to be eco-friendly every chance it gets.

    The eco-hotels of Iceland are one example of this- unquestionably doing an excellent job of providing a quality experience whilst remaining aware of their impact.

    When traveling through Iceland, make it a point to select accommodation that is renowned for its sustainability standards, and you’ll be doing your part. With a collective effort, we can all continue to enjoy Iceland’s wildlife and keep it pristine. Get started by booking your Iceland car rental today.

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