Sleep in a Mongolian Yurt on a Surreal Island in Iceland

Mongolian Yurt |Courtesy of Ingibjörg Björnsdóttir / Youtube
Mongolian Yurt |Courtesy of Ingibjörg Björnsdóttir / Youtube
Photo of Camille Buckley
27 December 2017

Located on a secluded island at the mouth of one of Iceland’s largest glacial rivers, Þjórsá, Traustholtshólmi is a great place to get close to the stunning Icelandic landscape in one of the unique off-the-grid experiences. On this private island, visitors can enjoy catching wild salmon using a net in the tradition of local farmers and get to know the historic Þjórsá river in a very intimate way. The location is also a great base for exploring the southern part of Iceland.

Crossing the River | Courtesy of Ingibjörg Björnsdóttir / Youtube

Hákon is the owner and sole inhabitant of Traustholtshólmi, along with his sheepdog, who welcome you to the island by greeting you at the opposite shore and ferrying you to the island on his small motorboat. Hákon actually grew up on the island, where he spent summers there and always dreamed of building his own sustainable, off-the-grid structure one day. Before, the only building on the island was a renovated stone house which was otherwise untouched, with only tall grasses and sandy banks lining the river.

Once visitors arrive on the island they can enjoy a tour with Hákon in which he tells you about the life and history of the island and the surrounding landscapes, spanning all the way back to the first Icelandic settlers. The day often ends with an open fire and wild salmon feasts.

Mongolian Yurt | Courtesy of Ingibjörg Björnsdóttir / Youtube

The island relies on wind and sun to generate enough electricity to charge electronics but is otherwise as off-the-grid as you can get. In the spring, guests can enjoy the Mongolian yurts, which are an excellent way to feel like you are both outside in the elements, but also in a very cozy, comfortable interior. The walls of the Mongolian yurts are insulated by wool and heated by a wood oven. Guests have access to a shared bathroom as well as a yurt for communal purposes, where you can lounge with other guests.

Traustholtshólmi is open from June 1 to August 1 for tours. Accommodation includes three yurts that sleep two adults and one or two children each. Guests can choose from a private day tour, which includes dinner, or can rent the entire island.

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