Situated five kilometres east of Vík, this countryside hotel enjoys one of the most spectacular locations in Iceland, surrounded by snowcapped mountain ranges, great glaciers, sea cliffs and the famous black sand beaches of the country’s southern coast. The hotel features comfortably furnished rooms, an outdoor hot tub and free access to the nearby golf course. Hotel staff are on hand to arrange any of a range of superb activities, from boat and snowmobile tours to glacier hikes and nature excursions seeking rare birds and enigmatic whales.
While staying here, you’ll eat at the hotel’s restaurant, which dishes up a buffet breakfast fit for champions. Its fragrant wholesome spread should be enough to arrest any shivers throughout the day, and you’ll be grateful for the energy too. Dinnertime involves local specialities that are likely to come from the sea since Iceland’s isolation means there are few native mammals to hunt, although the hardy Icelandic sheep is often a welcome addition to the menu.
Standard rooms at the Hotel Katla all come equipped with an en suite bathroom, with a TV and Wi-Fi included to help the long winter evenings pass by. Most important, however, is access to the geothermal hot tubs outdoors, which harness the effervescent alchemy that pervades the entire island to provide a luxurious, eco-friendly viewing platform for the Northern Lights. Guests in Superior rooms also gain such access, and have the benefits of a larger bathroom and more spacious bedroom with a seating area.
The Vík region is a microcosm of geological treats, and Hotel Katla is a perfectly-placed base from which to explore. Look inland to find Mýrdalsjökull, a beautiful glacier that offers some magical hiking and ice-caving opportunities, while its notorious cousin Eyjafjallajökull sits just to the west. Nearby lie a series of stunning waterfalls, including the much-photographed Skógafoss, while the black sand shore at Dyrhólaey boasts almost every coastal feature imaginable within just a few miles of beach.