Southern Iceland, Iceland
At a Glance
Unique wilderness location ideal for Northern Lights viewing
Fantastic restaurant ideal for sampling Icelandic gastronomic specialties with glass walls overlooking the river Ranga
Interesting décor for the adventurous in the 'World Pavillion' Suites
The most luxurious hotel in Iceland outside Reykjavik
Friendly and attentive hospitality
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Nordic climate - May, June and July are the driest months of the year. Mid-June to August is high season, but most highland tours don’t operate until July because of snow. At other times, many tourist facilities outside Reykjavík are closed. From September through March, the night is dark enough to see the Aurora Borealis.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Hotel Ranga or take a look at our itineraries to Southern Iceland
Hotel Ranga offers a warm welcome, delicious gourmet food and wine, and the opportunity to enjoy the natural wonders of this remarkable part of the country. Its location means there is good chance of catching sight of the Northern Lights.
Hotel Ranga is the only 4 star luxury country resort in Iceland. Located approximately 60 miles southeast of Reykjavik (an hour's drive more or less) in an isolated spot next to a river, also called Ranga, this is an idyllic base to explore Southern Iceland.
The hotel's remote location means that nothing disturbs the peace and quiet of this starkly beautiful spot. The picturesque surroundings include glaciers, mountains, and the nearby volcano at Hekla. The lack of light pollution also means that this is one of the best places in Iceland for viewing the famous Aurora Borealis. You can enjoy the view from the glass-walled restaurant, the balcony of your room or suite, or even from one of the geothermically powered hot tubs between the hotel and the river Ranga. The best time to view the Northern Lights is during the longer winter nights. The hotel keeps guests updated with forecasts of the sunspot activity which leads to this phenomenon, and if you request it, can even wake you if an occurrence begins while you are sleeping.
The hotel is well situated for trips into the volcanic areas of the south of Iceland, including the infamous Eyjafjallajökull crater and the scenic Thorsmork national park, as well as the sights of the best known tourist route of the island, the 'Golden Circle'.
Ranga's decor features natural woods and terracotta. The service is attentive and professional yet informal and friendly. There are some characteristic touches like the oft-photographed Hrammur, a 10 foot tall stuffed polar bear that dominates the reception area. The panoramic glass-walled restaurant serves beautifully prepared Icelandic and Nordic specialties, and the wine cellar is one of the best stocked in the country. The bar has a huge selection of single malt whiskies to warm guests on long winter nights.
There is a good range of accommodation options, from the comfortable but simple standard double rooms to the large and luxurious 'Master Royal Suite'. For those looking for something different the 'World Pavilion' features seven suites themed on the continents of the world and carefully decorated with typical works of art from each specific geographical area.
The newest addition at Ranga is their Astronomical Observatory, ideal for some stargazing! The roll-off roof observatory has room for up to 30 people and is equipped with two high quality 11-inch computerized telescopes, making it the most advanced observatory in Iceland. The observatory is located about 150 meters north of the hotel's main building to minimize light pollution. Scopes can be turned towards the stars to view amazing detail on Jupiter, see Cassini's Division in the rings of Saturn, and resolve details on the surface of Mars. Even the distant Uranus and Neptune are within your reach.
The hotel has 51 cosy and luxurious rooms, including The Master Royal Suite, and the seven themed suites in "The World Pavilion". The Standard rooms feature twin beds and a Jacuzzi bathtub or a shower, Deluxe rooms are more spacious with king or twin beds as preferred, and have a bathroom with bath and shower. The Suites are all designed and themed on the seven continents with each different suite representing a different continent and being decorated with authentic decor, artwork, fixtures and fittings coming from the respective continents. All rooms and suites include: TV and DVD player, wifi, Jacuzzi bathtub and/or shower, hairdryer, bath robes and slippers and minibar.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Hotel Ranga but there are no particular facilities available for them. Children's meals can happily be prepared on request.
The hotel can arrange transfers and excursions, and give advice about viewing Northern Lights. Massage can be arranged in-room.
The hotel is home to the acclaimed gourmet 'Restaurant 4', which serves Icelandic and international specialties. The floor to ceiling windows offer views of the River Ranga and the islands beyond. The wine list is very extensive, and there is also a cosy bar serving cocktails and a cosy upstairs lounge to relax in at the end of the day.
Activities that can be organized from Hotel Ranga include fishing, golf, horseback riding, snowmobiling, glacier tours, ATV tours, bird & whale watching, hiking, river rafting, and sea angling as well as guided super jeep tours, self drive jeep tours, and trips by helicopter to view the coastline and mountains.
The hotel's staff is at hand to help you arrange and advise on activities. They can also arrange for you to have massages at the hotel if you would like to indulge in a bit of pampering.
Hannah Dawson (Staff)
Ranga is fantastically located to enjoy the south coast and beyond. This authentic Icelandic hotel boasts cosy rooms and fantastic facilities after a busy day exploring. Relax in one of the outdoor hot tubs, enjoy a massage or stargaze in their first-class observatory.
Claire Medlock (Staff)
Sitting in an ideal location for the Golden Circle, Hotel Ranga is in prime Northern Lights viewing territory. We were lucky enough to have a north facing room which meant we could gaze at the phenomenon from our beds. The upstairs lounge and downstairs dining room have a good atmosphere, filled with guests chatting about the day's adventure overlooking a picturesque river. If youre looking for modern Scandi design this isnt for you, but it does make for a comfortable stopover in the south.
Cammie Burke (Staff)
Hotel Ranga has a cosy cabin feel yet offers all the amenities you could ever need. Ranga is the perfect base to explore the Golden Circle and the beautiful east. Known for its Northern lights, hospitality, delicious dining and quirky dcor, a stay at this unique hotel is a must when traveling to Iceland.
Milly Walker (Staff)
Hotel Ranga has a traditional Alpine chalet feel to it, with the cosy wooden exterior and rooms with balconies so you can look across the snowy landscape or wonder down to the hot tubs on the terrace for a welcome warming relax after a day enjoying one of the many activities on offer.
James Ferguson (Staff)
Hotel Ranga is an amazing 'off the beaten track' place to stay. It's a luxurious and welcoming base from which to explore all the natural wonders this stunning part of Iceland has to offer.
Bathing in the Blue Lagoon
One of the world's most unique spas, Iceland's Blue Lagoon is an outdoor, geo-thermally heated spa providing an amazing experience that cannot be missed when visiting Iceland.
Borgarfjordur and into the glacier
Explore the beautiful west coast of Iceland, discovering its incredible scenery, impressive waterfalls and the breathtaking Langjokull glacier. Venture deep into the glacier itself, walking through fascinating ice caves, for a truly unique experience.
Essential Iceland helicopter tour
Explore Iceland from the air, discovering Iceland's highlights from a brand new perspective in your private helicopter. Fly above the iconic Golden Circle, spotting waterfalls and geysers, and admire the multi-colored mountains of Landmannalaugar.
If adventure is high on your vacation checklist, hiking on one of Iceland's monumental glaciers is a must. An immense wonderland of ice sculptures, ridges and deep crevasses await discovery!
Langjokull is Iceland's second biggest glacier with several enormous ice filled volcanic craters, encircled by imposing volcanoes. Exploring by snowmobile is an adrenaline-fuelled way to experience the breathtaking landscape of this region of Iceland.
Horse riding in Iceland
Known for their distinctive trot, Icelandic horses offer a unique horse riding experience. A completely pure breed, introduced to the island during the Viking settlement, these horses are perfect for both beginners and advanced riders alike.
Inside the Volcano
This is an extraordinary opportunity to explore the heart of a volcano. Thrihnukagigur is a unique natural phenomenon and the only place on earth where you can enter a magma chamber.
Jökulsárlón private tour
Visit the breathtaking Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and witness bright blue icebergs floating across the lagoon's glassy surface, with the Vatnajökull glacier towering in the background. A magnificent sight, this makes for a truly unforgettable experience.
Kayaking on Heinaberg glacier lagoon
Try kayaking like never before as you glide across the surface of Heinaberg glacier lagoon in east Iceland. Kayak through the mirror-like waters, and depending on the time of year, you may be paddling between incredible ice formations.
Northern Lights Hunt
Venture out in search of the elusive Northern Lights, with your private guide leading the way and using expert knowledge to give you the best chance of finding them. Head away from the artificial lights of Reykjavik and discover this wonderful phenomenon.
Private Super Jeep Tour to Thorsmork
Explore volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers and more on this amazing volcano safari super jeep tour to the dramatic landscapes of Thorsmork. Your expert private guide will take you to places very few people get to experience up close and personal.
Snorkelling between Tectonic Plates
Snorkel the crystal-clear waters of Iceland's Silfra fissure and discover the secret underwater canyon located between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
Snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull
Perhaps Iceland's most famous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull makes for a thrilling snowmobile experience. Join your private guide as you ride across the surface of the glacier and take in the incredible views of Iceland's south coast.
South Shore safari
On this amazing guided jeep safari you will see the South Shore’s most treasured natural sights, including impressive waterfalls, epic landscapes, as well as its black lava sand beaches and dunes.
The Golden Circle
Iceland's ruggedly beautiful and tectonically active landscape offers some amazing natural attractions, known as the "Golden Circle". These include the Gullfoss waterfall, Strokkur Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.
Visit the Westman Islands
Head away from mainland Iceland to discover the fascinating Westman Islands, located just off the country's south coast. Take the ferry to Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the archipelago, and explore its dramatic landscape with your private guide.
Westman Islands and lunch on Elliðaey
Fly from the mainland to the Westman Islands to explore this beautiful archipelago. Visit the only inhabited island, Heimaey, before sailing to one of the smaller islands, Elliðaey, for a truly unique lunch.
Highlights of Iceland
Southern Iceland, Northern Iceland & Reykjavik
from $10700 pp 6 nights
- Admire the other-worldly landscapes of remote Northern Iceland
- Explore the picturesque city of Reykjavik and discover its charming colorful buildings
- Marvel at some of Iceland's most iconic sights in the renowned Golden Circle
Iceland for Teenagers
Reykjavik & Southern Iceland
from $4200 pp 4 nights
- An action-packed itinerary taking in the best that Iceland has to offer
- Try snowmobiling, quad biking and even glacier hiking on this intrepid adventure
- A year-round itinerary, the summer months offer endless days and winter provides a chance to spot the Northern Lights
Northern Lights in Iceland
Reykjavik & South Iceland
from $4500 pp 4 nights
- Experience the geological wonders of Iceland, including waterfalls, geysers and volcanoes
- Get away from the bright lights of Reykjavik and search for the elusive Northern Lights
- Relax at tranquil Hotel Ranga in the stark wilderness of Southern Iceland
Location & directions
Southern Iceland, Iceland
Located about an hour from Reykjavík between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur, Hotel Ranga lies just off the main road right in the middle of South Iceland’s panoramic scenery. It provides stunning picturesque surroundings, such as the famous volcano Mt. Hekla, several glaciers and the Westman Islands.