About us

Laugarvatn Village

Gullkistan, residency for creative people

The Gullkistan residency was founded in spring 2009 and is now run all year round. Gullkistan is located on the edge of the Laugarvatn village just off the main road. The main building, The Center(Miðstöðin), is comprised of work spaces, computer room and bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen. The other house is a log cabin we call Kistan. It houses bedrooms, bathroom, livingroom and a kitchen. All within easy walking distance from the town center, grocery shop and bus stop, swimming pool etc.  Total space for 8 people.  The Center (Miðstöðin) and Kistan er 5  minutes walk from the village Laugarvatn.

Midstoðin2   IMG_6982  IMG_8243   IMG_1533

The accommodation is fully equipped and there is internet access everywhere.

Gullkistan has also been a place for seminars, courses in art, exhibitions of art and open studios.

The guests so far are mostly visual artists as well as writers, musicians, designers, photographers, filmmakers and scientists.

Minimum stay is one month but if you are interested in a shorter stay please contact us.

Gullkistan is very family friendly and we accept applications the whole year round.

The Place

The Laugarvatn valley has deep stillness, the faraway mountains with Hekla in the middle, the mysterious Laugarvatn lake, the ever changing steams from the ground, the cuddling mountain, the birch wood, the creeks and fissures, the trout, the special history of the school village and the wonderful people living in the village and surrounding farms.

Getting here

Please have a look at the links to the right.
Gullkistan can order a taxi from Keflavík to Reykjavik  for 25.000.- ikr or from Reykjavík to Laugarvatn for 12.000.- ikr.. Included is a stop in a food store. They take visa / master card.


Directors are Alda Sigurðardóttir and Kristveig Halldórsdóttir. They are both artists. Alda lives in Selfoss, 40 km from Laugarvatn and Kristveig in Reykjavik, 70 km from Laugarvatn. They assist guests as needed.

Kristveig and Alda have both been active artist as well as being active in the artist society of Iceland. They have curated together and separately many different projects on art.


In 1995 Kristveig and Alda planned the Gullkistan art festival in Laugarvatn. The interest it aroused was unbelievable. More than 130 people took part, visual artists, musicians, poets and writers, theater people, historians and other scholars of different kinds, and so on. It was then evident that many people were eager to enjoy the special atmosphere of Laugarvatn for creative purposes.

In 2005 they planned another festival, even bigger than before. This time the arts and the academic fields mixed even more and activities were of great variety. Both these festivals were centered in a school building that was built in 1929, Héraðsskólinn, but took place in many other buildings of the village and outdoors as well, even in a cross country hike around the lake as well as a climb up to the Gullkistan mountaintop.

After the second festival Alda and Kristveig started to prepare an international residency for artists and academics of all fields in Laugarvatn so more people could discover and enjoy the magic of Laugarvatn.

In 2009 the first guests arrived to the Gullkistan residency. To start with guests could stay in apartments in the Laugarvatn village and had access to a work studio nearby. In 2010 guests could also choose to stay in rooms at a nearby farmhouse where the common work studio was moved to. In 2011 Gullkistan started a whole year round service.

Contact us

Alda og Didda1
Alda & Kristveig in Laugarvatn