Practical information about Iceland, Laugarvatn, travel and other.


The Gullkistan residency is located in Laugarvatn, a small school village some 90 km east of Reykjavík. It is in an agricultural area, close to some of the most popular touristic sites of Iceland and close to the highlands.The village of Laugarvatn has 250 inhabitants. One kindergarten, grammar school, high school and a department of athletic coaching of the University of Iceland. Laugarvatn has one outdoor swimming pool with hot tubs and a steam room and good sports facilities inside and outside. There is a grocery shop, Lindin restaurant and summer hotels in the schools. The next town is Selfoss, 45 km south of Laugarvatn. Around Laugarvatn are farms and many summerhouses. Swimming pools are everywhere in Iceland, most of them with a hot tub, so a bathing suit is something you might want to bring.

Arriving at Laugarvatn

If you are arriving by car from the airport please see link.


We can arrange for a taxi which takes people to Laugarvatn from Keflavík or Reykjavík.
One way from Keflavík to Laugarvatn costs 25.000 IKR. From Reykjavík to Laugarvatn 15.000 IKR.

Guests are expected to take good care of everything in the house, keep it clean and tidy at all times and pay for any accidental damages caused during the time of stay. Pillows, duvets, sheets, duvet, covers, towels are provided.

The resident guests are encouraged to participate in mutual activities.

Before leaving:

Before you leave, the house must be cleaned: Floors vacuumed and washed, dishes washed and put away, dishtowels and rags washed and hung to dry and bathroom and toilet cleaned. If you have moved furniture around while there please put it back in place.

Other costs

All personal expenses have to be covered by guests. This includes all travel expenses such as flights, buses and insurance. This also includes materials, shipping of artwork and food. Telephone expenses are the responsibility of each guest during his/her stay at Laugarvatn. If there is some special food that you require we suggest you bring it with you. Importing uncooked meat is illegal.

Gullkistan has a few bicycles which guests can use as they like.

Passport and Immigration

A stay in Iceland up to three months does not generally require a visa. See a full list of citizens exempt from a visa on http://www.utl.is/english/visas/no-visa/. All other citizens need a visa to enter Iceland, see the list of embassies in your country that issue visas to Iceland on http://www.utl.is/english/visas/apply/

Staying in Reykjavík

If you need an affordable place to stay in Reykjavík, SÍM, the Association for Icelandic Artists is located in the center of town not very far from the bus station BSÍ. Just take any bus from across the street up from BSÍ that is heading towards the center. SÍM offers nice, clean rooms. See: http://www.sim.is/Index/English/ , Telephone: +354 551 1346 – Fax:+354 562 6656, e-mail: sim(at)simnet.is

Renting a car in Iceland

There are many car hires, find the best offers.

For one that has older cheaper cars contact rsbilaleiga@gmail.com

Other trips    

In summer Gullfoss and Geysir can be visited by taking a bus from Laugarvatn.

Selfoss is the biggest town in south Iceland, about 45 km from Laugarvatn.

Reykjavík is 70 km from Laugarvatn through Thingvellir.

The tourist board of Iceland can send you brochures but you can also check their information website on http://www.icetourist.is/. The cheapest accommodation in Iceland if you are travelling around is “Farmhouse accommodation” listed on their site. Most of them have both sleeping bag accommodations and made up beds, which is slightly more expensive.

More about money. Credit cards like Visa and Master-card are accepted everywhere. In Laugarvatn there is a mini-bank (ATM-automatic teller machine) where you can withdraw cash, just bring your pin number. Most other types of plastic cards are also acknowledged in the banks and ATM’s.


For grants we recommend that you pursue any possibilities in your home country such as Arts counsils or government funds. The only grants we know about are the following:

·      For US citizens:

·      The Fulbright grant http://www.cies.org/about_fulb.htm

·      The Leifur Eiriksson grant, http://www.leifureirikssonfoundation.org/

·      The American Scandinavian foundation, http://www.amscan.org/is

·      Thor Thors grant http://www.iceam.is/english/

·      For Nordic and Baltic citizens: Mobility grant, http://norden.org/webb/news/news.asp?id=8361&lang=6, and on http://www.kknord.org/?pageID=35

See also kickstarter.com


The climate in Iceland is not what most people think. We have a coastal climate with mostly mild temperatures – sort of like the west coast of Canada and Ireland only a bit colder. Some say Iceland only has two seasons, spring and fall. This is true in some sense as we can have +10°C (50F) both in January and June.

Summers in Iceland starts late and it never gets hot, so one pair of shorts is plenty and windbreakers, fleece and lots of layers are, especially if you want to go walking, hiking or camping. In summer we have the midnight sun and it never really gets dark. In the winter on the other hand we have 3 hours of daylight on theshortest day, so it never really gets light.


Shipping and mailing:

Gullkistan miðstöð sköpunar ehf

Dalbraut 1,

840 Laugarvatn



You can mail things to the residency before you get there and receive personal mail. On packages mailed ahead of time just put your name and arrival date on the packet and our address.

For custom benefits just write “personal belongings, no commercial value – may be opened by customs.”

If you do send something please let us know so we can watch out for it.


For further information e-mail: gullkistan@gullkistan.is
Héraðskólinn / hostel / Resturant – bar    Tel. 537 8060       http://heradsskolinn.is

Lindin Restaurant            Tel. 486 1262    11:30 – 21:00 (the kitchen closes)

Samkaup Strax (Grocery store)        Tel. 486 1126    10:00 – 18:00  Mon – Sat / Sun 11: 17:00

Gasoline / ATM                Summer    09:00 – 22:00        

Swimming pool                Tel. 486 1251

  • Summer 10:00 – 22:00 weekdays / weekends, 10:00 – 18:00   
  • Winter Mon – Wen – Fri 17:00 – 20:00 / Sat: 14: – 18:00


112  SOS – Police – Ambulance – Emergency –Department   


Health Center at Laugarás, – (20 min by car).

Call for appoinment with doctor Tel. 480 5300 /  892 8804