Sep. 9th, 2022
Iceland is a country of indescribable natural beauty found in vast and wide open spaces. It is a land of incredible natural phenomena from glaciers to geysers as well as some of the world’s most stunning waterfalls and black sand beaches. Away from its popular sites are the highlands known for their barrenness and a certain type of quiet there. The rocky and dry landscapes appear as the surface of the moon, with surreal empty spaces, undulating hills, and a snowcapped mountain in the distance. This place is far away from any sizable population, where rarely a car drives past and is void of any sounds of the city. Aside from the distant sound of a babbling river or the rustling of the wind, all is quiet.
Although it appears in the middle of nowhere, this is where you’ll find one of Iceland’s most unforgettable experiences. The destination is a stay in a house made of glass where the summer’s midnight sun or the winter’s northern lights paint the skies with their brilliant colors before you. Arguably Iceland’s most secluded, remote, and romantic bolthole getaways are found there, at the Panorama Glass Lodge.
The location is an hour and a half drive from Reykjavik. The road winds through the remote highlands of southern Iceland where the homes and farms appear to be miles apart and where you’ll see more of their gorgeous Icelandic horses, with their long flowing mane, brown, white, rust, or pinto colors.
The Panorama Glass Lodge offers uber private standalone glass cabins made for rest and romance and to take in the beauty of the area, especially what is found in the sky above. The four self-contained cabins are spread out across a wide swathe of land giving their guests a feeling of being left alone in the wilderness. The units have everything guests need for an independent stay from the cozy bedroom, fully equipped kitchens, and well-appointed bathrooms. The unforgettable experience there is being able to take in the skies above for once-in-a-lifetime views of the stars, midnight sun, and the ghoulish green northern lights.
During the daytime, the scenery is no less dramatic in an area surrounded by rocky fields and arctic tundra and the Hekla volcano in the distance. Out of doors, there is a large wooden terrace with a bbq as well as a private hot tub making it an ideal place for sunrises or stargazing.
Northern Lights and Midnight Sun
Any time of year is special there. During the summer there are weeks with 24 hours of daylight where the sun literally never sets. It’s called the midnight sun where the sun approaches the horizon and never goes below. It moves along the horizon from east to west and then begins to rise again. Being in this vast and open space with no man-made buildings or even forest to block the view, provides the perfect setting to take in this unforgettable experience. Thankfully there are eye masks so that you can sleep in between watching this unreal “non-sunset”.
Beginning in September, one could not ask for a better theater to take in the aurora borealis. As shared, this area is vast, remote, barren, and sparsely populated. As a result, there is zero light pollution as it is absent of man-made light. As a result, the northern lights appear much clearer as they perform their ethereal light dance. It feels as if you are in the front row of a drive-in movie and on the big screen is nature’s most strange light show.
The idea that you are laying in your comfortable bed and merely looking up through your glass ceiling makes the experience all the more magical. To throw a bit of romance into the equation, lovers will take to the hot tub outside to cuddle and watch this phenomenon together in an area so private that they feel as if they were the only two souls left on the planet.
Living in a Glass House
The glass lodges are perfectly designed for seeing the sights as well as for comfort and isolation. The front half of the cabin is made of 10ft tall glass walls and ceilings while the back is made of steel and wood. Indoors the design is exquisite, modern, and sophisticated with tasteful Icelandic artwork and design elements. The bathrooms are tastefully decorated as well with rainforest showers and sustainably made bathroom products. The centerpiece of these igloos is the custom-made ultra-comfortable king-sized beds made for sleeping in or laying awake while looking out.
The Viking-style cabins are well-appointed and fully equipped for a self-contained getaway. The kitchenette has all the high-end appliances necessary, a Nespresso coffee machine and various kitchen doo dads and utensils, and the most commonly need cooking supplies, oils, and spices. Guests typically stock up on supplies en route in the town of Hella which is about 30 minutes away. There is an appropriate-sized table for two to enjoy the meal.
Outside there is an outdoor living space with a bbq grill, table and chairs, and a hammock for more lazing about. Adjacent to the cabin is the hot tub perfectly sized for two and, hours of soaking, relaxing, and reconnecting. There is also a glass-enclosed sauna shared between two cabins that work on a schedule so that each couple has their private time.
Often when we go on holiday, we are looking to go somewhere with a lot of stuff to do and a full schedule of boxes that require checking before we take the plane ride home. But often the most memorable places are those where we just slow down. In place of a manic pace near all the action, we seek solace and to be left alone – a tranquil place in the wilderness where less is more. For romantic couples looking to get away from it all, there’s no place like Iceland’s Panorama Glass Lodge.