The guesthouse sits within a 1250 hectare (3089 acre) nature reserve containing habitats and ecosystems representative of the East fjords region, including all the common species of flora and fauna you might expect, plus a few rarities.
Wander a few minutes from the door and you can be either staring in awe at the sea bird colonies on the cliffs, looking out for seals and porpoises from the black sandy beaches, or enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the wild flower meadows. And that is just around the house – the rest of the reserve has many natural spectacles for you to discover including waterfalls, snowfields, reindeer, interesting geological formations and a large arctic tern colony.
Within the reserve there are at least 90 archaeological sites, which are thought to be evidence of continuous habitation of the land in this area since the settlement of Iceland over 1000 years ago. Many of the remains are now covered with vegetation and make the perfect place to rest for a while and contemplate the subsistence lifestyles of the people that lived from these lands in the not so distant past.
Anybody interested in birds will be rewarded with close encounters of some of the 47 species that use the site each summer. The ponds around the house are home to a good-sized Eider Duck colony and it is possible to watch their day-to-day activities without even leaving your room. During May and June some of the down is collected from the nests and used to make duvets and pillows. For more information on this Icelandic farming tradition, please see our page on Eiderdown Duvets. Some other bird species of note include Black-tailed Godwit, Red-necked Phalarope, Golden Plover, Merlin and you may even be lucky enough to observe Europe’s largest falcon the Gyr Falcon.
“Skalanes meets my criteria for paradise – remoteness, ruggedness, beauty, wildlife, mountains and arctic foxes!!”-Sheila – Scotland, June 2008