This cold winter weather has me reminiscing about Reykjavik, Iceland and the four days I spent there in 2016 with ten of my favorite travel buddies. My sister and I were talking recently and she proclaimed Iceland to be the best trip she’s ever taken. That’s saying something considering she’s lived in Italy and traveled everywhere from Puerto Rico to Tunisia. Her comment inspired me to break out the archives on our Icelandic adventure.
The country is no secret to tourists these days, having taken the travel world by storm a few years ago with affordable flights thanks to Icelandair and a media campaign that’s inspired curious travelers everywhere to seek out the surreal Instagram scenes for themselves.
We took advantage of Icelandair’s direct route from Seattle to Reykjavik for a long weekend in April. Half the group came from London while the other half journeyed from Seattle. I’d planned the trip while still living in London, correctly anticipating I’d be itching for some international travel and a reunion with my London crew.
We saw the Northern Lights, posed for photos with Icelandic ponies, and relaxed in the medicinal waters of the Blue Lagoon. My favorite day was spent driving the route of the Golden Circle with Gateway to Iceland to see mountains, waterfalls, a national park, geysers, and a hidden lagoon. Iceland is the type of trip that makes you appreciate the magnificence of this planet and our tiny existence. It wasn’t all philosophical, though.
Know Before You Go:
- Daytrip around the Golden Circle with Gateway to Iceland. Our tour guide Trond was amazing and the secret lagoon hot springs was worth the extra fee.
- Of course you’ll need to take a dip in the Blue Lagoon. This is best done en route to or from the airport. Book your ticket in advance. We opted for the Comfort level ticket. You should also get comfortable with the fact that this is a tourist trap, and try to enjoy it all the same.
- Catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. I wouldn’t recommend the tour company we used, but the experience was still worth it.
Where to Dine & Drink
- Try some Skyr yogurt, available at any grocery or café that serves breakfast. This stuff is heavenly.
- We tried whale and puffin, once was enough. These restaurants have many other items on their menus and I recommend making a reservation: Fish Market (my favorite) and Grill Market.
Where to Stay
- We based ourselves at Hotel Thingbolt in downtown Reykjavik.
- Flybus was a good way to get to the airport and the Blue Lagoon. I wouldn’t recommend taking a cab from the airport into Reykjavik as it was over 150 USD one way. Newbie mistake. I’ve also heard recommendations for renting a car at the airport and venturing around the country on your own.