Experience in Iceland

Iceland

Publication date: 12 Oct 2018
  • Experiences USD 514
  • Accommodation USD 540
  • Transport USD 96
  • Total experience USD 1380

GALLERY Photos and videos of the trip

SUMMARY

Know the destination

What to Do Besides Seeing Very Unusual Landscapes

Iceland: A Really Remote Place in Europe

Iceland is really a remote place. It is the westernmost and northernmost country in Europe. As a matter of fact, it is closer to Greenland than to its closest neighbours in Britain or mainland Europe. Iceland is known for its natural… er… uncertainties. It is a volcanic land; it has glaciers and geysers; it has craters and waterfalls; and as if that were not enough, its skies often get ornamented with the beautiful northern lights (or auroras). Iceland’s geography is so unique that it is an attraction by itself.

Yet not everything in a country is its landmarks. Iceland is also known for being a country with high education, high man-woman equality, universal health care and very few social issues. Being in contact with such culture is another good experience you get from visiting Iceland. I got to Iceland through Reykjavik International Airport, its currency is the krona, and it may be a somewhat expensive country. Take that into account before travelling.

My Trip to Iceland

Everything began in Reykjavik. After checking in at the hotel and resting a bit from the long trip, I went to see the historic centre of the city. The historic centre is cosy. It has many wooden buildings, it has many details to see, and it is very photograph-friendly. You really spend a nice time there. Then I visited lake Tjornin, in the east, which is famous for all the birds that gather there. At night, I took a four-hour tour to see the auroras (or northern lights). It was a nice experience for a first day.

On my second day, I got ready to see the Blue Lagoon, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. It has two areas: One is natural and remains untouched. You can only get close for sightseeing. The other is man-made, and there is a nice spa there. Both areas share the common volcanic origin of its waters, giving the Blue Lagoon a stable temperature at the spa and many medicinal properties to its mud. Actually, as part of the geothermal spa experience, you get your body covered in mud (so your skin can benefit from its properties) and you enjoy tasty meals and drinks in the restaurant. There is also a hotel for those willing to spend a night or two there, and optional services like massages. The Blue Lagoon is in the south-west of Iceland, and believe me it was a great experience.

On the third day, I went to the Golden Circle. It is not a place, but rather a tour that takes you around many beautiful landmarks of Iceland territory. I saw the Kerid crater, the ‘golden’ waterfall of Gullfoss (called that way because Gullfoss means ‘golden waterfall’ in Icelandic), the National Park of Thingvellir (famous for its rocky formations, for being very near to the area in which the American and European tectonic plates meet, and for being the place in which the first ‘Althing’ parliament met since the Middle Ages to almost the end of the Twentieth Century), two geysers and a few other sites. Visiting the Golden Circle is a full day experience that begins and ends in Reykjavik, and it is definitely one of the things you must see and do if you travel to Iceland.

On my fourth day, I went south-east to Jokulsarlon. It is a glacier lake, and one of the deepest in Iceland. The area is beautiful because of how it looks, because of how it feels and because of what it inspires you when you see it. It also gives you a couple of surprises, like the beach of dark sand with pieces of ice that look like diamonds, and its fauna, which even includes some seals. There are icebergs in Jokulsarlon, so if you ever wanted to see one close, this place is your safest way to achieve it.

Later that day, I went west to see the Seljalandsfoss cascade. This waterfall is special for every tourist for the three ways you can appreciate it: You can see it from the ground, you can climb the cliff to see it from its top and you can get behind the waterfall too. You will not know how crazy it is until you try it yourself, so I will just say that, if you ever travel to Iceland, visiting Seljalandsfoss is another must to add to your list.

After four days going one place to the next one, I decided to spend my fifth day in Iceland resting in Reykjavik. I went for a walk to see the Church of Iceland (one of the tallest buildings in the country) and the unusual Icelandic Phallological Museum, which contains penises from several species —man included. Some time later, I tried Iceland’s most famous hot-dog, the Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, and I finished my day by visiting Solfar Sun Voyager, which looks like a Viking vessel, but it is not. The icing on the cake was provided by a beautiful sunset in Reykjavik.

I had one more tour to take on my last day in Iceland, so I got up early. I went to the Snaefellsness peninsula. They call it ‘Iceland in miniature’ because it has most of the things you can find in the rest of the country: a glacier, the Snaefellsjokull volcano (which is one of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks) a beach of dark sand, a fishermen’s town and the Kirkjufell mountain. My tour lasted eleven hours from Reykjavik to Snaefellsness and back, but it was worth it.

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DAY TO DAY Itinerary day by day

The prices that appear per day are referential and correspond to the sum of activities that were made that day

    DAY 1 USD 50

    I began my trip by going for a walk around Reykjavik and its historic centre. I visited Tjornin lake, called the ‘big bread soup’ for the number of birds people feed there. I continued by walking along the picturesque harbour of Reykjavik. There are many nice views to photograph there. In the evening, I took a four-hour tour to see the Northern Lights.

    DAY 2 USD 85

    I went to the Blue Lagoon and its geothermal spa. Waters average 38 °C, and its white mud has healing properties. You can also have several additional services in the spa, such as massages. There are restaurants to eat and drink, but most people just take a bath in its relaxing waters. I recommend going early so that you spend most of your time resting there.

    DAY 3 USD 64

    I visited the best of south-western Iceland taking an eight-hour tour to the Golden Circle. I visted Kerid crater and saw its turquoise waters. I saw one of the most famous geysers in Iceland, called the Great Geysir, and I visited the golden waterfalls of Gullfoss. A few hours later, I went to see incredible views at the Thingvellir National Park, a place where North American and Eurasian plates meet.

    DAY 4 USD 160

    I explored the main landmarks of southern Iceland taking a fourteen-hour from Reykjavik. I travelled to Jokulsarlon glacier lake and I walked to a black beach with ice diamonds. Later that day, I god marvelled by both Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Yes, I saw Seljalandsfoss from the bottom, from the top and from behind. At Skogafoss, in turn, you feel the power of water in front of you. Unforgettable, period.

    DAY 5 USD 10

    I rested from so many trips by staying in Reykjavik. I visited the Church of Iceland, one of the highest structures in the country. I visited the Icelandic Phallological Museum, and then I went to try the most famous sausage in Iceland: the Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. Later, I visited Solfar Sun Voyager, which looks like a Viking boat. I ended my day watching the sunset.

    DAY 6 USD 158

    I travelled to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, ‘Iceland in miniature’. The eleven-hour tour allowed me to see the Snaefellsjokull glacier, black sand beaches, a charming fishing village and Kirkjufell mountain.

ACCOMMODATION Lodging per night

The lodging that is shown in the list of each night is recommended by the traveler, you can find more similar options. The cost is per person in a double bed room.

Night City Recommended accommodation Type of lodging Cost of the person
Night 1 Reykjavik Alfreds Apartment Apartament Rented USD 90
ISLAND APARTMENT Apartament Rented
EINHOLT GUESTHOUSE Hotel
EXETER HOTEL Hotel
Night 2 Reykjavik Alfreds Apartment Apartament Rented USD 90
ISLAND APARTMENT Apartament Rented
EINHOLT GUESTHOUSE Hotel
EXETER HOTEL Hotel
Night 3 Reykjavik Apartament Rented Apartament Rented USD 90
ISLAND APARTMENT Apartament Rented
EINHOLT GUESTHOUSE Hotel
EXETER HOTEL Hotel
Night 4 Reykjavik Alfreds Apartment Apartament Rented USD 90
ISLAND APARTMENT Apartament Rented
EINHOLT GUESTHOUSE Hotel
Reykjavik EXETER HOTEL Hotel
Night 5 Reykjavik Alfreds Apartment Apartament Rented USD 90
Reykjavik ISLAND APARTMENT Apartament Rented
Reykjavik EINHOLT GUESTHOUSE Hotel
Reykjavik EXETER HOTEL Hotel
Night 6 Reykjavik Alfreds Apartment Apartament Rented USD 90
ISLAND APARTMENT Apartament Rented
EINHOLT GUESTHOUSE Hotel
EXETER HOTEL Hotel

TRANSPORT Transportation per day

The prices that appear by transport are referential and correspond to what the traveler paid at that moment

Nº Day Origin Destination Link web Type of transport Cost
Day 1 Arpt Keflavik (RKV) Reykjavik Center https://airportdirect.is/transfers/economy Shuttle USD 30
Day 2 Reykjavik Center Blue Lagoon https://www.re.is/day-tours/blue-lagoon-no-entry/ Shuttle USD 18
Day 2 Blue Lagoon Reykjavik Center https://www.re.is/day-tours/blue-lagoon-no-entry/ Shuttle USD 18
Day 7 Reykjavik Center Arpt Keflavik (RKV) https://airportdirect.is/transfers/economy Shuttle USD 30



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RECOMMENDATIONS Tips for your trip

I recommend Burro restaurant. I has a tasty mixture of Latin American meals and they also open at night as Pablo DiscoBar. If you like Latin music, that is the place to go. If you want something more American, there is another place called the American Bar where you can also dance. If you fancy something more Icelandic, you can go to the port to eat at the Bergsson. Do not forget to try the most famous sausage in Iceland at Baejarins.

In Iceland, everything closes at 11 p.m. on weekdays and at 3 a.m. on weekends.

Visit Iceland in March, September and October, as there is a more chance to see the auroras and as there are more hours of light to visit all the tourist attractions.

Important information:

Schenguen visa is needed. Check here if you need visa to Iceland.

Northern lights season starts in late August and ends in mid April. It must be night to see them, but there is a chance of not seeing them because of the weather. Keep flexibility in your trip so you can adjust the day you go to see the auroras. You need a clear sky to see them.

From May to August, there is no sunset in Iceland, and from December to February there are only a few hours of light in the day.

You have to know that Iceland is a cold country. You need clothes to warm up even in summer.

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