Iceland Adventure - Guide to Iceland!

Iceland ∞  Reykjavík ♦ Skógafoss  ♦ Vik ♦ Jökulsárlón

Iceland has quickly become a popular travel destination within the last year. A big part of that growing popularity is thanks to social media that has placed Iceland on the map for must-visit destinations. The allure includes the much-instagrammed Blue Lagoon, the draw of the Northern Lights and having been described as one of the most scenic destinations to visit.

- Iceland -

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Reykjavík

~ Reykjavík City ~

Explore the city of Reykjavík! Hallgrimskirkja Church, The Perlan and The Sun Voyager are great architectural sights inspired by Icelandic traditions in Reykjavik City. 

Iceland Volcanoes Half Day Tour from Reykjavik

 

~ The Golden Circle ~

Journey The Golden Circle that feature 3 equally beautiful locations in southwest Iceland including Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall.

Golden Circle and South Iceland

 

~ The Blue Lagoon ~

Due to its popularity the Blue Lagoon has definitely become accumulated with people, but there’s always that opportunity for that clear ‘instagram’ moment.  Definitely still one of the most beautifully man-made geo-thermal pools I’ve come across. If you want a more private option, opt for the ‘Retreat’ option.

 


~ The Northern Lights ~

The search for the Northern Lights in Iceland. As much as you can try to time and research seeing these lights, it can come down purely to luck.  To increase your chances here's some things we found during our research.  Yes Iceland is cold and going mid-winter can heighten your chances of seeing the Northern Lights when the night is darker.  Be prepared to wait a few hours and drive along the night if you are doing a self-drive tour.  Tips for self-drive tours of Iceland: pack lots of snacks! The food in Iceland can be expensive even grocery shopping but packing snacks for the road will definitely make the roadtrip more fun. 

 

~ Best places to see the Northern Lights ~

Öskuhlið hill in Reykjavík
Enjoy the stunning 360° view over Reykjavík and its surroundings from Öskuhlið hill.  See the lights also from the glass dome at the Perlan Museum on top of the hill which can be seen from most places in the city. 
Grótta lighthouse in Seltjarnarnes
A Peninsula and town right next to Reykjavík.  It’s only about 5km to the tip of the peninsula from Hallgrímskirkja Church. The area around Grótta lighthouse is very poorly lit, which is just what you need for a good stargazing and northern lights viewing spot.

 

The Galaxy Tower at Northern Lights Inn 
The Galaxy Tower is a premium northern lights viewing location at the Northern Lights Inn. It’s a tower with big, glass windows all around, dedicated to northern lights viewing. Located close to the Blue Lagoon at Reykjanes Peninsula and only 20 minutes from Keflavík International Airport. 

 

Hotel Frost and Fire in Hveragerði
Another countryside hotel is Hotel Frost and Fire. Hveragerði is a town about 40 minutes driving from Reykjavík. Their dining area, Restaurant Varmá, is completely made of glass. 

 

Buubble
Sleep under a sky of stars in a comfortable bed inside a heated, transparent plastic bubble. Known as the five-million-star hotel perfect for viewing northern lights. 

 

There are also options to join a Northern Lights Tour with experts who know when and where to go to catch the Aurora Borealis.


Jökulsárlón 

~ Diamond Beach ~

These 3 reasons were definitely what made our decision to include Iceland on our Northern Hemisphere route from Australia (catch more on our USA-Iceland-Canada Trip soon!) The most important tip for traveling to Iceland – prepare and do your research!

In our instance we booked our trip 3 weeks before flying out and had to pull 3 countries worth of itineraries together (while still working around our daily lives and fulltime work) but I can definitely say it is doable if u decide to do a last-minute trip! One thing for sure is Iceland needs preparation and especially research on things including the season you are travelling, your route and activities if you are booking tours, which car rental is suitable and what to pack.

Floating on Glaciers at Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon 

~ Glacier Lagoon ~

An Ice Cave Tour is definitely an fascinating tour as the Ice Caves will be different every time – this is due tot he caves melting and moving (!) The one we visited apparently will be gone by mid-year in July 2019 (next 6 months).  Definitely an opportunity to see some of natures phenomenons before it disappears.

Treasure Iceland - Ice Cave Discovery

~ Ice Cave Tour ~

Glacier hiking was also some great fun by applying crampons to be able to hike the glacier mountains (depending on the tour, crampons and hiking boots are available for hire).

~ Glacier Hiking ~

Game of Thrones North of The Wall


~ What to pack for Iceland ~

Here I’ve put together a quick snap of what I packed for Iceland for January after doing as much research as I could fit in (and still representing style)

My suitcase for Iceland

Lots of Thermals!
Travelling during the peak of Winter expect it to be cold and even severe wind at times. I definitely remember layering multiple thermals and still thinking I needed another layer. Thermals are also lightweight so you can pack lots and not worry too much about baggage space, especially if you are also taking large, heavy coats. Theres lots of options for thermals including long sleeve tops, leggings and even thermal socks.

Weather-proof outerwear
Expect to get wet from the ice on a trip to Iceland! This is more so if you decide to go ahead with certain activities such as Glacier Hiking or Ice Cave Tours. Some of these tours are 3 hours or longer and if you dont want to be caught out in the cold with wet jeans, then a weather-proof jacket and even ski pants would be recommended. Try to get one that incorporates windproof as this will go along way also whilst you are outdoors. Of course my sister and I like to travel light so we opted for the multiple thermal layers and a reliable jacket which got us through pretty ok – definitely we could still feel the cold but we wanted to still travel in style!

Warm accessories including reliable gloves, beanie and scarves
One thing that gets cold easily are your fingers! You’ll definitely want a good pair of winter gloves when you’re out and about. A little trick our tour guide said was when your body is cold overall, it will prioritize and that’s why your fingers or toes will feel the cold more. He then went on to say if your toes are cold, put on a hat!

Thermal Bottle
This made all the difference during the cold and is by far the best way to warm your heart and your soul with a nice hot drink of your choice 😉 Green tea was our go-to

European electric outlet
Ensuring you have the correct power supply to recharge your phone, camera and laptop!

Sturdy Winter Boots (Snow and/or Hiking Boots)
Especially if you are choosing to participate in any of the following tours and activities such as Glacier Hiking and Ice Cave Tours.

Trying to decide whether to drive in Iceland? During my research I read how dangerous it could be especially during winter so decided to book a 4WD and had no issues. Perhaps this increased our safety of driving by ensuring we had a large heavy 4WD with all the winter tyres and insurance. The main areas I remember being hectic windy was arriving in Reykjavic and then icy roads closer towards Jökulsárlón.

Book your Car Rental with Hertz and Drive My Car and International Car Rentals with Enterprise UK


Where to stay in Iceland

Reykjavik

Booking.com

Vik

Booking.com

 

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