Last week I fell in love with Iceland. This was a country that had been on my travel bucket list for a while, and it more than lived up to expectations. Me and my friend Cindy spent just over 3 days exploring this beautiful place and I was genuinely gutted when it was time to fly home.
We managed to fit a lot into those few short days including;
- Exploring Reykjavik
- The Blue Lagoon
- Game of Thrones Tour
- The Northern Lights
- The Golden Circle
If you’re thinking about a trip to Iceland, here’s a quick overview of where we stayed and what we got up to…
Where we stayed
We stayed at the SummerDay Guesthouse in Reykjavik, which is around a 20-30 minute walk from the city centre. It turned out we were the only people booked to stay there for the whole of our trip, so it was basically like having a giant apartment to ourselves!
Considering we paid less than £200 each for 4 nights it was a proper bargain. Plus our flights from Gatwick were only £88 per person through WOW Air (no I hadn’t heard of them either haha).
It’s a good job our accommodation and flights were so cheap, because we soon found out everything else in Iceland is very expensive. On the one tour I paid the equivalent of £1.50 to go to the loo!
Certain bars and restaurants have Happy Hours in the early evening, but otherwise you’re looking at £7+ for a glass of wine or pint of beer. Taxis were also pretty pricey, so we tried to walk everywhere as much as possible.
One thing you must do in Reykjavik is visit Hallgrímskirkja Church. It’s around 900kr (just over £6) to take the lift to the top, but the stunning 360° views of the city below are definitely worth it. The harbour area is also lovely to walk around if it’s not too chilly.
The Blue Lagoon
We went to The Blue Lagoon on our second evening and it was a perfect way to relax after a busy day of exploring. We booked a tour with transport as it’s around a 45 minute drive from Reykjavik. If you’ve got your heart set on visiting The Blue Lagoon it’s really important to book your tickets in advance, as they have limited time slots available which sell out quite quickly (even in winter!)
The outside air was bitterly cold, but the water is naturally heated to around 40°C. It basically felt like we were in a giant bath under the stars! You can help yourself to free silica mud face masks, and there’s also a steam room and sauna which are included with standard admission.
The Game of Thrones Tour
Me and Cindy are huge Game of Thrones fans, so it’s no surprise this was top of our to-do list! We set off into the snowy wilderness to explore some of the real filming locations from the TV series. The spots we visited included The Bloody Gate (aka the entrance to the Eyrie), one of the Wildling Camps (where you first meet The Thenns) and Olly’s Village, which was attacked by the Wildings in season 4.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side that day. It was FREEZING and it snowed pretty much all morning, so it was hard for us to take any pictures without risking losing a finger to frostbite. We were also unable to visit one of the locations as the road to get there was completely blocked by snow. Bit disappointing, but you can’t help the weather!
The Northern Lights
We booked a Northern Lights tour for our first night in Iceland but unfortunately it was cancelled due to poor weather. The sky has to be reasonably clear for a chance to see them, so most tour operators will decide on the day whether to go ahead, otherwise they’ll let you book onto another night for free.
We were actually lucky enough to see the Lights twice during our trip – the first time at The Blue Lagoon and the second on the organised tour. I didn’t manage to get any good photos as I had the wrong type of camera lens with me, but in the end I didn’t care. All I could think was this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll never forget.
The Golden Circle
If you’re visiting Iceland for a short time and only have time to do one tour, I would 100% recommend The Golden Circle. It was the best thing we did all holiday! We watched the sunrise over Þingvellir National Park, visited the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall and saw the famous Strokkur Geyser shooting fountains of water up in the air. Words cannot express how magical it was.
I’m planning a few more blog posts about what we got up to, so let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see!
Have you ever visited Iceland?