Iceland

I finally got the chance to visit Iceland this past June. It's been at the top of my list of travel destinations for a couple of years now. I've always been drawn to Iceland's unique landscape and wanted to see its mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls for myself.  The pictures I took will never do it justice. I traveled with  2 friends which helped make things a little more affordable. We did ALOT of hiking. By the end of the trip my 7 year old snow boots literally fell apart.

We flew WOW Airlines from BWI Airport, and our tickets were around $270 round trip!!! If you're looking to go to Iceland, the summer time is definitely the most affordable time to go. Our flight was about 6 hours long.

Before we get into what I did let's talk about WHAT TO WEAR:

Temperatures were in the 40-50s (F) range during our entire trip. Most of the days were overcast, so that's also a factor to consider.  I wore a thermal shirt and leggings under my sweaters and pants. I topped that off with a Columbia Interchange jacket that came with 2 layers. ( Got it on sale for about $89, down from $170). I wore the same pair of waterproof snow pants everyday. Definitely invest in waterproof pants as you'll be hiking outdoors near a lot of waterfalls, so you'll want to wear pants that dry off quickly. You can easily find a pair on Amazon or at any sporting goods store like Dick's, REI, Academy, etc.  Because I wasn't trying to break the bank buying items I'd only wear once, I brought a pair of old snow boots (you'll see them later) for hiking. My friends invested in hiking boots which I'd recommend if you don't have a durable pair of shoes (not sneakers) that you can hike in. 

I can only speak on traveling in June when I say that you don't need to bring a HUGE winter coat. You should get away with layering thermals and sweaters (thick, nice quality sweaters pls. Leave your Forever21 crop sweater at the crib), and a warm waterproof jacket. You'll see more of what we wore in the photos.

Ok enough of that. Here's what we did over our 6 day 5 night trip.

 

Day 1- Blue Lagoon & The Fishing Company

We flew into Keflavik Airport around 11 a.m. and picked up our rental car.  We decided to rent a car because we planned to visit a lot of sites outside of Reykjavik where we booked our Airbnb and wanted to visit the sites at our own convenience. You don't have to rent a car if you book your tours through a company that provides transportation from the city, but we figured this was the best option for us.  Once we picked up our car  we stopped by  Bonus grocery store to pick up groceries and snacks for the week. Food in Iceland is notoriously expensive (budget around $15/per meal minimum). There are a million Bonus grocery stores in Iceland, and the food is reasonably priced and definitely cheaper than eating out for every meal. We only ate 1-2 meals out daily. We ate PB&J/ ham & cheese sandwiches during our hikes or in the car for lunch on most days. 

After Bonus, we checked into our Airbnb and went to the Blue Lagoon , a huge geothermal spa and one of Iceland's most popular attractions. We got the basic "comfort package"  (because #poor)  which came with access to the Blue Lagoon, towels, a silica mud mask, and one free drink. Bring a waterproof phone case for pics in the pool (they also sell them there).

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The Blue Lagoon    

The Blue Lagoon

 

After Blue Lagoon we ate at a restaurant called the Fishing Company in downtown Rekjavik.

HONG KONG  SOY-   sous-vide SALTED COD with SESAME sauce, filtered buttermilk & turnip spaghetti, radish & WASABI salad with a bowl of potatoes & pinot grigio on the side

HONG KONG  SOY- sous-vide SALTED COD with SESAME sauce, filtered buttermilk & turnip spaghetti, radish & WASABI salad with a bowl of potatoes & pinot grigio on the side

Day 2-Golden Circle

On day two we drove the Golden Cricle route which consists of a number of sights in southern Iceland. It's about a 5 hr drive round trip from Reykjavik. 

 

Thingvellir National Park

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Gulfoss Waterfall and Strokkur Geysir

Kerid Crater

( Fun Fact: We visited Iceland in the summer when there were 24 hours of sunlight. This photo was taken at midnight)

Day 3-Seljalandsfoss, Gljufabrui waterfall, Skogafoss, Reynisfjara (Black Sand) Beach, glagier lagoon, diamon beach 

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Skogafoss Waterfall

Day 4- Skaftafel National Park

On day 4 we booked a glacier hike at Skaftafel National park where a number of movie and TV scenes have been filmed including the White Walkers scenes on Game of Thrones. (Note: the grey is volcanic ash)

Day 5- Exploring Downtown reykjavik

Overall this was such a fun trip! The people were super nice (they all spoke English!) and the nightlife was great. I fell in love with Icelandic style on this trip. 

Iceland is a travel destination for all types of people. Even if you've never hiked this would be an amazing place to start. Be sure to put your phone down every now and then and take in the natural sights whenever you can. Odds are, you won't see anything like it again!

Judy Oranika