(Closed) has anyone been to Iceland?

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@finnaroo:  YES, it was awesome!  I even tried to convince Fiance to honeymoon there, but we decided to go somewhere neither of us had been instead.

 

I think how much time you need depends on what you want to accompish.  My sister and I stayed mostly around Reykjavik because we only had 4 or 5 days, and that worked out well for us. Plus we went in March, so it was still too cold to get into the interior. In summer though, so many options… one thing I wish we had been able to do was drive the Ring Road.

 

We booked one of the Iceland Air packages, so hotel was taken care of. We stayed about a mile from downtown, but we don’t mind walking. I think the Hilton is a little more central, but if we went again I would look for something local like a B&B.

 

We spent one day in Reykjavik and then did day excursions the rest of the time. One day we did a glacier and volcano trip and visited a thermal energy plant and some waterfalls, another night we did northern lights, and we also did the “Golden Circle” which visits some geysers, a national park, and where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.  Blue Lagoon is something a lot of people do, you can stop on your way to/from the airport, but we didn’t manage to fit it in. I think we used Reykjavik Excursions if I remember right, they do lots of different trips like visting puffins or whale watching, hiking – some are one day and others are multi-day. Normally we’re more of the backpacker type, but this worked out well because we did not have to rent a car and we got to see a lot in a short period. The groups we were in were smaller too, so that was a bonus.

 

For Reyjkavik –

 

Visit Kirsuberjatréð (Vesturgata 4), it is a womens art collective that is great for gifts or souvenirs. My sister and I both bought radish bowls, I intended to give it to Future Mother-In-Law but ended up keeping it!

 

Hotdogs are a big deal  – I was not impressed, but if you want the experience there is a place near the Reykjavik Excursions office (Bæjarins Beztu) downtown.

 

For our splurge dinner, we went to 3 Frakkar. They serve traditional Icleandic food like fermented shark and puffin.

 

National Museum of Iceland is great for some history and for a not great weather day.

 

There is a ceramics studio at the top of the hill near the church in the city center. It is run by a couple, and belonged to his father before they took over. Lots of cool stuff here including some neat Scandinavain folklore pieces. I will try to remember the name…

 

You should check to see if there are any music festivals while you are there too, I know they have some really great ones.

 

 

 

Post # 5
Member
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I have traveled through most of western europe and throughout the united states, and iceland is my absolute favorite place.  Its beautiful and clean, and the geography is unlike any other place.  Just go.

 

Keep in mind, though, that it is COLD even in the summer time. We went in August and shifted from 45-65 pretty rapidly throughout the day (even with the midnight sun)

 

Post # 6
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@finnaroo:  The ceramics shop is called Listvinahúsið.  We also got bottles of Brennivin and vodka to take home, but waited until duty free at the airport. It’s still expensive, but way cheaper than in town. I got a cute little bottle with narwhals on it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m more of a wine person, but the boys tell me the vodka was very good. They said they enjoyed the Brennivin too (but they made some pretty awful faces).

While I was looking for the spelling of Brennivin, I found this brewery tour.  I don’t know how we missed this.

Post # 7
Member
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

YES!! I used to live in Iceland! It’s my absolute favorite place in the whole world and you should take as much time as you can get off, because there are TONS of things to do in the summer. I’ll make you a list of things I loved to do when I lived there, and also things my family enjoyed when they visited.

 

 

Blue Lagoon-about 15 minutes from the airport on your way into Reykjavik. This was my parents and siblings favorite part of the entire trip and it’s a MUST. You’ll want to block off the better part of the day for it, because you’ll never want to leave. Make sure you use the silica mud-your skin will thank you for it. 

 

 

In Reykjavik, there are a bunch of great shops and bars on Laugavegur. A place called “The Deli” has the best pizza in town, Bæjarins Beztu is this tiny little hot dog shop that Icelanders are very proud of since Bill Clinton ate there, a bar called Hresso has a wonderful fish soup (definitely try the fish and lamb in Iceland if you can, it’s the best!), kjottsupa is lamb soup and my family had it about 10 times while they visited. Cafe Rot has great coffee and is a fun hangout, also, Vegamot and Argentina are really wonderful restaurants if you want a recommendation on that. 

 

 

Two streets off Laugavegur is the harbor, and you can find whale watching tours and they’ll take you to puffin island-I loved both of these.

 

 

The Viking Museum is very good, lots of old artifacts and you get a good sense of the history.

 

The Golden Circle Tour is the most popular as PP said, and it’ll take you to the major sites, Geysir, Gullfoss, Thingvellir (the national park) all these are great ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

If you like waterfalls, I’d check out Seljalandsfoss which is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland (stunning!)-you can walk behind it and climb to the top.

 

 

Husafell is a town about an hour and a half outside of Reykjavik, you can see Barnafoss and Hraunfossar (waterfalls) and also it’s really close to Langjokull Glacier, which you can take a tour on or just go see and explore yourselves. There are also some underground caves in the area Víðgelmir and Surtshellir. 

 

 

Hekla the volcano is still erupting I believe, and they do do tours and take you see them, so that could be a once in a lifetime opportunity if you can get up the courage!

 

 

Esjan is the mountain in Reykjavik, and you can climb it and put your name in the book at the top, I know a lot of tourists that do this. 

 

 

Krysuvik is a good tourist spot as well, it’s the the geothermal fields and hot springs. Hot springs are a big part of the energy system in Iceland, so it’s worth a look I think.

 

 

There are horseback riding tours that will take you along the mountains and countryside if you like that sort of thing.

 

 

Hopefully this will get you started ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 

Post # 9
Member
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Iceland is on my top 5 travel list – I dream of going there! You’ll have a wonderful time!

Post # 10
Member
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I am subtlely indulging my husband’s REI habits in order to get him to take me on the Laugavegur trek. Google it…it’s like nothing else I’ve seen. Screw New Zealand, they could have filmed the whole Lord of the Rings on the Laugavegur Trek. 

Post # 12
Member
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@finnaroo:  I recommend this blog (link below) I found about hiking it-the photographs are amazeballs. Takes about 4 to 5 days…if we go, I’m pretty sure the trek will take up most of our time. 

Hiking Laugavegur

My husband is an avid hiker and has been bugging me to do Peru for a while now but his eyes bugged out when he saw the pictures of Laugavegur. I’ve seen it in the top 5 on a bunch of lists of top hikes in the world. 

 

Post # 13
Member
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would love to go!!!!

Post # 14
Member
1339 posts
Bumble bee

Blue Lagoon, Icelandic horseback riding. Stayed at the Borg Hotel. Very chic. It’s very expensive to shop and drink there so save your pennies!

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