Iceland, being a long awaited trip for both my nephew and I, we were excited to explores this island of glaciers, lava fields and hot springs.
We travelled by rental car once there and we highly recommend paying extra for the GPS system as in some areas your phone might not get a signal and you will be unable to use it for navigation.
Thank you to Europcar. https://www.europcar.is They had us ready to go in no time with some tips and a promotional Icelandic booklet with some great info.
As we were travelling during December 2021 we had limited sunlight during the day (5-6 hours approx)This caused an almost constant sunrise and sunset that had us admiring Icelands beautiful landscapes.
TIP Roundabouts are very normal in Iceland. We encountered over 50! So practice at home before you go.
If not going the rental car way here is a great link for adventure tours in Iceland.
As check in at the hotel wasn’t until 4 pm we set out for adventure in our rental car. First we stopped at Blaskogabyggo to see the Gullfoss falls (Golden Falls translated) and a few gorgeous landscapes along the way.
We continued onto the Haukadalur Geothermal Field. With the biting cold wind we patiently waited and witnessed a Geyser in action.
Geysir, Southern Icleand
A quick warm trip into the souvenir shop and off we continued on our adventure to checking into the 201 Hotel in Kópavogur, Iceland. https://201hotel.is
TIP: We chose hotels that included a continental breakfast to save on expenses. Hit the local grocery store for cheap snacks and bottled water. We even visited a Costco for the $3 hot dog and pop deal… and yes, even a Canadian Costco membership is accepted in Iceland.
After some inexpensive pepperoni pizza (Less than $25 Canadian for a Medium) and a great 12 hour nap we were ready to start our next day of adventures.
Our next stop was the Kerid Crater at Grimsness. There’s a great walk way all around so you can get a great view from any angle.
In need of some down time after more driving we finished off our day at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Warm water surrounds you as you float around. Face masks are available as well as refreshments at the swim up bar. Inside there are fresh, dry towels available. For an extra cost you may purchase the use of a housecoat and slippers that you can hang outside.
Next day , after a wonderful ham and cheese croissant breakfast we ventured off into the city of Reykyavik for a day of souvenir shopping, tours and great food. So of course before light we found a great free parking spot for the day. On foot we came across a free walking tour of the city. Funded by donations only and approximately 1.5 to 2 hours long.
From the oldest building to the tallest tree we walked and listened to our friendly tour guide, Martin. We viewed famous buildings and statues, learned about Icelandic history and got tips on what to see and where to shop and dine in the city.
The last stop was the Phallological museum. In its new location, we notice that now you can also grab a bite to eat while there. Many specimens in jars from animals to yes, even a donated human penis is available for viewing. https://phallus.is/en/
We finshed our night at a recommended restaurant and feasted on delicious Icelandic fish. The meal was as delicious as it looks.
TIP Lunch can run you anywhere from $10 to $20 (Canadian) per person. Dinner – anywhere from $25 to $70 per person. Local stores like BONUS (the logo is a little pink pig), are great for snacks and affordable lunch items.
The second last day we started our drive north to Snaefellsjokull once again were surrounded by breathtaking beauty and finally to our delight wild life.
Last stop. Kirkjufell Mountain seen in Game of Thrones and the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.
We arrived at our last hotel Langaholt and were so happy with everything. Beautiful rooms, gorgeous view, restaurant on site and very peaceful (no televisions in the rooms). Once we made our dinner and breakfast reservations we settled in our room admiring the view from our private patio hoping to view the northern lights on our final night.
Waking up at 1:30 am and finally seeing the northern lights was the icing on the cake. No picture to prove it as it was faint. We stood there and took it in for almost half an hour until it faded.
NOTE: another reason to go back to Iceland. Get pictures of stronger norther lights.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures of our long awaited trip to Iceland. We highly recommend you visit. Everyone in super friendly and almost all speak excellent English and a few European languages. You will feel right at home as we did. It was difficult to leave such a beautiful country.
I will leave you with an uplifting adorable Icelandic song.