I can’t believe I am sitting down to write my first EVER travel blog. When we went to California back in September/October 2018 I was very close to writing up blog posts about every place we visited, but (and I am being honest here) I couldn’t put into words the experience, and preferred to show that travel series in vlogs instead (click for the entire four part series of this over on my YouTube channel!)
It was different with Iceland, and I am going to explain why.
The place, for one, was absolutely beautiful and if you’re reading this now I am simply going to say that if you haven’t yet been you need to be reading this whilst booking a trip now. Initially myself and Ash booked this as a little getaway for our 6 year anniversary at the end of January but it became so much more than that. It was a place that we ticked off our bucket lists, it was a place we’ve now added to the list of places we’ve traveled too and more importantly it’s a place where we’ve now left a part of our hearts.
That may sound incredibly corny but who doesn’t love a bit of corny in there lives? I’m looking for corny in my life (que quote from The Holiday – best film evarrr).
We were extremely lucky enough to find cheap flights & cheap accommodation and if you are thinking of going (seriously, have you booked it yet?) Then I highly suggest you choose Air BnB. We stayed in a gorgeous place in the centre of Reykjavik right by the harbour. We were within walking distance of everything and we think staying in an Air BnB made the experience feel even cosier. I personally am a sucker for Air BnB since travelling California as I think it’s a lot easier, a lot cheaper and you find yourself hustling in with the local community rather than staying with a bunch of tourists in a blocked hotel…but each to their own!
If you are also reading this and thinking this sounds like the perfect mini-break then let me tell you more.
Booking tours is also the best thing to do if you want to see more to Iceland than the capital. We booked two tours, The Northern Lights which proved to be extremely successful and The Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour. Both tours were extremely well operated and took us around some of the most famous sights in Southern Iceland. Not only this but we purposefully avoided the Blue Lagoon. In recent years this has become seriously overcrowded and touristy, and that’s fine if that’s what you like, but for myself and Ash we wanted to see a real geothermal pool powered solely by the earth. Unfortunately the blue lagoon is not (it’s powered by a geothermal power station) so don’t be fooled and choose the right one!
I should also say here as a warning that you will be expected to shower naked and I would also abide by this rule, it’s actually rude not too thoroughly wash before entering these pools!
The only thing I will be honest on (yes I bet you saw this coming) is the price of everything. Iceland isn’t cheap, I think if you do your research you will know that already. Unfortunately for the people that do live on Iceland they also feel the sting, as it costs them a lot to still have ISK (Icelandic Krona) as their currency. Aside from this though, I can assure you they get by and get paid a good salary every month to compensate for this. Furthermore they are extremely proud of their country and what it stands for.
Which leads me to another thing, Icelandic people are extremely friendly and helpful and that’s shown through their extremely low crime rates and ability to knock on the presidents door whenever they feel like it…and yes I am being 100% serious!
Iceland is also extremely well covered by both 4G and wifi everywhere you go. I didn’t come across one area where I didn’t find signal or internet which is extremely helpful when travelling around.
We also found that both google maps and Lonely Planet’s Guide to Iceland were extremely helpful in helping us navigate our way about.
Not only this but if you do plan on seeing the northern lights, I highly recommend the Aurora app as it tells you exactly what your chances are of seeing the northern lights. To help: we went out on a 5 rating and got the most perfect sighting but we know of people that went out on a 2 and also got a good sighting. The northern lights are a ‘try your luck’ situation and it can never be guaranteed anywhere!
Overall, I think we’ve gathered from this blog that Iceland is a place worth visiting and fast. It’s gorgeous landscapes and beautiful scenery take pride on this earth and it’s a place I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
“If you want to fall in love with the world, visit Iceland”