At the very tail end of our Around the World Trip, my husband and I took a four-day stopover in Iceland. If you haven’t heard, Icelandic Air makes a nice stopover where you can spend extra days in Iceland at no extra charge for your flights. They basically treat it as a layover rather than a new flight. We decided to spend four nights in Iceland and fill up the days to make the most of it.
(By the way… our Around the World Trip was 8 months ago! I’m terrible at getting these finished. Soon, I promise!)
Iceland is very expensive. If you choose to go, be prepared to spent money of hotels, rental cars, excursions and meals. Since we were going to do excursions every day, we opted for a car and driver from the airport rather than a rental car. It also made it easy since our flight landed at 2 AM. There are not many hotels in Iceland and if you do, you will end up spending even more. I highly recommend a guesthouse – you can find many options on TripAdvisor. We stayed at Our House Guesthouse (which are currently rated as the #3 place to stay in Iceland on TripAdvisor) and had a marvelous time. They’ve just switched to having an up charge for breakfast, which they didn’t have when we booked the room, so we ended up getting breakfast for free. Breakfast consisted of cheese and meat, fruit, croissants and milk/juice/coffee. Very simple, but I highly recommend it unless you want to go spend just as much (or more) buying your own breakfast from the grocery store!
We slept in our first day in Iceland and had a mid-day pick up to go to the Blue Lagoon. I figured that it was a “must see” place, and a perfect way to spend our first day here, since we’d be so tired from the flight and the rest of the trip. The blue lagoon is pretty cool, but expensive. I wouldn’t recommend spending extra on massage or other add-ons.. just pay for entrance into the lagoon and enjoy water and steam. Also, be sure to explore the walking path outside the entrance to the Blue Lagoon (that part is free).We were both bundled up and fairly cold still as we wandered around. It’s hard to pack for both 100+ temperatures and 30-40 degree temperatures in one trip and still fit it into a single suitcase per person! We probably could have had an extra layer of clothes to make our excursions a bit more comfortable.Isn’t the water so cool looking?It’s just so blue!Every once in awhile, we also found these small flowers. It’s amazing that they’re growing through the rocky patch and in the cold temperatures!In all, the Blue Lagoon was worth it for us so we could have a nice break before starting the real excursions the next day. There are other lagoons around Iceland that are free, but we didn’t get to check any of them out.
After the Blue Lagoon, we came back to Reykjavik and went to Kol Restaurant. We enjoyed a 5-course meal and mocktails, which ended up being well over $100 USD. As I mentioned earlier… Iceland is expensive. Another meal we had a few days later was $75 for just entrees. Anyways, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Kol Restaurant.I can’t remember what all the dishes were (I need to learn to take pictures of the menu as well as the food!) I believe this is white asparagus:Some kind of raw fish:An entree fish dish:An entree meat dish:
This was the end of our first day in Iceland. In the next post, I’ll talk about day #2 – the Golden Circle Tour and Le Bistro Restaurant.