The Land of Ice

Iceland is my new favorite country. And not just because I spent an incredible week there with the love of my life. It’s beautiful, unique, diverse, and is filled with adventure. I already need to go back! Although it’s ridiculously expensive, I would HIGHLY recommend adventuring over there because there are endless amounts to explore and it’s so worth it. Also this post is long, so beware!

Iceland 2017 (632)

This was mine and Campbell’s third big trip together, second being international, so it was so exciting being able to travel together again. We were giddy the whole time traveling and even though we got to our first air bnb in Reykjavik at 2:30am, we couldn’t help but be amazed at how light it was outside and go on our balcony. The midnight sun is real during the summer in Iceland! We stayed in the city in this adorable studio apartment perfectly located for the first few days. Our first day there we mostly just explored and walked around the whole city, going to all the landmarks. We drove to a nearby beach and geothermal pool and to the botanical gardens. We really wanted to get a feel for the city, and it’s such a cute, lovely city right on the water. The second day, we did the famous Golden Circle day trip which BLEW OUR MINDS. You see so many incredible things on this day trip from gorgeous national parks to waterfalls. The first stop was Thingvellir National Park, which we walked all around and soaked in the nature. It was gorgeous. Then we went to the famous Geysirs which were SO COOL. Following, we stopped at Gullfoss, a HUGE waterfall and we saw a rainbow over it which made it that much more beautiful. After our Gullfoss stop, we ate at a famous tomato farm where you eat in their greenhouse where they grow the tomatoes. It was outstanding food, but I ate so much tomato soup and bread that I couldn’t move. Our last stop after lunch was the Kerid Crater Lake, which was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve seen in my life. It was incredible. So many mind blowing stops! If you go to Iceland, you can’t not do this day trip. In total, it was about 3-4 hours of driving and ended up taking us around 8 hours with all the stops because we were slow and wanted to take our time.

The next day, we did the Blue Lagoon! I was slightly nervous because I heard from various blogs and posts that there are many other lagoons that are cheaper, and the Blue Lagoon isn’t worth the price. But I was pleasantly surprised and happy I felt what I read was wrong! The Blue Lagoon was so relaxing and unlike anywhere I’ve ever been, and I felt like it was very worth the money. It’s about 45 minutes outside the city, so it wasn’t a bad trip to make either. We were there for about four hours just going in and out of the lagoon and they have a bar in the water where we got yummy prosecco. I would highly recommend if you go, go in the morning and then take your time and spend half your day there. It got busier when we were leaving around 1:30pm, so I’m glad we went early. Following, we went to the Bridge Between Continents which was also really cool! It felt like another planet over there. I kept on making jokes we were on Mars. Iceland was so diverse because one second, you’re driving by kilometers of volcanic rock and soon, you’re passing by farms, greenery, and waterfalls.

Iceland 2017 (280)

The next day we checked out of our air bnb in the city and headed south for more of a nature adventure! We stopped at a waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, which was probably one of my favorite stops the whole trip. You could walk around the waterfall and go behind it which was super cool and it was just gorgeous. It rained the whole two hour drive there and then right when we arrived, the sun came out. We got lucky with weather! There was another waterfall there, Gljúfrabúi, which was in this cave you could walk into which was additionally super cool. The waterfalls were just breathtaking. After, we did a short hike in this valley called Seljavallalaug Zwembad. You end up at this geothermal swimming pool in the middle of this gorgeous valley. It was beautiful, but we chickened out and didn’t go in the water since we didn’t have towels. If you do this, bring a towel! We then checked in to our next accommodation, a quaint guesthouse on a farm run by a little old woman. It was actually rather lovely, although different! It was nice because she made everyone breakfast the next morning so we finally ate eggs and all the yummy stuff that I missed. It was also right next to Skogafoss, another huge, breathtaking waterfall which we gazed at and walked up the million stairs to get a view from above. And there were SO many lambs everywhere. Well, they were everywhere in the south, but staying on a farm surrounding by them was so cute my heart could barely take it. We also walked ages to an abandoned crashed airplane!

The following day we checked out early and then drove another two hours to Skaftafell National Park where we did a half day glacier hike. It was SO cool (okay honestly, everything was SO cool and beautiful which is why everyone needs to go to Iceland) and I was in awe the whole hike. We did it through Glacier Guides, which was a great company. You met them at their check in at the national park and they were very informative and professional, yet fun to be with for half a day! We then stayed at a fancier hotel this night, the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon, which was a gorgeous hotel and it had a sauna, but it was TOO expensive. Dinner here was about $60 an entree and $30 an appetizer! We split one of each, but I was still hungry after and ate cereal. Food was delicious though!

Our second to last day! We checked out of the hotel after enjoying a complimentary breakfast buffet that also allowed us to make sandwiches for lunch (made up for dinner) and drove to the Jökulsárlón Lagoon and Fjallsárlón Lagoon. It was a lovely sunny day and both lagoons were stunning! I would highly recommend checking these out. The ice floating with the glaciers in the background is beautiful. Then we started the drive back  to Reykjavik! We stopped halfway at the famous black sand beach, Reynisfjara, which had really cool beach caves. We just walked up and down the beach as a stop halfway, which was nice to stretch our legs. Then we drove to our last accommodation, an elegant cabin in the woods right outside the city. It was such a stunning cabin! It was surrounded by horses and nature, and we just relaxed and made dinner.

Our last day was a perfect Iceland day to wrap up a wonderful week. We hiked to the • Reykjadular Hot Springs, which are a few kilometers up this mountain. It rained the entire way up and we couldn’t see anything, but we kept on going and trying not to slip. When we got up, the sun came out and we could see these gorgeous mountains with waterfalls; it was a beautiful view! We changed into our swimsuits and got into this natural hot spring river and just relaxed. I already miss Iceland.

Also, how lucky am I to have the best adventure partner!? Campbell was the best driver the whole time. Patient with me when I got cranky during early mornings. Cooked every meal. Always carried my suitcase pretty much. I am so in love with him and I am so lucky to be loved so well by him. Like I’ve said before, there’s nothing like traveling and exploring with your love by your side.

Iceland 2017 (464)

Advice for those thinking of traveling to Iceland – pack food! We packed snacks and breakfast food mostly, and it did us wonders to save money. Also, grocery shop. We did two small grocery shop hauls there and cooked mostly, which also saved us a lot of money. Eating out is pricey! Seafood there is amazing though, so I would splurge for a few meals out. We ate out about three times, and on average it was around $50 for the two of us, but the more expensive was around $100. So think and plan in advance!

But overall, GO TO ICELAND!

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