It’s almost five years to the day since I fell in love with Iceland. Effortlessly cool and heart-meltingly beautiful, my words and photos can’t even begin to do this unbelievable country justice.
Back in 2011, I stopped off for a couple of nights in Reykjavik on my way to New York to see a reunion gig from one of my favourite ever bands and have been eager to return ever since. Last April, it finally happened – and it didn’t disappoint.
Reykjavik is an incredible little city and I feel kinda bad that we pretty much just used it as a base and didn’t really get to spend that much time there. I guess that gives us an excuse to go back again though…
This post is my third and final blog update about Iceland (make sure you read the other two!) and is focused on sharing 7 great things you can do when you’re (based) in Reykjavik:
1. Go on the Golden Circle Tour.
If you’ve never been to Iceland before, the Golden Circle is a great introduction to the phenomenal natural beauty of this mesmerising country.
The tour visits the likes of Þingvellir national park, Gullfoss waterfall and Strokkur geyser. We were fortunate enough to find Strokkur in fine form:
You can hire a car and drive this yourself, but we opted to go on a coach tour with Gray Line, which we booked online here. Hotel pick up was prompt and the coach was comfortable, but with so many people on the tour, it wasn’t the most personal experience. We were fine with that though, we were only there for the views:
2. Have a beer.
Reykjavik has a reputation for being quite expensive and whilst it’s certainly not cheap, it’s definitely not extortionate… especially during happy hour, which seems to last from mid afternoon to early evening in most bars.
Our favourite places to get a drink were Kaldi Bar (Laugavegur 20b, Reykjavík) and Kaffibarinn (Miðborg, Reykjavík), both of which were handily placed within a stones throw of our hotel. The quality of the drinks also justified the prices – the likes of Borg Brugghus and Einstok certainly know how to brew a brilliant beer.
3. Go to the Blue Lagoon.
You’ve already read my blog post about the Blue Lagoon, yeah?! If not – click here.
4. Have a White Russian at the Lebowski Bar.
If you’re a fan of The Big Lebowski (and you really should be!) then be sure to pop into the Lebowski Bar (Laugavegur 20b, Reykjavík) for a White Russian. The Dude abides.
5. Eat some delicious food and drink some lovely cocktails.
The Whisky Sour I had in Kol (Skolavoroustigur 40, Reykjavik) and the Vanilla Pimento Rachel had in Uno (Hafnarstraeti 3, Reykjavik) were both outstanding cocktails – and the food that preceded them was ace too. There’s plenty more restaurants and bars in Reykjavik that we’d love to visit – I guess we’ll have to go back again soon!
We’d been keeping a watchful eye on the Aurora forecast and booked a Northern Lights boat trip for the night that looked most promising. Unfortunately for us, the highlight was seeing a Northern Light. A singular blast of green light shooting up across the Atlantic Ocean for a split second, which was pretty special! Sadly, that was as good as it got.
Due to the lack of aurora activity, we were offered free tickets for another night but unfortunately we already had plans. Typically, the next night was apparently absolutely breathtaking – but once again, not seeing the lights at at their best on this occasion gives us an excuse to go back again…
7. Take a ride on a snowmobile.
This experience needed a full post of its own – read it here. I’m still regretting not titling that post “Much skidoo about nothing”…
We booked our flights and hotel through Expedia UK – as always, try and be flexible with your travel dates. We saved almost £200 just by travelling a day earlier than we’d originally searched for.
Have you been to Iceland before? Be sure to comment below with your highlights!