For all the travel addicts like me, Iceland is definitely one of the places that you wish to visit as soon as possible.
I finally got the chance to visit this dreamy island last weekend and I couldn’t be happier!
But the magic comes with a price… a very expensive one.
While I was planning my trip I had browsed few blogs in search of tips, and the price factor was coming out quite often.
However,I was telling myself: “Hey!I live in London,how more expensive can that be?”
I was TOTALLY wrong.
Don’t panic though, if you plan in advance you are not going(completely) bankrupt.
Transports and organized tours are pricey and renting a car is the best solution.
If you pre-book online you can grab a decent deal but, as you will have to drive quite a lot, make sure to choose a reliable company.
As you have a car, you can choose an accommodation not necessary in the city center.
Ours was in Keflafik, which is a bit too far but it worked out to be still convenient for the Icelandic standards.
Try to find a deal with breakfast included so at least one of 3 meals is sorted. You can also grab some fruits.
A supermarket chain called Bonus can be your life(pocket)safer. You will easily recognize tourists by this yellow plastic bag with a pink pig on it 😀
We bought sandwiches, snacks and fruits to store in our car and eat throughout the two days.
Bare in mind that even fast foods cost at least double of what you usually pay.
Day 1 : Reykjavik and Blue Lagoon
Capital and largest city of Island, Reykjavik is home to just 120.000 people.
You can start your visit with the symbol of the city, the original Hallgrimskirkja church.
We found free parking just few minutes from it.
You can reach the top of the church paying a ticket which is roughly 9 Euro.
The view is just beautiful.
From the church you can visit all the cute streets leading to the harbor.
I love street art and you can spot nice murales around.
Don’t miss to visit the Harpa, the concert hall and conference center.
In the afternoon we finally headed to the Blue Lagoon, which was the place I was looking forward the most!
The lagoon is located between Reykjavik and the airport so it will be convenient for you to book it on the day of the arrival (as we did) or before departing.
It seems to be in a fairy tale, the water has a milky texture and beautiful light blue color. The temperature is about 38 degrees, but some points are hotter than others.
There is also a sauna, a steam room and a small waterfall.
You can get your free silica mask in a kiosk on the left hand site of the lagoon.
There are few info that you might want to know:
- Book as much in advance as you can: they are more chances to get a cheaper price and a better time slot.
- The standard ticket is more than enough :it includes the entrance and a free mask.You simply need to bring a towel or a robe with you. I had a microfiber one, which is easier to pack.
- Bring light snacks with you and drink plenty of water: spending too much time in the hot water can cause dehydration.
- Soak your hair with oil or conditioner before : there is free conditioner for you to use in the changing room, however my hair felt very dry for the following 2 days. I think oiling it will help more.
- Buy a water-resistant phone case: you will want to take pictures and your phone might be in great danger.
We were planning to spend just a couple of hours and we ended up staying there till they kicked us out!
Day 2: The Golden Circle
As we were short of time and still wanted to make the most of it, we opted for the road trip commonly called the Golden Circle.
The drive itself it’s a pleasure for the eyes.
The first stop is Þingvellir National Park which is roughly 1 hour drive from the capital.
It is amazing because it’s where the tectonic plates are falling apart so you basically walk between two continents!
The second stop is the Geysir Hot Spring Area. There is just one active geyser called Strokkur which “performs” every 5-10 minutes.
Just 10 minutes drive from the Geysir there is your last stop of the Golden Circle, the Gullfoss waterfalls.
My favorite part of the tour.
They brought me back memories from my Niagara Falls trip and there are not slightly less charming.
It takes almost 1 hour and half to get back to Reykjavik however I would definitely recommend the tour even if you are spending just a couple of days in Iceland like us.
It has been a spectacular weekend and I would totally go back to the magical Iceland.
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