Why Iceland

  • Epic Landscape!
  • Waterfalls, Waterfalls, Waterfalls <3
  • Winter Wonderland :)
  • Northern Lights
  • Horse Riding :)
Iceland has always been an absolute dream of mine! Of course, Iceland immediately makes you think of the dancing green northern lights. And so it was for me too. But after a short time, I did not think about the northern lights anymore, because this country has so much to offer! Who travels to Iceland, really dives into another world. So if you are thinking of traveling to Iceland, or maybe you already booked it - that was a very, very good decision! :)
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First impressions

After landing in Iceland we immediately looked for the Duty-Free Shop 😀 And there is a reason for that:

Iceland – Tip 1: Alcohol on Iceland is extremely expensive! So really buy as much as you can in the duty-free shop. For a real road trip (and Iceland is an excellent place for road trips!) you need a few beers 😉

In order to stow the newly acquired additional baggage as quickly and easily as possible:

Iceland – Tip 2: Be sure to book a rental car with pick-up and drop-off at the airport! This way you can start your Iceland adventure right after your arrival.

The only thing to say about the rental car itself is that you should adapt it to your route and travel time. We have been there in winter, so 4WD and a very good insurance coverage is recommended. The rental car was a very big cost factor for us.  In retrospect, one or the other insurance might not have been necessary. Nevertheless, we could travel very carefree and did not regret it afterwards. 4WD was especially important and was also used! 😀 With the rental car we went to Reykjavik where we booked the first night. On the way you can already find supermarkets where the basic supply can be secured. 😉

Iceland – Tip 3: We mostly took care of ourselves and only went out to eat from time to time. So you can reduce your travel budget a bit. 😊

I have to admit that I’ve had some thoughts about parking in Reykjavik. The cars are a bit bigger according to the requirements and other capital cities are well known for fuller streets and limited parking. We asked our host in advance and got a good hint for a public parking place nearby. But in total, the parking situation in Reykjavik is much better than expected. Having arrived at our first accommodation we could hardly wait to explore the city! Our first words were: “Oh that’s great here, too bad that we are only here for one night! 😢” Nevertheless in retrospect it was no mistake… Because we really had this feeling at every stop on our route 😀

Small spoiler – Iceland really took our hearts by storm and we will come back 100%!

Reykjavik

For me, the most northern capital of the world is also one of the most beautiful capitals in the world 😊. The colourful houses with their idyllic appearance are a perfect match for Iceland! The city is relatively small and manageable, yet has a lot to offer – especially culinary! My absolute highlight was the incredibly delicious soup at Icelandic Street Food! Here you can even get free refill! And in winter such a warm soup tastes twice as good 😛

Iceland – Tip 4: Be sure to go to Icelandic Street Food! 😀

But also baked goods are a speciality in Iceland! Cinnamon rolls in particular should be tried at least once.

Iceland – Tip 5: Be sure to try the local dishes! 😊 Cinnamon rolls and lamb were my favorites. But of course, you should not miss the national fast food dish – hot dog! 😀

There is also a worldwide known small inconspicuous stand in Reykjavik who is selling the mentioned hot dogs. Among others Bill Clinton and Kim Kardashian (very strange to write these two names in one sentence :D) ate here. If you don’t want to rent a car and plan a longer stay in Reykjavik, there are many tours starting from here. Nevertheless, my explicit recommendation is to explore Iceland on your own. 😊

Iceland – Tip 6: A rental car is mandatory here! Iceland is made for a road trip!

In Reykjavik itself there is of course the Hallgrim church and a lot of interesting street art. Otherwise we walked around a little bit and then slowly towards our accommodation to get up early the next day and arrive at our destinations before the tourist buses. 😛

Snorkeling between 2 continents and Kerid Crater

Already on the second day we are literally diving in a new adventure 😊 The water is incredibly clear and you have a breathtaking view! You need to make this experience when you are in Iceland. The drysuits which are provided there even allow you to wear your normal clothes underneath. Only part of your face and hands will get wet and a little bit colder. But for us it never felt uncomfortable at any time 😊 This trip is also perfect for a day with bad weather 😉

 

Iceland – Tip 7: Thermal underwear + comfortable pants and jacket are recommended throughout the trip! 😊 For example, I walked around everywhere with my jogging pants 😀 You should also have good hiking boots with you!

Iceland – Tip 8: We bought microfibre towels beforehand, which dry super fast ( a great advantage in the cold 😀) and take only little space in your luggage 😊 We have used them on many other trips afterwards too!

Afterwards we walked around a little bit in the area and headed towards the Kerid Crater. During these two stops we already got to know a huge advantage of Iceland – there are only a few tourists around! We could (also because of the flexibility of the rental car) really enjoy the landscape and nature!

Iceland – Tip 9: Be prepared at all times to adapt your route and to avoid some places (especially in winter). This happened to us 2 times during the whole stay. But don’t let this spoil your mood 😊 there are more than enough unique alternatives on Iceland!

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The Kerid Crater will probably always be accessible, as it is close to the main road 😊. And you should also visit this place! A great view! The next 2 nights we spent in Selfoss, because there are many great destinations nearby – the so called Golden Circle Tour 😉

Waterfalls, Waterfalls, Waterfalls 💗

Our first waterfall should also become my absolute favourite! It is a little bit hidden in the interior of the country and you have to plan about 1-2 hours to get there and the way back. The hike to get there was already incredibly beautiful! Winter Wonderland!

And then we arrived at the most beautiful place in Iceland 😊 The Bruarfoss 😍 We were completely alone there and enjoyed the nature! I deliberately do not make an Iceland tip from this place, so that it may remain a little insider tip a little longer 😊

The other waterfalls are of course also very impressive and each one is definitely worth a visit! Unfortunately, Iceland has ruined me for all the waterfalls in other countries 😀 No other country could stand a comparison until today 😉 Even during our lunch break we had a phenomenal view! Gullfoss reminded me a bit of the Niagara Falls 😳

 

The Great Geysir – a wet place 😀

Wet contest – day! 😉 . Something very stupid happened to me here 😀 I were standing very curious in front of the geyser ( with many other people! – just want to make sure you know, that I am not the only Idiot 😀 ) and waited for the eruption….and when it finally happened, I had to realize that the wind was a bit unfavorable for my location 😀 Shortly after the eruption all the sulfur water landed on me 😀 But hey, I was not alone and so I met new people in a relaxed atmosphere 😀

Iceland – Tip 10: Watch out for the wind at the geysir and don’t take any equipment that is not water-proof 😀

In any case this is also a unique place 😊

Relaxation in the evening – the Secret Lagoon 🤐

After a day of hiking, you can do yourself and your feet some good in the evening and relax in the Secret Lagoon 😊 But this Lagoon is not that secret 😀 Nevertheless, it has been a great ending for that day 😊

Iceland – Tip 11: I am not 100% sure if it is allowed 😀 But we (and many others 😛) took a can of beer into the water and enjoyed the sunset 😊

Waterfall action part 2!💥

Of course, these are not all the waterfalls that can be found on Iceland 😉 Today we started towards Skaftafell and Jökulsarlon glacier. On the way there you will pass many great waterfalls again! Glijufrabui – An amazing waterfall inside a little cave!

Have you ever walked behind a waterfall? No? I did! 😀 And it was awesome! But:

Iceland – Tip 12: Get yourself some small spikes for your hiking boots. The stones there are really very slippery! Vanessa had none with her and unfortunately she didn’t dare to go behind the waterfall 😨

Iceland – Tip 13: Try to get there as early as possible! These waterfalls are a very popular destinations for tours that start from Reykjavic. This means that buses packed with tourists are going to arrive around 10-11 am.

Next: the Skogafoss! You can climb a lot of stairs to a great viewpoint right next to the Skogafoss. You are standing directly on top of the waterfall and have an incredible view. When you get back downstairs, you can rest a little at the fish&chips snack bar there. Their own salt mixtures are especially delicious 😊

Unfortunately we could not visit the fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, because the road was closed 😥 If roads & paths are closed, you better keep to 😉. There is a good reason for the closing.

Seljavellir – Icelands first swimming pool 🏊

Today we started to look for one of Iceland’s hot pots 🙂 We went to a relatively large swimming pool in Seljavellir 😉 From the parking spot you have to walk a long way to get there. From time to time we asked ourselves if we are really in the right place 😀 But after 20-30 minutes you arrive at your destination and will be rewarded with an incredible view! There are no changing rooms or something similar here (only a small house where it is very dirty inside 😛 ). So we just got ourselves naked and put on our swimwear. Because of the cold, you have to hurry a little bit more 😀

In the evening we arrived in a very nice accommodation in the middle of the Icelandic nature. The Fosshotel Nupar.

Iceland – Tip 14: Many accommodations provide lists where you can sign up to be woken up if the northern lights are visible 😊

It was the first time we thought about the northern lights again 😀 But we weren’t sad that we haven’t seen any yet 😉

Glacier hike and Diamond Beach 💎

Our second booked excursion is on the agenda! 😊 After a short briefing we were good to go. We had amazing guides! 😊 Thanks a lot for your patience and interesting explanations! Once we arrived at the glacier, our guide was in constant radio contact with his colleagues. Therefore we had only a very short waiting time in front of the ice cave and could enjoy the rest of the hike. It was really very impressive to walk on a glacier and to see how nature forms the land.


After the hike we made a stop at Diamond Beach. This was one of Vanessa’s highlights 😊 A really unique beach!

Myvatn + Nature Bath

Arriving in Myvatn we had the direct contrast of fire & ice. The Geothermal Area Námafjall (nothing for sensitive noses – like mine 😀 ) vs. Diamond Beach the day before. Iceland really is a unique country! In Myvatn we were relaxing and visited the Nature Bath 😊

Iceland – Tip 15: The Nature Bath in Myvatn is much nicer, cheaper & less crowded compared to the touristic Blue Lagoon near Reykjavic! Remember to buy a bracelet for drinks right at the entrance. A beer (or any other drink of your choice) will be brought to you while you are sitting in the hot spring! Super cool!

At a different time of the year you would be able to drive a bit further north and watch whales 😊 One more reason to come back to Iceland! 😀 Unfortunately we also couldn’t see the popular Puffins during on our trip 🙄

Christmas House 🎅 in Akureyri and Godafoss

The north of Iceland has a lot to offer! I especially liked the fact that you are getting the feeling to really get to know the “real” Iceland here. The Godafoss is an incredibly beautiful waterfall! All in all I am very happy that we flew in winter. Everything in white is gorgeous!

In case you haven’t heard the Icelandic Christmas story yet:

Iceland – Tip 16: Read the Icelandic Christmas Story! There are several Santa Clauses in Iceland and each one has its own meaning 🙂 A very nice story! This book is often available in different languages and is a great souvenir! 

Just as we are getting into the Christmas mood… On Iceland there is the house of Santa Claus! 😀 For us as little Christmas elves, the visit was a must 😉 Here you can buy very nice things! Among others, the Icelandic Santa Clauses 😀

Iceland – Tip 17: We tried to start a little tradition and bought our 1st Santa Claus. Now we have to come back every year and extend our collection with every visit 😛

Beer Spa 🍺

Another highlight – The Beer Spa! 😀 Which man does not dream of taking a bath in beer! And the best thing about it, right next to the “bathtub” there is a tap where you can help yourself and drink as much beer as you like during the bath 💖 It’s not quite cheap, but definitely highly recommended! 🙂 For the ladies: Of course the bath is also very beneficial for the skin! 😉

Horse Riding 🐎

Whoever travels to Iceland, of course, knows about the Icelandic horses! We enjoyed a great ride in fantastic weather! The Icelandic horses are good-hearted animals and perfect for beginners. I was amazed how fast you can build up a small bond to your horse 🙂 After the tour, we got a little extra guided tour through the stables and could meet some of the other horses 🙂 This ride was very beneficial for me personally and a great experience! Especially cute – My horse was rolling on the ground in the snow right after the tour 😀

Iceland – Tip 18: If you pay attention to your position when riding and shift your weight correctly, you can relieve your horse a little bit of work 🙂

Hvammstangi – Northern lights

Our Iceland journey is coming to an end 🙁 And we still haven’t seen the northern lights! 😀 But that should change tonight 🙂 In Hvammstangi we just had a very relaxed day. At night we finally saw them! We took the car to drive to a different spot because you can see the northern lights much better when it is completely dark around you. It was a magical moment and a perfect ending for a wonderful holiday!

Iceland – Tip 19: With your smartphone camera you won’t get such good pictures of the northern lights. If you bring a slightly better camera, you can take really great photos here!

Iceland Summary

This holiday definitely belongs in my top 3! It is a beautiful country that has so much to offer. I am really out of words here… The only negative thing is that this trip has made it very difficult for future trips to keep up 😀

Rating: 5.0/5. From 2 votes.
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Post Author: Tristan | | |

Hey guys! Just some rand notes :) My Name is Tristan, I am 29 and live in Germany! I studied economic computer science in Paderborn. But most important - I am a Travel-lover like you! :) I try to visit at least 8 new countries every year and enjoy every second I can get to know new cultures, meet new people and just experience great impressions!

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