I have only been to Iceland once as you probably know. But I would still like to share my tips and tricks in case any of you are planning a journey over there in the nearest future. Here are some things I would have appreciated that somebody told me before I went to Iceland.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
The best way to explore Iceland is by going on a roadtrip! And therefor obviously you need a car! The cheapest thing for you to do is to hire one before you arrive, so everything is paid for and ready when you reach Keflavik airport. If you want to be on the road the whole trip and not staying in any hotels there are plenty of mini vans, caravans and campers you can rent! Its a cool and different way to travel!
WHAT TO SEE/DO?
We all have things we have seen on blogs/pinterest or Instagram that we want to experience in real life when we travel. But lets be honest, you have to plan your trip well, especially if you are only here for a weekend or so. I suggest you research whats in the area you are planning to stay in and then figure out what is most important to you to see/do. We stayed on the south coast of Iceland, had our base close to Reykjavik and traveled out from there. We were only there for two days which was hectic, but we still manage to experience and see a lot!
GULLFOSS: Traveling from Reykjavik to Gullfoss will take you through Pingevellir National Park. This is a great roadtrip as you will see geysirs, Gullfoss and the National park as you drive!
SKOGAFOSS: Another beautiful waterfall you can stop by if you are on a roadtrip on the south coast of Iceland is Skogafoss. This is the waterfall on the picture above.
SELJAVALLALAUG: One of Icelands first swimming pools. Its hidden up in the hills not to far from Skogafoss. Type in Seljavallalaug on your GPS, follow the road, park your car and follow the tiny trail into the wild landscape. Bring a towel, dry clothes and of course your swimming suit. The hike is about 15-20 minutes and yes its worth it!
GEYSIR: You have to experience the power of a Geysir when you are in Iceland. You will see the smoke from them in the hills when you are on the road, but if you want to watch one very close you can stop on your way to Gullfoss. Its right on the side of the road, hard to miss!
SELJALANDSFOSS: A beautiful waterfall on your way to Vik. You can see this waterfall from the road, and this is the one you see in pictures that is possible to walk around. If its windy, you will get a little wet, just so you know!
VIK: This is where you will find the black iconic lava beaches! One of my favorite places on Iceland. I could spend the whole day there, just watching waves crashing onto the shore!
JOKULSARLON: Also known as the Glacier Lagoon. This could be your final destination if you want to wake up early and go for a long road trip stopping by Skogafoss, Seljavallalaug, Seljalandsfoss and Vik. It will probably take you a whole day (about 14 hours round-trip). But it was such a nice day on the road. Jokulsárlón is beyond beautiful and defintely something you cant leave Iceland without experiencing.
THINGS TO KNOW:
- Pack like you are going on a cabin trip in the woods. I wish I had my gloves, a hat and thicker coat when we were there in the middle of September. So one thing I can tell you its cold! You would also always need an extra shift, because the weather there is unpredictable and you can easly get wet and cold.
- For people with special needs in terms of alternativ food (vegan/gluten free), I would recommend the grocery store called Kronan. They have a huge selection of gluten free and vegan products!
- If visiting Blue Lagoon is a must for you, then you have to be aware of that you need to book a ticket in advance. Check the availability before you leave.
- If you want to experience a non-touristy thermal pool then visit Seljavallalaug! I would recommend going in the afternoon/night, less people = better experience!
- If GPS is included in your car that is great, but you dont have to have it to find your way around. Most of the things you want to see you will notice as you drive by.
- Looking for great coffee? I recommend stopping by Reykjavik Roasters while you are out exploring the streets of Reykjavik. Such a cute place!
- Bring your fully charged camera! There are so many beautiful things to capture!
I am very happy with what I got to see in only two days. Next time I want to drive around the whole country! But I would need more than a week or so. Iceland has so much to offer, I cant wait to get back sometime as soon as possible!