Oh Reykjavik, I had no idea how much I would fall in love with you. It all started when I read something on the internet stating the Northern Lights would fade for 10 years. Gasp! I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights! None of my friends were alarmed by this warning and none of them jumped at the opportunity to visit Iceland in the winter. However, I have always been a sucker for any type of supply and demand situation and I booked a flight to Iceland. This was my first solo trip. No regrets!
Day One: Take an overnight flight and arrive in the morning. Book the Fly bus straight to the Blue Lagoon. Food at the Blue Lagoon is pricey; consider eating at the airport or purchase food to bring along with you. The bus departs the airport and arrives as Blue Lagoon opens. There is a storage room for luggage. Keep the items you will need at the lagoon in your carry on. Be sure to pack a scrunchy to get your hair up, you do not want to get it wet with geothermal water. It is cold in Iceland but you may not need a robe and slippers. It is likely you will run from the door to the water. Do you want to stop and take off a robe and slippers? No. No you do not.
Spend some time floating around checking out all the corners of the lagoon, play with the mud mask and have a cocktail — you are in Iceland, Woo Hoo! Be aware of the time and catch Fly bus into Reykjavik; it will drop you at your hotel. Check into your hotel and head downtown to Austurstræti Street. Spend the evening checking out the local cafes and bars. Grab dinner and an Icelandic beer. Download the Reykjavik Grapevine’s Appy Hour app to find deals.
Day Two: Spend the day exploring Reykjavik. The city is full of street art and cafes. Start out in the city center on Laugavegur Street for breakfast and window shopping. Consider checking out the Icelandic Phallological Museum for some truly unique photos to share with friends at home. Stop by Iceland’s largest record shop and browse the vinyl at Lucky Records. Head to Hallgrimskirkja Church and take the elevator up to the observation deck to take the obligatory photo of the city. Now head to the Sun Voyager for the next obligatory photo. Walk along the water to the Harpa Concert Hall, it is worth the time to go in and gaze out at the water and mountains. Across the street is the Kolaportið Flea Market. And, you must stop at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur for an amazing hot dog.
Day Three: Get out of the city! Rent a car or book a day trip to the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle route includes Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, Strokkur Geyser, Faxi Waterfall. I chose a day tour that included time at the geothermal Secret Lagoon.
Do you have another two days? I suggest taking an overnight trip to the South Coast. This area includes Icelandic Horses, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skogafoss Waterfall, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Basalt Columns. I chose an overnight tour that included a traditional Icelandic dinner, viewing of the Northern lights and ice caving. There was a white out on the glacier which added to the experience. DIY’ers beware, it began to snow on the way back to Reykjavik and it was obvious the driver was struggling through some of the windy passes.