Where to start, there are two things that I want to emphasize with this trip. First and foremost, Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, stunning, unbelievable, words don’t do it justice; Second, it is the most expensive place I have ever been, and I was so under-prepared for this that I need to make this very clear, no matter how cheap it seems to arrive in Iceland, you will pay dearly in food, shelter, and other essentials.
When doing my research, I couldn’t believe how cheap it was, Iceland Air had a deal going on a round trip to Iceland with a free round trip to Europe, which I used to fly to London; these four flights cost USD 550.
After doing very mild research for my first trip to Europe I decided it would be good to stay in Reykjavik and then drive to everywhere we wanted to see. Another big mistake on my part, there is not a lot to do in the capital, its very expensive, and this whole trip ended up being a big lesson.
Day 1 – Arrival and Drive to Reykjavik 05.06.2017
The journey begins with my grandmother, my two friends (Anthony & Holt), and I head to Europe. Leaving from Minneapolis at 18:00 Central Time (00:00 GMT) on a six-hour direct flight. Landing at 06:00 GMT (00:00 Central Time) meant it was going to be a rough day. I find the best way to tackle jet lag is to stay up until 22:00 local time; then I can jump right into my usual sleep schedule.
Once we landed, I went to rent an SUV, quick note for anyone thinking about going to Iceland, film your entire rental car and under the body. When you return the vehicle, the inspection is not in your favor; they look for any mark that you did not fill out properly on the form, thankfully I filmed the whole car and they let it go, but they did try to get me for existing damage. Not only did this happened to me but other friends who have visited Iceland as well.
Before leaving the airport, fill up every single bag you have with anything you can buy at the airport store, it’s duty-free, and after that you and your life savings are toasted. The liquor tax is 90%, so make sure you stock up at the airport if you plan on drinking.
We began our one hour drive to Reykjavik, it’s a nice drive along the coast, and the inland is all volcanic rock, which is interesting but gets old after a while. Arriving in Reykjavik, we checked into our Airbnb and walked to the nearby harbor. Pretty tired from the travel, we went out to dinner to find out that fish n chips were USD 30, then went to bed.
Day 2 – The Blue Lagoon 05.07.2017
The Blue Lagoon. I had a difficult time trying to find any good deals on this, I ended up booking this on Viator and still to this day I’m not sure if it was a good deal or not. It was definitely worth the USD 100 to get in, but the more I look into Iceland after leaving, it seems like I should have focused on finding the hidden lagoons along the countryside, another lesson learned.
The Blue Lagoon gets a lot of appeal from social media, but in reality, it’s a huge pool painted blue on the bottom with pumped in hot spring water. It is extremely relaxing, and the facilities are clean, and I do love the swim up bars. They cap you at three alcoholic drinks.
To keep this short, my review of the Blue Lagoon is here.
Day 3 – Golden Circle 05.08.2017
This was the big tourist day; we got early and drove around to complete the Iceland Golden Circle (separate post needed for this).
The main highlights of the drive were Thingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geyser, & Gullfoss Falls. We did stop at a few other places along the way, plenty of places to get out and see and also wild horses to pet. I have posted all these to my Instagram.
Day 4 – Hallgrímskirkja Chruch 05.09.2017
Spent roughly one hour here, it was well worth it. The church is lovely, and the views of the city are amazing. Save some time on your trip to do this as its very reasonable for the price and does not take much time.