One of the hottest (or shall we say, coldest?) travel spots as of late is Iceland. With such a vast area to explore and so much to do, it can be daunting for first time visitors to know where to start. Whether you’re going as a quick stop before a longer trip through Europe or making it a longer vacation, Iceland has a lot to offer! Here we have some highlights from a recent trip that a YourSash team member went on this winter:
Golden Circle – We rented a car while we were in Iceland so we did the drive ourselves. There’s one road which makes navigating around the island easy. You can get this done within a half day. You get to see waterfalls and geysers! If you’re not comfortable driving, there are plenty of tour companies that will also take you around the Golden Circle. Here’s the geyser you’ll see that goes off every 5-6 minutes!
Sólheimasandur Plane Crash – Not only is the experience once you get there unforgettable, the drive along the Southern Coast is amaaazing some awesome sights! For detailed information, check out Guide to Iceland or Expert Vagabond (complete with driving directions!).
Blue Lagoon – Yes! All kinds of yes! All those posts you see from friends are no lie. The blue water is beautiful. The natural heat that comes from the hot spring relaxes you right away. There is even mud in the blue lagoon that you can put all over your body and face to clear your pores while you relax. When we were last there, it was more affordable to buy tickets online rather than upon arrival. I didn’t need any of the extra amenities that came with the more expensive tickets. The Blue Lagoon is very close to the airport, so you’ll find that many visitors either visit the lagoon either on their way to Reykjavik, or leaving Reykjavik and going to the airport. I went twice because I’m Instagram obsessed (once at night and once right when they opened). To truly see the beautiful milky blue color, you want to go during the day, and in the morning when there aren’t a lot of people is the best because it’s more peaceful. There’s also a restaurant on site that’s delicious. Seriously delicious. Didn’t believe it but our friends were not wrong – it’s yum!
TIPS & THINGS WE LEARNED
Iceland can be on the expensive side, and we were traveling on a budget. Locals recommended hot dogs and eating in gas station convenience stores. They were surprisingly delicious! That’s where we also bought a local SIM card to get a phone number and data for to use our cell phones and Google maps to navigate around the country. It proved very helpful.
Everyone speaks English!
Reykjavik is not too big of a capital city. You can easily walk around and cover quite a bit of ground in 90 minutes. Some points of interest include Famous Church and the Opera House.
FREE! There’s a guy who does a free walking tour around the city. He’s probably #1 on TripAdvisor (or at least up there). You can sign up and tip him afterwards. If you’re interested in learning about general Icelandic history and trolls, it’s gives a cool background about how Iceland came to be a hot tourist destination. Highly recommend.
Baejarins Beztu Pylsur – You can eat at the famous hot dog stand here. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think an American president ate here and said it was awesome so it became a hot spot. Again, not everyone’s cup of tea!
Big Lebowski Bar – If you’re a fan of the movie, there’s a bar in town that has recreated itself to look like different sets from the movie – it’s famous in town
Guide to Iceland Travel Agency – I used these guys to rent a car and help plan our travels (I used them because i was walking around town and they had their lights on…but they ended up being super helpful). They helped us rent an automatic car! They also helped us book a glacier cave hike and book a bed and breakfast along the southern coast.
Love the Biebs? He filmed the video for I’ll Show You and it could serve as a pretty cool inspiration for your trip. It’s beautifully shot and all the places he visited are easily accessible!
Pub Crawl (with fermented shark!) Reach out to us and we can connect you to an awesome food and drink tour!
We hope you found this post a bit helpful at introducing you to Iceland. It’s a beautiful country, and this post doesn’t do it justice. If you have any questions at all, talking travel makes me us very excited (almost as much as sashes do! :). And when people go traveling, we get so pumped, so please feel free to reach out and hear more about our experiences in Iceland. ..And of course, better yet, tag us on your adventure! @yoursashofficial #yoursashofficial. We’d love to see a sash or two at the Blue Lagoon! 🙂