In November 2016, I planned a trip away to Iceland for 6 nights, driving along the south region from the West to the East and it was incredible.
It didn’t get off to a great start as I had an emotional breakdown when reality set in and I had to drive on the opposite side of the road in a car that’s double the size of mine back at home. But the roads were actually so much easier to drive on than I thought they’d be so I was in luck.
The plan was to stay 2 nights each in Skaftafell, around the Golden Circle and Reykjavik.
It took around 5/6 hours driving from Reykjavik to our destination, but the views along the way were absolutely stunning. There would be periods where there were miniature waterfalls running through the rocks as you drove through the main road.
We managed to stop off at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall to take a break and enjoy the view of Iceland’s famous natural surroundings.
Unfortunately we left pretty late in the day to visit Skaftafell National Park considering it only starts getting light at 10am and dark by 4pm during the winter. So we only had a couple of hours to explore the park and observe the beautiful but intimidating waterfall that forced you to watch from a distance due to the sheer strength of it.
You’d think we’d have been bored of seeing so many waterfalls by now, but each were so unique that you could stare at them for hours (if it wasn’t so cold!).
However, the main reason we were travelling to the South East side of Iceland was to experience a once in a life time opportunity – The Crystal Ice Cave Tour. I’d been looking forward to this excursion from the day I booked it, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Yes, it’s a little on the pricey side, but when are you actually going to see an ice cave again? Probably never, so if you’re planning of travelling to Iceland, make sure you book this amazing Arctic Adventure.
When we arrived at the meeting point, we all had to get into an off road minibus which took us to the Ice Caves. This monster of a vehicle definitely kept me on edge with the steep declines and inclines when driving on the icy glacier.
Once we arrived, I was in awe of the spectacular views that surrounded me. We were literally on the Glacier, a place that not many people get to experience and I was absolutely speechless as to where we were.
Once we saw the Ice Caves, I honestly thought my day couldn’t get any better. When we arrived in the morning, it was pitch black so we couldn’t see anything around us. So when we were dropped off back to our meeting point, I was in total amazement as to where we were. I can still remember the moment my mouth dropped at the view I saw as I walked up to our car.
We were standing in front of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. I cannot begin to describe how elegant and peaceful the view was. I wanted to spend the whole afternoon here and it’s now one of my favourite places I’ve visited on Earth.
The Golden Circle
We stayed at The Golden Circle Apartments which was the perfect place for us. We arrived late so couldn’t see anything around us. We woke up to heavily settled snow with mountains surrounding us.
Laugarvatn Fontana was only a 2 minute walk from us. This place was incredible – with an outdoor pool, a steam room and 3 saunas all heated by the natural springs from the lake that surrounded it. This was the perfect relaxation we needed after hours of travelling and hiking. We spent hours in the pool, with the snow invading the sky whilst we sat back in the tranquil 40°C pool. As the baths were open until 10pm, we stayed there all evening in hope of getting a glimpse of the Northern Lights, but I guess that’s on the list for our next visit.
Next on our agenda was visiting the famous landmarks of The Golden Circle. We drove to the Geysir Hot Springs early in the morning. Once we arrived we waited for around 5/10 minutes before we saw the pressure from underneath spout out an enormous amount of water, then seconds later you’d hear every tourist go “wooooow”, “ooooo” (including me).
We even saw a couple waiting to take a selfie with a geysir erupting. It took them a good 10 minutes of standing in front of the camera with a smile glued to their face before they gave up, as they realised there wouldn’t be another geysir exploding anytime soon.
We then visited the spectacular view of Gullfoss Waterfall where the water plummets 32 metres. This was by far the scariest waterfall we’d seen throughout our whole trip. The power the water held was immense.
From here, we made our way to Reykjavik. Our plan was to stop off at Skogafoss Waterfall to admire it in all its glory, however a storm was on its way so we decided it was best to take a photo from a distance and carry on driving, as the quicker we got to the city, the better. However, we now have an excuse to go back to Iceland – for the Northern Lights and to experience Skogafoss up close.
I wasn’t really impressed with the actual city centre itself. It’s not the prettiest place that I’ve visited and the price for meals and drinks were extortionate. We did venture down to the harbour where we ate at a quaint lobster restaurant called the Sægreifinn which is known to serve one of the best lobster soups in Iceland. Now, i’m not much of a seafood fan, but even I admit that this soup was deeeeelicious.
Our last day in Reykjavik was spent at the Blue Lagoon – one of the 25 wonders of the world. This was the icing on the cake and the best way to end our Icelandic adventure. Not only could you enjoy the entire day unwinding in this harmonious place, but there was unlimited access to silica mud mask that made your skin glow and feel soft.
The Blue Lagoon
On our way back to the airport, we stopped off at the ‘bridge between continents’. This is the Bridge between Europe and North America on Reykjanes Peninsula. And of course, I crossed this just so I could say that I’ve been to “North America”.
Bridge between continents
Overall rating of Iceland: AMAZING! This is by far the most exciting, extraordinary, adventurous, and fascinating place I have ever been too and I will definitely be going back to explore more areas of this unique country.
I hope this blog has inspired you to go visit Iceland!