iceland travel guide

by ann

TRAVEL

In a week, it’ll be MARCH. For those of us lucky enough to have a spring break, it’s way past due for you to start planning your vacation! For most spring breakers, they head south to the balmy weather of tropical islands. My family opts instead to head from overcast London to the wind-biting wild land Beyond the Wall. Yes, Iceland.

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When we last left off, my family was stranded in the Heathrow Airport due to delays in Iceland. We arrived in Iceland bleary-eyed. Still, there was a drive to Hotel Ranga, located in Hella. We had chosen Hotel Ranga in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights. We were on the tail end of the season but Hotel Ranga would have given us the best shot to see them. Bonus: the hotel has staff keep watch for the lights and buzz anyone who is interested.

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AND they have an awesome breakfast buffet.

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Drank a shot of cod liver oil every morning! It was so smooth!

Day 1.

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Thingvellir National Park// for Almannagja, a canyon formed between two tectonic plates!

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Geysir// for the first geyser described in a printed source

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Gullfoss//for a gorgeous waterfall

Dinner at Hotel Ranga//
We had dinner at Hotel Ranga both nights. Honestly, there isn’t much food in the area. The overall food was okay.
Must try: smoked puffin, reindeer carpaccio

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Things to do: Take pictures with Icelandic horses by the road!

Other places to consider visiting:

Day 2.

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Black Sand Beach// in Vik

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Jokulsarlon aka Glacier Lagoon// for a large glacial lake

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Skaftafell National Park// for a gorgeous waterfall (+ hiking)

Day 3.

We head back to Reykjavik! On the way we stop by Alafloss to check out wool sweaters. We were all dying for an adorable Nordic sweater but reality check: wool is SO itchy. Yikes.

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Pylsur// for a hot dog with everything (onions + ketchup + mustard + mayo + gravy)

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Rex Hostel// One of the best places we ate and drank! We whetted our appetite with bread and then polished off our orders: burger, lamb, and smorrebrod. Everything was delicious. I loved our apartment in Reykjavik but this hostel seemed like it would have been a nice choice!

We checked out The Sun Voyager before heading to Kringan (for shopping) and Hagkaup (for groceries).

Other activities to consider:

  • Visit Laugardalur Pool for swimming (kid-friendly!).
  • Check out geothermal baking.

Day 4.

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Reykjavik Roasters// for coffee

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Hallgrimskirkja// go up the tower for a great view of Reykjavik

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Einar Jonsson Museum// for a sculptural museum which was fascinating and my favorite in Iceland

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Sundhollin// for a local swimming pool

3 Frakkar// for dinner

Day 5.

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Kaloportid Flea Market// The flea market wasn’t quite what I was expecting.. I wouldn’t particularly put it on your things to do list.

National Museum of Iceland// for history about Iceland

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Sjavargrillid// for dinner

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Icelandic Horse Tour// for a 2.5 hour horse riding; These horses are adorable and the guides were very sweet and animated. It was also great because a shuttle came and picked us up from our AirBnB so we got a chance to nap!

Day 6.

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Blue Lagoon// NOTE: buy your tickets ahead of time!!! This was our last stop before leaving for home BUT we didn’t buy our tickets ahead of time and the place was BOOKED. Learn from our mistakes.

I hope you enjoyed the guide! Visiting Iceland was such an unique experience. I wished we got the chance to do ice walking but it was a bit risky with a squirmy toddler. My biggest advice is to pack well. You will need multiple layers. I usually wore a tank, long sleeve, sweater and then a jacket over it. For bottoms, I would do fur-lined leggings and jeans over it. I would highly recommend a waterproof jacket.  I would love the opportunity to visit again in warmer weather. It is a gorgeous place.

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