if you haven’t been to iceland, you need to consider going there. it’s seriously one of the most photogenic places i’ve ever visited. you can’t see nature here like it is there. we were only in iceland for 3.5 days but got to travel all along the southern coast and stopped in Reykjavik before we flew home. luckily, we missed the snow (it had snowed 22 inches just a week before we got there!) and the weather was fairly pleasant the entire trip (minus the 80 mph winds on one of the days…). we hope to make it to the northern part of the country one day; perhaps in the summer when it’s a bit warmer and is an entirely different experience!
i wanted to share some of the magical places we visited and saw. these pictures don’t do it full justice so i’d recommend just going to iceland and seeing it for yourself. :)
fun facts we learned along the way:
- there’s more green in iceland and more ice in greenland.
- gas costs about $8/gallon. yep, we spent $200 on gas in 3 days.
- any food in iceland also costs an arm and a leg because they need to import everything. a large domino’s pizza was nearly $40. bring snacks and ramen to munch on as you travel.
- iceland has some of the cleanest water in the world. you can drink straight from the rivers and glaciers!
- despite having the cleanest waters, the showers smell like rotten eggs.
- the weather can change in a second. staying on top of the weather forecast is a must if driving far distances!
- iceland is known for their fermented fish.
i’d recommend joining a tour to see the northern lights since they always scout the best places for the best chances, depending on the weather and cloud activity that night. it was about $60/person for a 2-2.5 hour tour. despite the cloudiness earlier that evening, we got lucky and caught a glimpse of some beautiful lights dancing across the sky at Þingvellir National Park.
yes, it is cold, but the blue lagoon is quite hot! free mud masks and a complimentary drink included with your ticket. :)
these natural hot springs are a wonder!
not much grows in iceland, but they are known for tomatoes (and they’re delicious).
the cutest, smallest horses. all of the horses in iceland are from the viking era. any horses that leave never come back (sad face).
visit Friðheimar for a deliciously fresh meal. they pull tomatoes straight from the greenhouse for their ravioli and tomato soup. although pricey, the soup is all you can eat with generous servings of bread. you even get to snip off basil straight from the plant to add some extra flavor.
it was sooo windy hiking up here, but the views at Kerið were worth it.
in terms of iceland wear, i pretty much had this outfit on the entire time. canada goose jackets are expensive but are definitely EXTREMELY warm (it even got hot at times). i would highly recommend this jacket if you’re living in an area with cold, brutal winters! my sorel boots were also very warm and surprisingly comfortable. because of the suede-ish texture, i didn’t think they would be waterproof, but i was able to hike through small rivers and the water would just glide right over my shoes. dressing in layers was key. i always had 2 pairs of leggings on (the thermal ones from dick’s sporting goods are great and comfortable). gloves and hats are also helpful, especially if you’re planning on taking lots of pictures–the wind can be harsh on your hands and ears.
the perk to waking up at 6 am: seeing the sunrise on our way to our next stop.
casually driving and saw all these weird giant moss hills. so of course, we had to stop and climb atop one.
joe quickly offered to take this picture (i secretly think he was too scared to go out on the ledge himself ;))
i miss getting these views while driving.
exploring this natural ice cave on one of the world’s biggest glaciers was seriously one of the most amazing experiences.
can you see why this spot is called diamond beach?
this is what i mean when i say iceland is one of the most photogenic countries. we were driving back to our airbnb and stopped on the side of the road to see this amazing reflection of a mountain in a puddle of melted snow.
one of iceland’s first man made pools! it was warm AND had a great view.
being the germaphobe i am, i never thought i’d be drinking water straight from a river, but it really did taste amazing and so clean.
last stop before flying home: Reykjavik (AND REAL FOOD, finally, at noodle station).