3 Days in Iceland
This post is long overdue. In fact, Will and I went to Iceland over a year ago and although we think about it all the time, it wasn’t until an influx of requests recently that I decided it was about time to sit down and share what we got up to and all the magic of the trip.
I had visited Iceland in March or April many years ago on a school Geography trip and it was definitely my introduction to appreciating the immense beauty of nature. But my trip with Will was over new year and in the depths of winter and being a few years older, the experience was even more incredible.
We stayed one night in Reyjkavic at a guest house. It was fairly basic but clean and a good place to sleep after a late flight. There was minimal daylight hours (about 11.30-3.30) and the mornings were slow - coffee shops tend to open at about 11ish depending on the day, although we were there between Christmas and New Year so would probably have made that worse. What it meant was that we had much shorter time exploring each day than we expected but to be honest it was enough to still feel as though we saw lots because the drives are so beautiful. Although we covered a very small amount of ground, every moment was draw dropingly beautiful along the way.
We drove from Reyjkavic to Vik and back in two days and a morning, stopping at the Golden circle sites (Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the geothermic area with the geysers). This was really touristy and while there were cool to see, we didn't love this part because it felt a little over commercialised (compared to driving through expanses of mountains etc). It was still worth a visit though, and a great place to aim for when you get on the road.
Of course, being a last minute trip, when we tried to book a slot at Blue Lagoon, we weren’t able to find one at the right time for us. It’s positioned well for a stop off to/from the airport, but we didn’t want to travel back their in between. So we visited the secret lagoon in stead. Not the same in terms of a spectacle, but a nice evening activity as it got dark so early. You’ll see people doing laps of the pool and think they’re mad, but don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!
We then drove down to our accommodation, Bru Guesthouse. One of the most spectacular places I’ve ever stayed. The guest house is set in the middle of an expanse of landscape leading to the foothills of some mountains, with nothing in between. Despite their being 8 cabins, we didn’t see another soul after checking in and we had a cosy evening, cooking to music, candles lit and watching out for the northern lights (which unfortunately we didn’t get to see!). Make sure to be organised in terms of food en route, as there is very little close by. Having arrived at night, we work up to the most insane view to enjoy before continuing on our adventure.
We were there over New Year’s Eve but in stead of following the crowds back to Reyjavik, we decided to go low key and drove down to Reynisfjara black sand beach. It was a little bit touristy again but we saw the most incredible sunset there. Its a lovely place to walk if you don’t mind a few passers by, and the geography is pretty cool. After catching 60% of the sunset on one side, we then drove round the coast a few miles to a pretty village called Vik to see the sunset from the other side. Such a special way to watch the sun go down on the end of they year!
The following day we tried to fit something in before getting our flight home but it didn't quite go to plan and we ended up just having a walk in a little village and then driving back to the airport but the drive was incredible. There was a hike from Hveragerdi that a friend recommended but we got a bit confused and just walked round the town in stead, but that's where we drove to the airport from.
I wish we had had more time. Essentially there is this ring road that goes round the whole island. It's kind of a tourist trail, but some parts more touristy than others! My best recommendation would be to get a 4x4 and just go exploring!! Depending on the time of year, the landscape changes hugely, but the drives were stunning and we loved the freedom of doing our own thing.
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