As you all know, we recently went on a trip to Iceland and are currently working on an online series which will be launched very soon(It will be up this week, if our electricity doesn’t go off for a few days with Hurricane Ophelia). While we are getting our series edited, we are getting lots of emails and messages about our experience in Iceland – Where we stayed and what we did! Lots of you guys booked your tickets after seeing our snapchat and instagram stories so I decided to share some information on our trip to help you plan yours. Iceland can be expensive so I would recommend planning out your trip before you go and do your research.
HOW TO GET THERE
We flew with Wow Air direct from Cork Airport to Reykjavík. The Cork flights(they don’t run daily but I think three or four times a week) run until October 27th and are stopping for the winter season. There are flights daily to Reykjavík from Dublin airport. Prices can range from €39.99 upwards. For transport from the airport, book your tickets online with Reykjavík Excursions into Reykjavik and get the plus tickets as it brings you to the nearest bus stop to your hotel.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed in the centre of Reykjavík in the Sandhotel. The Sandhotel is a new boutique hotel in the heart of Reykjavík, on the high-street, Laugavegur. It is extremely central and allows you to walk down the street and be in the heart of Reykjavík and enjoy the vibrant cultural life of Reykjavík. Anything in the city itself is within walking distance of this hotel – restaurants, museums, shops etc. There is also an amazing bakery attached to this hotel which we would highly recommend.
WHAT TO DO
- We would also recommend doing the Pearl tour with Mountaineers of Iceland. It honestly was the highlight of our trip. It was everything you think of when you think of Iceland. The Pearl Tour is an Iceland adventure where you will experience some of Iceland’s most famous and exciting natural phenomena by exploring the Golden Circle, topped off with an unforgettable snowmobile tour on Langjökull glacier. On the Golden Circle, you get to explore is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the active Geysir Hot Spring area with its boiling mud pits and spouting hot springs and Gullfoss Waterfall(one of Iceland’s most powerful waterfalls). The highlight of the trip for us was going on a snow mobile on Langjökull Glacier and dashing across snowfields on snowmobiles while gazing at the mountain peaks.
- We also did a warm bath and cool lights tour with Reykjavík Excursions. During this trip, you drive via the UNESCO site Þingvellir National Park. On arrival to the Laugarvatn Fontana, you get to enjoy a local style dinner buffet You then get to Laugarvatn Fontana to bath in the geothermal bath on a cosy evening. Sometimes, you can actually see the northern lights from the baths but it was cloudy on the day so we went on an Northern Lights hunt afterwards. We were very lucky to see the lights during our hunt. The tour starts at 6pm until 12:30pm.
- The Blue Logoon is one of the 25 wonders in the world and is a must while visiting Iceland. You also must pre-book your tickets for the blue lagoon and we would recommend doing this a few weeks before your trip to make sure you get the time you want. Once you are in the lagoon, you can stay in as long as you like.
Tip: The Blue Lagoon Iceland is a must – It is only like 10 minutes from the airport so if you can plan it well you can get the bus straight there from the airport or before your flight. Otherwise you go 40 minutes into Reykjavík city and you have to go 50 minutes back out to it from Reykjavík when you want to go to the Blue Lagoon. There are lockers there for cases and all. Saves you time on your trip.
Blue Lagoon Information. The geothermal water originates 2,000 metres below the surface, where freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures. On its way to the surface, the water picks up silica and minerals. When the water emerges, its temperature is generally between 37°C and 40°C (98-104°F). The geothermal water has a unique composition, featuring three active ingredients – Silica, Algae and Minerals.
- Be sure to talk a walk down to the marina at sunset. Beautiful views and spectacular place to see the sun setting.
- Explore the colourful city of Reykjavík and be sure to visit Hallgrímskirkja church which is Reykjavík’s main landmark and its tower can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. You can climb to the top tower to see views of the whole city from above. Entry to the tower for adults is ISK 900 and entry to the tower for children 7-14 years old is ISK 100. More information.
WHERE TO EAT
Food and eating out can be expensive but we found a few places that were really good and resonable. We found a fab place called Solon Bistro/Bar and the food was amazing there and not too expensive. The menu is beautiful and there is something for everybody. We also ate an an Italian restaurant called Caruso and it was lovely and cosy with tasty dishes and live music. During your visit, you have to go for crepes in Reykjavik a place called Elsie & Is – lots of choice of crepes with loads of tasty toppings.
WHAT TO WEAR
We did a Penneys haul before we left to stock up on a few warm clothes – coats, hats, gloves, scarfs etc. You can watch our haul over on our Facebook haul to see the items we packed. I would also highly recommend waterproof hiking boots. These are similar to the ones I got in Sports Direct. I would also recommend waterproof pants and a jacket.
TRIPS RECOMMENDED BY YOU
- The Unleash Iceland tour was recommended also to us. The tour visits Raufarhólshellir – Lava Tunnel, Skyrgerðin Factory and go on a northern lights hunt. For the full information head over to the website here.
From Neil via Facebook: “If your stay is short , I recommend that you do the Golden Circle Tour ( Pingvellir ; Strokkur Geyser ; Gullfoss waterfall ).
Also book ( in advance ) the Blue Lagoon. Book a slot for a time after arrival in Iceland ( bus transfer from
Airport – its very close to the airport & you can Store your luggage there )
- From Jill: “okay so defo get to Gulfoss Waterfall.. try and see geysirs somewhere they are class.. and the blue lagoon is a must. Also see the two tectonic plates apart (mid Atlantic ridge) as well if ye can.. if you go on the hop on hop off bus in Reykjavik. Stop at tHe Church of Hallgrímur. Class views of the city. And stop at the Vikin Muesuem, and get a tour of the Odin boat if you can, crazy guy giving the tour, was just the three of us, but we never stopped laughing, coz the Icelandics are a bit of an odd bunch. Northern lights are a bit overrated if you don’t get to see them, but if it’s gonna be good drive well out of town and enjoy!!Finally you HAVE to go for crepes in Reykjavik a place called Elsie & Is – best sweet crepes loads of class toppings…
- Fly from cork via Instagram: “Whale watching with Eldong!! The view from Hallgrimskirkja, quad bike tour, dinner and cocktails at the pearl, skyr and of course the golden circle and blue lagoon. Amazing place, we’d love to go back again”
- Richard via Instagram: “The Snaefellsness Peninsula is amazing – Kirkjufell is great to climb (and to look at if you’re not up for it) and the west coast of the peninsula is great for roaming around. Gjain is great too, especially in autumn when the trees turn. Lovely waterfalls and walking trails”.
- From Mountaineersoficeland: “Snowmobile adventure of Langjokull glacier”