When one of your bucket list destinations has always been Iceland, but the fact that it really is one of the furtherest countries to visit from Cape Town, makes going there a little harder…HOWEVER…boy am I glad I decided to book that ticket and visit one of the most incredible places on earth.
I flew to Reykjavik via a 2 day stopover in Stockholm which was a very good idea as the trip can be a very long one if you are trying to do it in one haul.
A very good tip that I can pass on, is that if you do want to visit the Blue Lagoon, book your time slot for about 2 hours after you have landed or go there before your flight back (depending on your schedule)
After we collected our car, (We hired a car and decided to self drive during our stay,get yourself a local sim (at least 5-10 Gig) and use Google Maps to navigate your trip.) We drove straight to the Blue Lagoon (which is halfway between the airport and Reykjavik) – BEST decision ever! It is really easy to find your way, as there not too many roads and light traffic.
We took the package that included the robe and slippers with 2 masks and free drink and after our flight this was the BEST way to relax. On arrival they supply you a wristband that you can buy more drinks etc on and pay as you exit to make your trip into the water easy and convenient.
Very Important Tips that You MUST know about the Blue Lagoon:
Book your slot WELL in advance – and be sure to check TIME differences as this will influence your arrival times etc.
DO NOT let the water touch your hair, unless you want stiff unruly hair that takes about 2 weeks to recover. Even though they do supply conditioner to put on your hair, the silica in the water is not kind to your hair.
You will be faced with a lot of naked people in the changing rooms as it is a requirement to shower naked before you enter the Lagoon. There is however private changing rooms and showers.
Lockers to keep your valuables in are provided that gets opened and locked with your wristband.
What an amazing experience it was to move from the -1 degree weather outside into the 37 degree water of the Lagoon. It is a beautiful sight, you are very relaxed when you finish and the silica masks is good for your skin.
We stayed about 90min in the water, had a glass of Prosecco and enjoyed the warmth and surreal feeling of being in the lagoon.
After we were done, we drove the 40+km to our hotel in Reykjavik.
We stayed in the ISLAND HOTEL in Reykjavik which was perfect for us, due to location and the breakfast included deal we got from them. (Breakfast here is excellent)
Take into consideration that it only gets light from around 9:30 am and dark around 16:00pm in November you are very limited to daylight so plan your trips accordingly.
Now, the BIG attraction…the Northern Lights, Iceland have a Aurora Prediction website called www.vedur.is that is updated and very accurate in terms of the predictions of visibility and cloud cover etc.
We did not strike it lucky during our stay as it was heavy cloud cover throughout the nights, however you can track it via this website in advance.
We were very eager to start our roadtrip and straight after breakfast we got into the car and decided to start with the Golden Circle Road, which leads you to amazing sights, be sure to start early and stop at every location as each one gives you opportunities to take photos in this breathtakingly beautiful and ever changing landscape.
You don’t need to pack lunch on your trip as there is great restaurants at most attractions.
On the Golden circle route you can stop at the National park and walk about 1km to a beautiful waterfall or just take in the beautiful views from the top. The Erupting Geysir is also on this route, (just note that it smells horrible and the geysir erupts every 3min’s or so) keep your camera ready for an amazing display.
What I loved about the Golden Circle road is that it is BEAUTIFUL and every few minutes or so there is something new to see, photograph or enjoy. The sunrise is magnificent and the Icelandic Horses are a pure treat. There is a few spots along the road where these horses are right next to the highway, we stopped and spend a few minutes petting them.
Be sure to plan your trip in such a way that if you are not comfortable with driving at night you can be on your way back to Reykjavik before roughly 4pm as this is when the sun sets.
Navigating is real easy so there is no need to worry about getting around.
At night Reykjavik comes to life and the city is buzzing with bars and restaurants, be sure to take a stroll down a few streets.
On day two the weather was terrible but we decided to make the most of it and started early morning on the “ring road”
This road takes you to the “Black Beach” and to Glaciers & waterfalls. We tried to stop and the biggest one’s but I only for a few minutes as the wind was blowing us apart, and it was raining, snowing and at one point felt like the rain was blowing the sand right over our heads.
This however is SO Beautiful, regardless of the weather we encountered and I am very happy we did this trip, however short, it was a memorable one for sure.
If you plan to do an Iceland trip I would recommend about 5 days to do all there is to do, (well the touristy things that is) and leaves you with a little wiggle room to possibly see the Northern Lights as well as have an extra day if the weather is not playing along.
All in all…bucketlist worthy! So be sure to tick it off your list!