This post is going to be a travel journal and photo library of funny things that happened to us and what we saw, ate and did during our first Iceland trips last year. For tips and accommodations for Iceland, check out > this post!
We got about 12 hours of daylight during this trip. Perfect amount of time for us to get from one destination to another while spending some time enjoying each location. For this trip, we started at KEF airport, rented a car and headed east, staying along the south coast.
Day 1: Hot Bath & Random Animals
Lolo & Chrissy flew into KEF a bit before I did so when I finally arrived and met up with them, they had ordered drinks from Joe & Juice. When I tried to order a smoothie, the guy asked me if I was arriving or departing. I told him I was arriving. He wouldn’t sell me juice! He said there is a different area for arrivals .. It's downstairs.
We picked up our luggage then headed to Geyser to get our rental car. Grabbed a free road trip bingo card, a big water bottle and rented a pocket Wi-Fi. Our car wasn’t done cleaning yet so we waited a bit. So worth it because it had a heated steering wheel! None of us minded driving =P
We had some time to kill before our Blue Lagoon reservation so we drove to Ljosvitar A Gardskaga to see a lighthouse. The lighthouse was small and simple. We found ourselves more amused by all the seaweed near by. Chrissy trekked through a bunch of it and almost fell a couple of times. There was a guy in Crocs not caring how cold or wet his feet got.
When we were cold and ready, we headed to the Blue Lagoon. Although we read that it was really overrated, it's such an iconic place we had to go. It was nice. Smaller than I thought when we first looked at it but it's actually pretty big. You just have to continue back pass the bridges. Go to the back if you want more space to yourself.
Blue Lagoon Tips
- Book in advance - they announced to the crowd that anyone who hasn't already booked online will not be able to enter for the next copy of sessions because it was sold out
- Remove all jewelry you don’t want ruined by all the mineral in the water
- Shower before entering the lagoon
- Put lots of conditioner in your hair and leave it there – remember the hair near the back of your neck. That's the part that will be the touching the water the most
- Some areas are hotter than others
- You get a free mask with your admission - head to the left when you enter. There will be a booth with a couple of buckets outside the window and a person there to explain what to do
We spent about two hours in the lagoon getting pruney. First taking pictures then chatting about a lot of things. Mostly our moms, boys and having kids or not. #justpickanorange
After the lagoon, we started driving east towards our guesthouse. Oh man was it pretty drive!
Not long after we started driving, we saw what looked like a sheep festival so we pulled in to check it out. There were so many of them! They were not cute .. But they were kind of funny =P *baaaah
Not even 5 minutes from the sheep, we saw a guy pulled over taking pictures of horses on the side of the road. Lolo pulled over for us to pet them! One of them tried to nibble Chrissy’s hand XP and one of them had an itchy back.
Our last stop before getting to the guesthouse was Raufarholshellir Cave. There's a huge opening in the front then a huge opening in the top as you get further in. You can keep going further back. It gets darker and colder but it didn’t look like there was anything back there. The group in front of us came back pretty quickly and said they didn’t see anything so we didn't venture too far in.
We also started to notice piles of rocks along our drive. We think they're troll houses.
After the cave was a straight drive to Guesthouse Drangshlid. With a beautiful sunset behind us and crazy winds to greet us, that concludes day one of our first Iceland trip!
Day 2: Excursion Day!
After breakfast at the guesthouse, we headed to our glacier walk tour with Icelandic Mountain Guides. Upon arrival, the guides fitted us for our crampons then started explaining how to properly walk in them. Take wide steps and stomp hard when you are on the ice. Chrissy and I drank from the glacier! It just tasted like really cold water =P
Our guide was explaining how much the area has changed in the past couple of years. In 10 years, the place will be totally different. “In 100 years, your grandkids will be able to kayak in the valley.” That’s pretty sad.
About the Tour
- $130 USD per person
- About 3.5 hours
- Bring your own lunch or snacks
- Dress in layers - you'll be hot hiking up then cold when you take breaks
- Ice shoes aka crampons and ice axe are provided
- Keep one hand free to carry the ice axe
After stopping in Vik for some lamb sandwiches, our next stop was Reynisfjara Beach aka the black sand beach - more like black pebble beach. The waves were huge! And they come in very quickly. There were many times people had to run while trying to take pictures. Be careful!
To the left was the cliff that looks like a church organ. Easy to climb and find a spot to sit and look at all the tiny people and big waves below.
We noticed some people coming from an area further left so we became curious. In order to get to the cave where people were coming from, we had to watch the waves and time it correctly. As soon as the water started going back out, we had to run to the next safe spot before the next wave came crashing in.
One of the missions I was giving for this trip was to roll down a hill - the idea came from Bieber's video . But we read that he rolled on moss and that the moss is really delicate so we found a grassy hill to roll down instead.
Next stop: another Bieber reference! Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon - where the opening of Bieber's I'll Show You video was filmed =P I didn't have the guts to walk the path that he did but Chrissy did - regret kicked in when I got home for not doing it.
Ended the day at Klausturhof guesthouse and a restaurant near by for dinner. All the food we've eaten so far has been really salty ..
Two days in Iceland down, six more to go!
- Pet an Icelandic horse (Check!)
- Roll down a grassy hill (Check!)
- Try reindeer burger (Coming up!)