Thursday, 26 March 2020

A WEEKEND IN ICELAND | TRAVEL GUIDE



Iceland had always been on of these placed I had dreamed of going, kind of like Australia but, as it often happens with the places you want to go the most, you never find a good time to go. Even though most of my friends had been dying to go too, we kept always pushing it back. To be honest, it most likely was because we knew it wasn't one of those holidays where you booked flights and a hotel and you're ready to go - you had to do research, hire a car, plan your itinerary, etc. 

Last Christmas, I was surprised with flights to the most magical place I have ever been to - Iceland. For a weekend, we swapped grey rainy London for bright and snowy Iceland. 

Day 1 - Reykjavik and Blue Lagoon


I have never been as confused as when I woke up one Saturday morning at around 8-9AM and it was pitch black outside. At first, I thought my phone was wrong or that, maybe, it was very cloudy. Then I checked my weather app and realised that the sun was not going to rise until 11AM. Bizarre. 

Anyway, we quickly got out of bed and, after picking up the car rental, drove into Reykjavik. We stayed in a cute little town called Sandgerdi - which was about 40min away from the capital. 



Reykjavik surprised me - it felt more like a big town than a city, a really beautiful one though.  The streets felt very Christmassy, with. many small shops, cafes and christmas lights. The snow also helped to give it that festive vibe. The Tj√∂rnin lake near the city centre was completely frozen - to the point were you could walk over it, jump even if you were feeling brave, and it wouldn't crack. Walking across the lake felt both super cool and terrifying at the same time - I'm just glad it didn't break.





After grabbing some nice lunch - can't go wrong with some fish and seafood, we walked around the town for a bit and then we drove to Perlan, which is just outside the city. We did not only get some stunning 360˚ views of Reykjavik, but you also get to walk around an underground ice cave and learn about the Northern Lights - which I found so interesting. 

At around 4PM we started heading to the well known and famous, Blue Lagoon. There's probably not much that you haven't already seen on Instagram. It is as magical, relaxing and beautiful as the photos   make it look - it is probably one of the best places I have ever been to and definitely worth going. My only tip is to definitely  put your hair up in a bun - the silica in the water, whilst it's very good for your skin, it's incredibly drying to your hair. My hair was damaged for days after and it had never felt that dry in my life. So, do yourself a favour, and don't soak it in that water for two hours like I did. Despite that, it was the perfect way to end the day.




Day 2 - The Great Geysir and Gullfoss Falls


We started day 2 by grabbing the biggest breakfast of my life in Reykjavik, at a cafe called The Laundromat Cafe -  a really cute and Christmassy cafe with huge portions. 

Once our stomachs were filled, we quickly stopped at the Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland - it was indeed very large, specially compared to the relatively low buildings in the capital. We also managed to get some beautiful lighting. After all the mandatory photos - we got on the car and got ready for our very long long drive to the Great Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfalls.




The drive there was, by far, the most beautiful drive of my life. It was so quiet, tranquil and relaxing (specially because I wasn't the one driving). Because we went to Iceland in early December, the sun rised very late in the morning and set quite early in the afternoon. This meant that the 4-5 hours of sun were constant sunset... essentials a 4 hour golden hour. The golden light reflected on the snow and the frozen lakes and made everything looked straight out of a Christmas movie. Halfway through the the Great Geysir we stopped on the side road to admire the scenery right by the Thingvallavatn lake in the Thingvellir National Park.

A few hours later, we made it to the waterfalls which were pretty much completely frozen. It was definitely something unlike anything I had ever seen before.


After taking the mandatory photos for the gram, we made our way to the Great Geysir. I found the geyser really fun, mostly because you never really knew when it was going to explode, so it was a fun guessing game. It also meant my hands got completely frozen when trying to get a slow-mo video of it exploding,  but #content. We stayed for a good 15-20mins just watching explode over and over again.

Eventually, we decided it was time to leave if we wanted to make our evening flight. On the way back, we stopped at the farm/hotel/restaurant Efstidalur II to have lunch. We had the most delicious burgers and ice cream, all with ingredients they grow right there!


With a full stomach, we got back into the car and drove to the airport to make our way back to London.

It was by far one of my favourite trips, it was so different to anything I had ever seen before as I usually more for a city break kind of holiday so I would definitely recommend it, as I can't wait to go back! 
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3 comments

  1. Hi! What software do you use to edit your photos?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looking forward to reading another great post!

    ReplyDelete

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