Iceland was one of my favorite trips in Europe that I wrote briefly about in another post but it really requires an entire post just for itself. So here we go!
We booked the South Iceland at Leisure Winter self-driving tour through Nordic Visitor last year in November. This is a 7 day 6 night self driving tour with a ton of stuff included in the package. The package included a travel guide book which gave us loads of information about the area as well as our itinerary, a map and a cell phone. It included a rental car but I would highly recommend upgrading to an SUV. Not just for space but to be able to navigate through some off road paths. The car rental came with a GPS and the option to purchase a wifi puck which was really useful. It included all of our accommodations which you can also chose to upgrade but we saved some money and stuck to the basic accommodations. The company even sends someone to pick you up from the airport that will give you all of the information as well as take you to your hotel in Reykjavik and there is a service that will pick you up to take you to get the rental car the morning after you arrive. It was all so worth the money i promise!
Now let me take you through our trip 🙂
The first night after our arrival we spent in the city of Reykjavik which has a lot of character. We didn’t have too much time the first night to look around but we would get more time at the end of our trip to explore the city. We stayed at the Gest-Inn Guesthouse in the city which had a nice room. It took a little bit of getting used to using shared bathrooms though and the bathroom on the first floor where our room was, was also right in the middle of the check-in counter so…that was awkward lol later we discovered a much larger and slightly more private bathroom upstairs.
Today the rental car agent came to pick us up from our hotel to go get our rental car. We ended up getting the Ford Kuga 4×4. I’m not a car person but its an SUV and it got us up and down some crazy mountain sides so it was perfect!
The first stop was Þingvellir National Park which let us walk around on some trails and see a nice water fall.
The next stop was the Geysir hot springs…
and finally the Gullfoss waterfall.
We stayed at the Galleri Laugarvatn this night.
It was a long drive to our next accommodation but on the way we stopped to see a few things and go on a bit of an off roading adventure.
First we say the Urrioafoss waterfall…
and then we stopped to see the Skogafoss waterfall.
By far my favorite part of the trip was driving up the off road path. We took the 222 near the Solheimajokull glacier and the views from up there were breathtaking! It was so surreal being up there it’s unexplainable. COLD but worth it! The pictures unfortunately do not do this place any justice either.
We also made sure to get a little silly while we were up there 😛
After our little side trip we stopped at Dyrholaey to see the cliffs and to Reynisdrangar to see the black sand beaches.
A side note about the black sand beaches… There are lots of signs around warning people not to get near the waves of this beach because they are very dangerous! It is not like being at a normal beach where you go swimming and walk around in the waves. Nonetheless we saw so many people getting in the water to get a good selfie, hence the reaction in our photo below. No selfie is worth dying over ya’ll!
Tonight we stayed at the Steig hotel. As we were traveling on our route we kept checking the internet for good nights to see the Northern Lights and tonight was supposed to be a good one. So we headed out really late at night and pulled off the road a bit to see if we could get some photos. Unfortunately the lights were very weak so we didn’t get to see them ourselves BUT I was very shocked that my camera got a picture. (This was a trip where I attempted to play with my camera settings more than usual if you can’t tell. I am definitely no professional photographer!)
Today was a very long drive! We drive past our hotel at Hunkubakkar all the way to the end of our route plan and back to our hotel for the night.
Our first stop was to see Dverghamrar…
then we went to see the Skaftafell. Now to see this waterfall you have to hike up several kilometers. Several steep kilometers. And when we finally got to the waterfall it was just not worth it. Not worth it on any level! BUT on the bright side we did get a few amazing pictures against the sky so I’ll count that as a win for me but would not recommend it for someone else.
Lastly we stopped by the Glacier Lagoon.
Our accommodation this night was interesting. The property had built a few little “houses” over the property that made me feel like I was camping. The building we stayed in had two rooms on either side with a shared bathroom in-between and we were lucky not to have anyone staying in the other room so we had the bathroom all to ourselves 🙂 It’s the little things!
This was our turning around point on the trip where we started headed back towards Reykjavik. So tonight we stayed at the Steig Guesthouse again and I’m assuming by accident gave us a room with our own bathroom. 😀 It was wonderful! This was mostly a chill night after all of the driving but we did go to Vik to watch the sun set.
Today we drive all the way back to our hotel in Reykjavik which might have been our longest or second longest drive on the trip. Once we got checked into the Gest-Inn Guesthouse again, we headed out to the Blue Lagoon. I would recommend booking the blue lagoon during the day. We didn’t go on to buy our tickets until maybe the day or so before and the daytime tickets were sold out. I imagine there would have been more of a view during the day. At night it’s just kind of like being in a giant jaccuzi. ALSO make sure you bring a waterproof bag for your phone to go in if you want to take a selfie or picture in the lagoon. I was super ballsy since I didn’t have one and took mine in very carefully without a bag, got a quick picture and got out! It was a bit of a pain though because the dressing rooms are not right next to the entrance into the pool for me to grab the phone then go put it back in the locker. ANOTHER ALSO which should go unsaid but be VERY careful when walking around outside of the pool or right inside the building. A lady slipped and fell while we were there and my head hurt for at least an hour hearing how hard she fell!
We returned our car today during business hours so that the company would give us a free ride back to our hotel. Then we walked around Reykjavik some more!
We got to go up the Reykjavik Cathedral which gave us really nice views of the city below.
And while we were at the Sun Voyager sculpture my hubby proposed! 🙂 Like I said in my other post this was not much of a surprise but I was way more overwhelmed with emotions than I expected to me knowing that it was going to happen. After 4 years of dating he finally asked and it was perfect! As I’m waiting for a few people to finish up taking pictures so I could get a tourist free shot, hubby raised up his phone recording and opened the ring box next to me and said “So baybuh, you gonna marry me or what?” haha! Isn’t he such a dork!
If you liked this post make sure to check out the Travel section of my blog! Also for a follow up on the engagement take a look at our “Elopement” 🙂 Don’t forget to like, comment and follow <3