I’ll never forget how my husband and I came about planning our impromptu trip. My husband knows that my number one bucket list goal was to see the Northern Lights, and after looking at all the beautiful landscapes and nature in the region soon enough he was really excited to turn this dream into a reality. Before I know it we were off on our Scandinavian adventure!
Not only is the landscape surrounding the hotel absolutely breathtaking (the picture below is the view from our room) but the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly too. The hotel is tucked away on the outskirts of Reykjavík (in Grímsnes to be exact) and a stone’s throw away from the Golden Circle. Also, the mushroom soup at the restaurant is out of this world amazing. I may have had it every single night for dinner (no regrets.)
I’d arranged a two day private tour with Icelandic Mountain Guides which was incredibly exciting! Our tour guide was extremely friendly and great company, we highly recommend this company if you are planning a trip to Iceland!
A 60 metre waterfall, and a thing of beauty! They say that it’s possible to walk behind the waterfall (but our tour guide said it was super risky because of the slippery snow and ice on the ground that day, so he didn’t take us around, sadly.)
Truly, a hidden gem (The Hidden Waterfall of the South to be exact.) Our tour guide took us on a winding track and we wound up basking in the glory of this incredibly beautiful waterfall alone, absolutely no tourists around whatsoever! It was a phenomenal experience!
Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike
This glacier hike was one of the main highlights of our trip in Iceland. After touring the waterfalls we put on our crampons and set out on a 10 km hike up Sólheimajökull glacier! It was breathtaking, like something in a documentary. The ice formations and glacial caves were incredible to uphold up close. Blue glaciers, white snow, black volcanic ash, it was nature’s own abstract painting and I was soaking up every second of it.
The Blue Lagoon
The day after our fantastic (albeit slightly gruelling) experience glacier hiking we headed to the infamous Blue Lagoon. It was a 2 hour drive from our hotel but worth every minute. The milky blue silica and mineral rich warm waters against the icy cold mountains and landscapes was otherworldly. Also, the face mask was amazing and definitely lived up to the hype!
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
After our relaxing time at the Blue Lagoon we headed back to the hotel. Our tour guide said that he would keep an eye out for the Northern Lights because it was an exceptionally clear night, and we were driving by many secluded areas where the Lights are typically visible. As soon as we spotted them we stopped the car off the side of the road, we were alone in pitch black darkness and immersed under the breathtaking Northern Lights. I broke down like a baby because I was so overwhelmed and taken aback by their beauty. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing them in person, fast forward to a month later and I still can’t wrap my head around it!
Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
Peaceful and picturesque, those are the two words I would use to describe Thingvellir National Park. Not only is this home of Iceland’s oldest existing parliament, but you will also find a canyon (Almannagjá) formed between two tectonic plates (North America & Eurasia). You can literally see where two continents have split! Mindblowing!
“Gullfoss” which translates to “Golden Falls”, is hands down Iceland’s most famous waterfall. The water from this waterfall comes from Lángjökull glacier which is the second largest Icelandic ice cap. A spectacular view of untouched nature.
Geysir & Hot Springs
Geothermal springs and geysirs are scattered all across Iceland. We stopped by a geothermal field in Haukadalur (home of Iceland’s “The Great Geysir”) and were not disappointed. The Geysir has been estimated to be active for more than 10,000 years and hurls boiling water up to 10 metres up in the air!
Kerið (Kerid) Volcanic Crater
Kerid volcanic crater is another stop on the popular tourist route known as the Golden Circle. This crater is estimated to be almost 3,000 years old. It’s steep circular slopes resemble that of an amphitheater (fun fact, in the summer time after the ice has melted, concerts are held on a floating raft on the lake!)
Every car ride through this beautiful country is a chance to soak in scenic views. The nature in Iceland is unlike anything I have ever seen, where else can you find blankets of white snow, volcanoes, greenery, blue glaciers, and hot springs all at the same exact time?! Absolutely magical!
I hope you all enjoyed this travel diary post as much as I enjoyed gushing over beautiful Iceland! Next up, I’ll be posting about our time in Lapland, Finland! Stay tuned!