As we sleepily got off the plane and made our way to our rental car we were filled with excitement. We quickly hit our first road block. I had never rented a car in a foreign country, and I made a rookie mistake. I got us a manual instead of an automatic. Luckily for us, they had one unclaimed automatic. The extremely gracious woman said we got lucky there was an automatic left. We were so grateful that my mistake did not cause a huge stress on our trip.
*TIP make sure you rent the right type of car, automatic vs manual.
We were only in Iceland for two nights and two days, including the day we flew in, so we wanted to make the most of it. We landed at around 5am and could not check into our Air BNB until 3pm. The main city of Reykjavik is about a 45-minute drive with no traffic from the airport. Our departing flight left at 6am so we chose to stay in a little town called Keflavik about a 5-minute drive from the airport. It was such a cute and quaint little town. We enjoyed walks on the water and the quiet that came with the small town. However, there were not a ton of restaurants and things closed very early. It was nice being so close to the airport for our early departing flight, but there can be major traffic getting into Reykjavik, so plan accordingly. In the future we would have enjoyed it more if we had stayed in Reykjavik for the first night and Keflavik the second.
We decided to make our first stop the Blue Lagoon, only 15-20 minutes from the airport. We figured we would be able to stay there and relax until the Air BNB was ready. The blue lagoon was gorgeous! I recommend getting the package with the bathrobes, flip flops, extra face mask and a complementary cocktail in the Lagoon bar. You must take a shower, complete with washing and conditioning your hair before you can leave the locker room to go into the lagoon. Then there is a walk to get outside to enter the lagoon, we went at the end of May and it was still cold. It was luxurious to be able to wrap up in a warm bathrobe and cover up and after being in the lagoon. When you are in the Lagoon there is a little hut with different masks that you can get with a package or purchase with your wristband in the Lagoon. There is also a swim up bar in the Lagoon that you can also use your wristband at. We enjoyed lounging and relaxing in the warm Lagoon after our long flight. There is also a gorgeous restaurant at the resort as well as a café. We decided not to go to the restaurant because it was pretty pricy, but in the future, I would definitely spend the money to go. The food at the café was decent, but for such a short trip the ambiance and experience would have been worth it. We arrived around 6am and had our fill by 11am.
*Tip check the weather! We went in the end of May and it was cold! We bundled up with layers, it is very windy.
After the Lagoon we drove into Reykjavík to check out the city before our place was ready. We were so tired and ready to take a nap, so we did a quick drive around then headed to our home for the next two nights. We enjoyed a much-needed nap then strolled around the little town of Keflavik and walked to get some dinner. We did not realize that a lot of restaurants in the little town close early, so we did not have too many options. This leads to another tip, things are VERY expensive in Iceland. It was 50 dollars for a pizza and two non-alcoholic drinks. Make sure you budget accordingly for your trip.
*Tip budget, accordingly, our car rental was only about 110 dollars, but the tank of gas was 200 and a pizza and two non-alcoholic drinks were 50 dollars.
The second day we went on a tour of the Golden Circle. It was about 50 dollars per person and worth every penny. We were thinking of driving ourselves, but realized it was about 8 hours of driving, so we opted to have a local take us on a tour and get her perspective of the country. They take you to the most famous stops in Iceland. The Thingvellir National Park, where Iceland held its first parliamentary assembly. You can also see where two tectonic plates are joined by a valley. You will also get to see the spectacular Gulfoss Waterfall, the Gyser of Strokkur as well as a few of your tour guide’s favorite spots. Our tour guide took us to an ice creamery where the ice cream is made in house as well as one of her favorite waterfalls and a spa where they bake bread underground because of the natural hot springs.
*Tip find a smaller tour so you can ask more questions and get to know your guide better. There were 6 people in total on our tour.
All in all, we had an amazing experience in Iceland. It was a magical country with the friendliest people. If you have any questions or need some information for an upcoming trip, we would love to talk to you! .
All in all, we had an amazing experience in Iceland. It was a magical country with the friendliest people. If you have any questions or need some information for an upcoming trip, we would love to talk to you!
P.S Iceland has the BEST place to get food in an airport. It's called Joe & The Juice, Thank us later ;)