Whila planning the second part of our honeymoon we were looking for different tickets and routes to Europe since we wanted to go to the English Countryside and Ireland (I´ll share those in another post later), I came across with a budget freiendly option with Iceland Air that includes a free stopover in Iceland for up to 7 days! How amazing! Iceland had been in my buckelist for a loooong time so this was perfect! Sadly I made a rookie mistake and tought two days in Iceland would be good but no... I wished we could have stayed at least 4 to 5 days but on the bright side we know have an excuse to visit Iceland again. Iceland is a very big island and it takes a while to get from point A from point B so I definetly recommend staying at least 4 days so you can explore more areas of the island.
We stayed in Reykjavik in a small and quaint hotel nothing fancy at all but since we were going to be out most of the day it didn´nt make sense for us. It is centrally located so we walked both nights to Laugavegur street where most of the restaurants and shops are. 22 Hill Hotel was recently renovated and the rooms were big and comfortable. Here are a few tips about Iceland:
Here is our packed itinerary (it wouldnt be us othwerwise LOL):
Day 1: Golden Circle
Our flight landed at 6:30am we picked our rental at the airport and drove 40 min to Reykjavik dropped our luggage and headed off for breakfast. Iceland has some of the best baked goods I´ve tried! I would give it a thrid place (1. Denmark, 2. France... LOL in case you wanted to know!). We went to Sandholt Bakarí and it was delicious! We had a hard time trying to decided what to order. We ordered an assortment of pastries, croissants and of course Skyr, Iceland´s famous yoghurt,
The Gold Circle is a route between Iceland´s most iconic sights and it is also the #1 tourist attraction. Since we came here in April there were not many tourist as in the summer so it was all good!. The roads are mostly desserted so it´s pretty easy to drive around. If you only do quick stops it will take about 5 hours, we did it in 9 since we took our time in every stop and took some extra ones for lunch and snacks :).
Thingvellir National Park: this is a UNESCO World Heritage Center and a great place for history nerds hahaha but also for nature and photography lovers as all Iceland. There´s walking trails in different lenghts that you can take depending on your time.
Geysir: Strokkur is Iceland´s most famous geyser and it lives by it´s fame. It is very active and it is very fn to walk around. There´s also big restaurant and shops accross the street that offers cool wool products and awesome food. This was the best of all we saw in all the stops.
Gulfoss Waterfall: this places is juts marvelous! I saw lots of pictures of this waterfall in the summer but I must say I liked the contrast of the water and ice that we got to see. A must see!
Kerio: This is a volcanic crater lake and the pictures don´t do justice. The colors and the emerald green of the water are just out of this world.
We drove back to the hotel and the scenary changes so quickly that you are never bored! I´m not a huge fan of driving long distances but this trip went by so fast. After much delibaration we decided to go to Ostabudin for dinner, this is a cheese and gourmet products store that also has a tiny restaurant next to it with about 6 tables This dinner was one of the highlights of our trip! The restaurant is cozy and warm, food was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We loved everything about it! We ordered a meat and cheese plate that included puffin, goose and creamy cheeses, for the entree we shared the goose confit with game meatballs and I still can savour the mix of flavours of the different meats and the awesome port wine sauce. For dessert we had a skyr mouse with berries so simple and so perfect. This was the perfect way to end the day while sipping red wine. This meal turned out to be one of the most memorable of our 3 week long trip.
Day 2: Glacier Hiking
It was so hard to choose between all the different tour options available... oh men! This is why I wished we could have stay at least two more days. A friend recommended Guide to Iceland as a portal to find the different tours and tour operators and t was great help! They help us to map out our routes and gave us good advice. We decided to do the Skafatell Ice Climbing and Hiking with Troll Expeditions and it was absolutely amazing! Our guide was awesome and we were the only one´s that day so it was our own private tour. The glacier is breathtaking and it was very cool to see hundreds of years old ice. Ice climbing was more challenging that I was expecitng but it was exhilarting and super fun! I´m glad we chose this tour because it gave us the perfect mix between adrenaline rush and peaceful views from the glacier.
After our glacier tour we hit the road towards Reykjavil and make a couple of stops on the way. The first one was to pet the icelandic horses... they are so freakin cute! LOL and to see the impressive Skógafoss Waterfall! Skógafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, with a drop of 60 meters and a width of 25 meters, and you can walk right up to, but be prepared to be drenched. It is just overwhelming standing next to it.We climbed up the stairs to get another view pont from the top and there´s a hiking trail from there on that looked promising.