I kicked off the last week of 2017 with a trip of the lifetime to Reykjavik, Iceland! I went with a few ladies in my family and we used a tour guide which was much different than any of my previous trip experiences. I’ll tell you all about it below!
We landed in the early morning (but my body was still in NYC time which was 5 hours behind) and we hit the ground running. We dropped by our hotel Hotel Kleutter with just enough time to freshen up and get on our warmest gear before starting the day. We did a bus tour that stopped at Perlan Museum, Harpa, Hallgrimskirkja Church, and all of the prettiest sights Reykjavik had to offer.
After our much needed nap, we grabbed dinner a few blocks away at Jorgensen Kitchen and Bar @ the Central Hotel. I had a great salad but the chocolate lava cake was the best part of the meal (as if there is ever really a competition). After that, we headed back on the bus 45 min outside the city to view the Northern Lights. Before we even got there, we got really lucky as it started to show. There was a chance we weren’t even going to see it at all during our time there and sometimes groups have to stay outside for 4-5 hours before it even starts to appear! The pictures we took don’t do it justice at all so here’s what it looked like from a professional photographer's camera! It was so amazing to see. I already want to go back in 2025 where you will be able to see red instead of the usual green! Since we got back earlier than expected, we headed out to Lebowski Bar for a beer and some classic rock tunes.
We started our second day off with a croissant and tea from Reykjavik Roasters before heading the the Blue Lagoon! They make you rinse off before putting on your bathing suit and after where there are public and private showers along with private changing rooms. I recommend bringing flip flops that you can leave on the side before going into the lagoon. They also give you a towel with a basic ticket or you can upgrade to the luxury package which includes a robe. That robe would be very useful if you use the exit where you basically just run into the lagoon (or walk very quickly for safety reasons) before you realize there’s 3 seconds of your body that’s out in the freezing cold. OR you could use the cheat exit like we did where the lagoon starts inside and you can open a door that goes to the outside part of the spa. It was such an amazing experience and we didn’t want to leave. We ended our perfect day with dinner @ Harry’s followed up with ice cream @ Isleifur Heppni (it’s never too cold for vanilla w/ cookie dough!).
We accidentally slept in on our last day but I guess the time change finally caught up with us! We got dressed and headed over to Braud & Co for the yummiest baked goods. The cinnamon roll was easily the best I’ve had. I would also highly recommend trying the croissant, gingerbread roll, and just a plain roll that is still the most amazing bread you’ve had - I promise! We walked around for the rest of the day stopping into all of the cute stores the main street had to offer. We ate lunch @ Solon Bistro where we ate the second most amazing meal of the day. The tomato soup was the perfect remedy for the cold windy day. Also, they put black salt in their butter which would even make Paula Dean go crazy. After grabbing a few gifts to bring back home, we headed to dinner at Salt which was the perfect last meal of the trip. We flew home in the morning to come back to NYC with even colder weather - go figure!
~Everything in Iceland is a lot more expensive than the U.S. so be prepared to pay at least $10 for a beer.
~Bring base layers! I wore 3 tops and bottoms at one point. The wind is a killer.
~Make sure you're a seafood lover since you're on an island.
~Have a good set of boots. My Sorrel ones were perfect for everyday activities while my Sperry boots were perfect for the plane and running out for a quick coffee.
~I didn't get a chance to head to the waterfalls but if you get the chance, you must go! I hear it's amazing.