This year, we decided to explore the amazing country of Iceland in January.
Seeing the northern lights, have always been a part of my bucket list and I thought it would be amazing to finally check that off.
Iceland is one of the best countries to visit. I never met nicer people or been to a safer country. Everyone is helpful and friendly. And it is the prettiest country in the world. Everyone MUST visit Iceland in winter. Its a life changing experience!
Post making this decision we started doing a lot of research. There are a lot of blogs that document going to Iceland and Icelandic holidays however, since this was the first trip we were planning completely on our own and even managing all our own bookings I was a bit scared and excited.
All the articles that I read kept talking about how expensive Iceland is. So the thing we did first was make our budget and we decided to stick to it.
Post the budget was set we started researching hotels, tours, car rentals etc.
Iceland has many parts that have a variety of offerings. However since we were visiting the country for 5 days so we decided to make Reykjavik (Capital City) our base and then do day trips to different parts to see the country!
We found the perfectly located Reykjavik Residence Apartment Hotel (http://rrhotel.is/) We took the airport express bus into Reykjavik from the airport and this bus took us directly to bus stop no. 7 Mat’s Bar which is located near our hotel (this is important incase you do tours the buses and guides come and pick you up from this stop) It was easy to find and the room was great with a separate bath, a comfortable queen sized bed and a tea kitchen with a table and two chairs. The staff is amazing and very helpful! The location was superb. Just outside the main streets that run down to city centre. You could walk to any place near by for food, coffee, shopping. The sea front was also very nearby and it is absolutely beautiful!
I would recommend you invest in snow boots and a parkha before going to Iceland in winter. It is a must, especially in winter Iceland it very cold as it is the windiest country in the world. So even though the temperature might be -4 or -5 degrees because of the wind it feels like it is -15 degrees or less! Layering is what i would always recommend. Uniqlo or Marks& Spencers have really warm inners that are a must buy for winter vacations!
We reached Reykjavik on Friday afternoon and decided to just explore the city as we were tired from our long flight to Iceland.
Saturday our sight seeing began we booked a tour through viator, this tour offered the best combination of activities we wanted to do. The tour we booked was the Golden Circle Day Trip from Reykjavik plus Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier with Reykjavik Excursions.
They picked us up in the morning from bus stop no. 7 and we were in for an adventurous day. Our tour guide sveni was so helpful and informative and he really made our tour enjoyable!
The Golden circle tour includes visit to the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park and the Geysir Geyser and you get to see the incredible Gulfoss Waterfall which are huge and beautiful!
After seeing the waterfall we made our way to the Langjökull Glacier the travel to the glacier is an experience in itself, you leave the minibus and go to the Glacier in a monster truck! I would recommend you ensure you carry legwarmers and hand warmers before you snowmobile, it gets really really cold!
However the best part was to see the sun set on the Glacier it was the most beautiful site.
The snowmobiling experience was thrilling and exciting, after getting into the suits that they provide the instructors give you detailed explanations and teach you how to operate the snow mobile, post which you get to ride for an hour! It is amazing you feel like you are floating on a cloud! One of the best experiences of my life!
We scheduled our Northern lights excursion for Sunday (i will write a separate article on the northern lights viewing which will have all the details) It is best to schedule this in the beginning of your trip as the tour guides often reschedule the tour based on visibility and the fast changing weather conditions We did see lights however our tour was rescheduled and we saw them finally on Wednesday night hours before we had to leave!
Other than the golden circle, we spent an entire day at the Blue Lagoon (i will be doing separate article reviewing this soon! so do follow us for updates!)
We rented a car and did a self drive tour of the South Coast of Iceland and we drove all the way to Reynisfara Beach (Black Beach). South Coast is an amazing tour and you should do it on your own if you have company as the drive is surreal. The scenery keeps changing every 2-3 minutes, it is filled with sprawling glaciers, wonderful non active volcanoes and waterfalls and not to forget the black sand beach! The south coast is one of Iceland’s most breathtaking natural attractions!
If you start your day early you are able to see them all!
We had scheduled a self drive tour for Snaefellsness provence of Iceland however due to weather conditions we were unable to see it this time!
For the self drive tour we would recommend you download the weather app veður As the weather keeps is turbulent in Iceland especially in winter downloading this app is a must!
Iceland is a must visit. Visiting Iceland will always be one of my favourite memories and I would love to go visit Iceland in summer as i have heard that it is a completely different country then!
Are you planning a vacation to Iceland?
Have any thoughts do share!