Wednesday, April 8, 2015

9 Things to do in Iceland

THE BLUE LAGOON
Reykjavik Iceland Blue Lagoon Reykjavik Iceland Blue Lagoon 1

Of all the things we did in Iceland, The Blue Lagoon was my favourite. For those of you who don't know, it's a geothermal spa located in a big-ass lava field with a very agreeable temperature of 37 degrees. There's natural face masks at the side of the lagoon for you to enjoy, as well as a bar IN THE ACTUAL POOL so that you can sip on a strawberry wine or a beer as you take in the beauty of it all (fun fact time: it's one of the 25 wonders of the world). It's open as late as 10 at night, and I think we actually ended up staying in for about three and a half hours, splitting our time between the lagoon itself and the saunas. Despite the water being such an enjoyable the temperature, the weather above water was, well, not enjoyable - I think it was around 2 degrees that day and it was windy as hell - so I didn't manage to get many good photos of the pool itself, but you can see better for yourself here.

Tip: if you get your hair wet you're going to end up with Barbie hair for at least a week thanks to all the minerals, so either tie your hair up or invest in a good conditioning treatment.

HALLGRIMSKIRKJA

Hallgrimskirkja is the largest church in Iceland (it stands at a whopping 244ft) and was one of the first places we decided to visit on the Saturday morning as the weather was on our side and we'd heard very good things about the view from the top. Because of it's height it's visible right across the city so was pretty easy to find!
Hallgrímskirkja Reykjavik 4 Hallgrímskirkja Reykjavik 2
Hallgrímskirkja Reykjavik

The building itself is absolutely beautiful inside. It's a really peaceful church so make sure and take the time to wander round and take it all in, from the stained glass window to the MAHOOSIVE pipe organ. However, the view from the top really did steal the show...

Hallgrímskirkja Reykjavik view from top

you can see right the way across Reykjavik and beyond, it's kind of like you're Simba standing on top of Pride Rock looking across all the land. Except, you know, you don't own any of it. You have to pay to go up but it's not much (the equivalent of a couple of pounds) and is well worth it!

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE TOUR
reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour

Oh my goodness I could actually write a book about how amazing The Golden Circle Tour was. However, I feel even my Mum wouldn't read that, so instead I'll keep it limited to a section of a blog post. It's Iceland's most popular tour if I'm not mistaken, and you'll soon see why. You start off your day by driving through the most incredible scenery of snowy hills and volcanoes, which wouldn't actually look out of place in The Sound of Music come to think of it. This drive does last about an hour and a half from what I remember so, you know, do that toilet before you leave or prepare to work those bladder muscles like you've never worked them before.

reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour tomato farm (2) reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour tomato farm

First stop, the tomato farm! It's a it of a random little stop where you learn all about the farm and how the tomatoes are grown (it's the kind of place my papa would be in his element), but then you get the opportunity to try some freshly made tomato soup (utterly delicious) and some homemade bread (I couldn't try it because of my very fun gluten allergy but Rob said the cinnamon one was the best roll he's ever had). There's also bloody marys on the go for anyone who's feeling a little delicate!

reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour geyser 1 reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour geyser (2) reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour geyser 3 reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour geyser reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour Geyser 2

The next stop off is at the geysers which was just incredible. As you can hopefully see from the photos, it's like you've stepped back in time to the Ice Age or into Jurassic Park - the landscape's like nothing I've ever seen before. The Strokkur geyser erupts every 5-8 minutes and is such a crazy sight, like an invisible whale's constantly firing off its blowhole. 

Tip: Put your hood up: a particularly big geyser eruption is like standing under mother nature's shower.

reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour gullfoss (3) reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour gullfoss (2) reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour gullfoss

Next up was Gullfoss, which is an incredible big waterfall. The sheer size and power of it is like nothing I've ever seen before - see the people on the bottom right of that last photo there to get an idea of it's scale! Also, fun fact, Gullfoss is the waterfall that appears on the cover of the Echo and the Bunnymen 'Porcupine' album cover.

reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour national park (2) reykjavik Iceland golden circle tour national park

The last stop of the tour is Thingveller National Park, which is another of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen in real life; the whole place looks photoshopped. Nature's version of Ryan Gosling's abs if you like. There's so much history that's taken place there, which you can really feel as you walk through and - fun fact alert strike two - the ha-uge wall used in Game of Thrones is actually located in Thingveller Park.

NORTHERN LIGHTS  
Reykjavik Iceland Northen Lights Tour
Now, a trip to Iceland wouldn't be a trip to Iceland without a northern lights tour, would it? If you've known me for more than five minutes you'll know that seeing them has been top of my bucketlist for, well, I don't even know how long. We stayed out until three in the morning hunting for them and finally spotted them just as we were leaving to go home, which was absolutely amazing. They were too weak to photograph but I'm perfectly ok with that because it gives me a much-needed excuse to return to Iceland STAT. I think next time we'll either rent a jeep or go on a snowmobile right out into the wilderness.

Tip: Do the toilet before you go on the tour (same as with any Reykjavik Excursion tour) as there are no toilets on the bus. I've never had to test my bladder more than I did on the Golden Circle tour. Painful stuff. Also, you literally cannot wrap up enough for this tour - standing in the dark for hours late at night does not make for a warm body.

LAKE TJORNIN

We came across Lake Tjornin by accident on our last day in Reykjavik when we were wandering around, and I'm so glad we did. It is, in a word, picture perfect. Ok, two words then. It's surrounded by lovely colourful houses (but where isn't in Reykjavik) and there's swans and geese galore. If you're the kind of keen bean who likes to exercise on holiday then a) I envy you greatly and b) this is the place to go for a jog or a cycle. Apparently you can ice skate on it as well when it freezes over in Winter which sounds like a bit of a dream. Reykjavik City Hall sits right on the edge of the lake so make sure and check that out as well!

reykjavik Iceland lake tjornin (2) reykjavik Iceland lake tjornin 2 reykjavik Iceland lake tjornin 1

LAUGAVEGUR
reykjavik laugavegur

It'd be pretty impossible to do Reykjavik and not do Laugavegur as it's the main street for shopping as well as for bars and restaurants. It's maintained a nice, historic feel to it and is filled with everything from homeware stores, to clothing stores to old fashioned sweetie shops so makes the perfect place for a stroll. Skolaviordustigur is another great street to walk up for cafes and coffee shops! 

Tip: If you forget a travel adapter (yes, I was that guy. Leave me alone) then Brynja - the hardware shop on Laugavegur - is one of the only, if not the only, place you'll find them.


THE PENIS MUSEUM
Reykjavik penis museum Reykjavik penis museum (2)

As soon as I heard such a thing existed it went straight to the top of my list of things to do. We thought it'd be really funny but it actually turned out to be a bit.. weird. There's every kind of penis imaginable in there, even human - I kid you not, as well as a variety of accoutrements, like bowties and lamps to name a few, made of, um, foreskin. It's only around about £5 entry and you do learn a lot like, for example, a killer whale has a massive, massive penis. If you don't believe me just look at the photo above.

KOLAPORTID FLEA MARKET
Reykjavik Iceland Indoor flea market (2) Reykjavik Iceland Indoor flea market

Kolaportid is Iceland's only flea market and is filled to the brim with treasures. We walked through without buying anything (first time for everything) but spotted everything from records, to clothes, to food, to rows of silver rings. Rumour has it you can even find yourself some fermented shark there. If you're into that sort of thing.


ENJOY THE VIEW!
Reykjavik Iceland view

As you've probably guessed from the rest of my posts, Iceland is a visual feast. There's a real strong feeling of history and times gone past been preserved that gives it a really special edge and, no matter where you go or what you do on your trip, there's beauty to take in everywhere you look. So that, my friends, is my biggest tip of all - look up and soak it all in!

Obviously that's not all that's on the go in Iceland (it's FILLED with things to do) but these are just a selection of the things we did during our time there and loved! I hope you're enjoying these posts so far, there's one final one still to come and it's one of my favourites. You guessed it, it's where to eat in Iceland! That'll be live next week so get your peepers (and your stomach) at the ready!

Amy

Thank you to WOW air and Airbnb for such a wonderful trip!

39 comments:

Camille said...

Great post
Xoxo
http://fashionbackyard.blogspot.fr

kathryn wylie said...

Iceland looks amazing, I'd love to visit! X

http://thestylecompulsion.blogspot.co.uk

Daria said...

All your Iceland posts have literally had me dying to go there! xxx

Carys Emily said...

Iceland looks beautiful, I've always wanted to visit !

Distant Dreamer

Karen McCourt said...

Oh I want to go to Iceland even MORE now, it looks amazing! Loving your posts and looking forward to the food one...nothing new there! :D

Karen
http://themixandmatchblog.com/

Colleen said...

The penis museum?! I've never heard of that - it looks insane! Iceland looks SO pretty. Great post!

COOCOO FOR COCO

Jennifer.P said...

It looks beautiful, I would love to go someday!
xx
Pretty as Summer

Charlene said...

Iceland is definitely top of my travel bucket list. It looks like such a beautiful, unique country.

x

p.s. that photograph of you and Rob kissing by the waterfall is so lovely!

Laura said...

I'm dying to go to Iceland, it looks amazing! What a beautiful trip!

TINYTWISST.COM

Hello Beth said...

I have anted to go to Iceland for a long time now but this post just makes me want to go even more.

Beth x
http://www.hellobeth.co.uk

Steph Marston said...

Looks like you had a fab time! I went there recently too and really wish I'd known about the flea market - it looks awesome!

You can also glacier walk and find a waterfall in a cave in Iceland too - if you are interested, I blogged about my trip here: http://www.stephstyle.com/a-wintery-weekend-in-iceland/

Steph x
www.stephstyle.com

Emma Walker said...

Love this!
Emma | With A City Dream

Izzy Duff said...

Im so jealous, looks amazing! x
http://wearsheiz.blogspot.co.uk

Bridie Mia said...

Iceland looks ridiculously cool (pardon the pun!). I'd absolutely love to experience the places you visited x

Bridie | Upon My Sleeve

Rachel said...

Beautiful is an understatement! I NEED to visit soon! x

Nicoletta De Luca said...

What great post!

lb-lc fashion blog| bloglovin'

Ashlee Favro said...

OMG this trip is on my bucket list, must say I am jealous! Been dying to see the Blue Lagoon!!

www.tusksandtails.com

Janne said...

Icelands looks so gorgeous! I've always wanted to go there, but my parents don't. They say that there's nothing to do over there but I'll show them this post for sure because there's so much to do. Definitely gonna go to Iceland someday :)

puherock said...

muy bonitas fotos

Lauren S said...

WOW Iceland really is a place to feast your eyes on some views! The Golden circle, church and thermal spas looks incredible, what a treat!

Lauren x
Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty - www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

Josie Pattle said...

Amazing photos. It looks like you had the best time! I definitely want to visit one day!

Josie :) x

www.aprettypostit.blogspot.com

Holl JC said...

Iceland is defo on my bucket list of places I need to visit one day! It looks like the most beautiful country, and the Blue Lagoon just sounds incredible! x

holljc.blogspot.co.uk

Jasiminne said...

I've been wanderlusting over Blue Lagoon, it's my top pick in my Waterlust travel wish list so this post couldn't have been more timely for me! I'll take it as a sign that I absolutely have to visit Iceland - thanks for giving me that little nudge! x

Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

Emily Jane Webb said...

Gorgeous photos! I went in 2013 with a school trip, probably one of the reasons why I didn't go to the Penis museum haha! I absolutely loved the lagoon though, I wanted to stay there for my whole trip! I also saw the northern lights, beautiful xx
www.emilyjanewebb.co.uk

Kirsty Yule said...

Ah I've always wanted to go to Iceland and now this made me want to go so much more. The northern lights is definitely on my list of things I want to do but the hot spa looks incredible too.
Kirsty x
www.kirsty-y.blogspot.co.uk

Debonita Choudhury said...

This post is making me want to go to iceland. You look so lovely in all those layers.

Elegantly Fashionable

sewsensational said...

What lovely photos! We went to Reykjavik, Snaefellsnes and Akureyri in December last year and there was so much snow - it looks so different in the sunshine!

Mariel Parton said...

absolutely love this post Amy, so helpful and your photos are stunning. I'm bookmarking this for when I visit Iceland someday :) <3

http://amelodyofdiaries.blogspot.co.uk/

Nikki Williams said...

looks like an amazing place to travel!

xx nikki
www.dream-in-neon.com

Oroma Roxella Rukevwe said...

Wow! That cathedral! These are great photos, I really want to visit!

/ O.R.R.

Kirsten said...

Well, shit. I have never wanted to visit a place as much as I do RIGHT NOW. Iceland is at the very top of my places to visit! Beautiful photos, and you're such a great writer! brb stalking u in every possible way lolol.

Kirsten | kirstenlearns.com

VioletDaffodils said...

Looks and sounds amazing!

VioletDaffodils
xx

Jessica Hardy said...

Looks so great, I'm going in May and can't wait!
Did you have to pre-book the Golden Circle tour and the Blue Lagoon? x

Violet Roots said...

Oh wow you saw the northern lights! I'm glad you caught them in time before you left. Also that waterfall looked amazing! Such an incredible experience.

-M
www.violetroots.com

Selena J said...

beautiful photos!

↠Mondays & Mimosas↞

Heather said...

Great Post!! OMG i love your coat and hat...where did you get them from?

Krusha said...

Me too! Loving the coat & desperately NEED one in my life. Please do put me out of my misery & tell us where you got it from? Pretty please!

https://www.a1autotransport.com/ship-car-to-iceland.php said...

Great Work! Five Stars for https://www.a1autotransport.com/ship-car-to-iceland.php! They made it look so easy through their skills and experienced staff! I would suggest it to every single person out there!

xumeiqing said...

20161012meiqing
adidas yeezy boost
michael kors outlet store
abercrombie and fitch
birkenstocks
cheap ugg boots
ray ban sunglasses
levis jeans
cheap ugg boots
michael kors outlet
gucci handbags