I started with the specifics, but want to end with a wider picture. Despite some challenges and some success eating in Iceland every other part of the trip was magical!
We spent most of our time in Reykjavik – kicking it off on day one with a walking tour from I heart Reykjavik. I would definitely recommend this. It got us oriented and adjusted after an overnight flight. While you’re on the tour it feels like you’re going all over the place and you may never find these places again, but wander around a bit more (or consult their cute little Tak Tak card after the tour) and you realize that most of central Reykjavik is pretty much ten blocks!
On our third day we went to the Blue Lagoon. It is certainly a cool experience and very other world-ly. It feels kind of like you are bathing on the moon in those lava fields.
It was worth the trip but I don’t think it was as much as I was expecting. There was very little to do apart from lounge in the water or a steam room/sauna. There was no really outside lounging type area and it was cold to do so anyways. I kept comparing in my mind to the capital region’s Spa Nordik and for a full day experience I would say Nordik is far above. It was really nice that they had staff around to take your photo (for free!). That was really appreciated!
Our next and final trip out of the city was the Golden Circle. This is the most common tourist trip as you can see three major natural wonders in one day from Reykjavik. Instead of a bus tour we hired a driver through our hotel which allowed us to see most of the sites without a huge group of people on a bus. We also got to add in a few cool stops along the way as well, including a hydroponic greenhouse that grows tomatoes. It was really cool. Iceland grows 80% of the tomatoes the country needs in this way – which is pretty amazing given that the climate and landscape doesn’t really permit much in the way of farming. There was even a restaurant in the greenhouse with tomato-everything on the menu!
We stayed in an apartment style hotel (the best in Iceland Brent would proudly proclaim!) which really helped on the food front. We had breakfast at the hotel every day and many lunches and a few dinners as well. Breakfast always included some Icelandic Skyr:
‘d read about Skyr before we arrived and was excited/nervous to try it. Cheese that tastes like yogurt… hmm. But – turns out it was really good. Like Greek Yogurt but even higher in protein and lower in sugar. Win! And now it’s trendy back in Canada too so we have continued on our Skyr kick. It was even in the Globe and Mail and Chatelaine recently. I do like to think I’m a tastemaker…
A few other highlights… also food related – I’m obsessed!
There’s a big coffee culture in Reykjavik. Lots of cafes. The most popular was Reykjavik Roasters with a line out the door everytime we walked by. We finally went in to try and it was well worth a wait. And the other thing they love… despite the cold temperatures is ice cream. Year-round! We felt like locals when on our last day we finally had some ice cream outside (wearing hats and my big scarf). Oh yeah – my other highlight was the shopping! We came away with some great treasures that will remind us of this honeymoon for years to come including a beautiful icelandic wool blanket, a sweater each and my awesome big scarf and cute little hat. Yay!
When we planned this trip we knew that we wouldn’t get a chance to fully explore the country, but thought that it would be nice to plan ahead for an anniversary trip. And after dipping our toes in the Icelandic water it is certainly our plan to return again.