Iceland

My trip to Iceland truly changed my entire perspective on traveling. I always loved to travel, but would visit places domestically. The beauties of Iceland made me realize that there was so much more to the world and that I needed to venture out. I believed that traveling internationally often was simple not feasible. Well, if there’s a will, there really is a way.

I visited Iceland during Thanksgiving weekend for three nights. My family and I decided to do Thanksgiving dinner early and venture off on a new adventure for the actual holiday! This allowed me to save PTO by only using the paid holiday time off provided by the company I work for.

The details of my trip are outlined below:

Package Deal

  • Booked through Gate 1 Travel
  • Price: $859/person
  • Included: Airfare, 3 nights at hotel including breakfast, Northern Lights tour, shuttle to and from airport/hotel
  • Airline: Icelandair – direct flight from Dulles International Airport to Keflavik International Airport
  • Hotel: Hotel Arnarvholl located in Reykjavik. Central location near many shops and restaurants. Across from Harpa concert & meeting hall.
  • Northern Lights tour: Night tour from hotel to different areas in Iceland to chase the northern lights

Things to Do

Blue Lagoon

  • Purchased online in advance through Gray Line Iceland
  • Price: $65.00
  • Includes pick up and drop off from/to hotel, access to Blue Lagoon
  • Go early to avoid huge crowds! The Blue Lagoon is a huge tourist attraction.
  • They advise you to put conditioner in your hair prior to going in the water. DO NOT IGNORE THIS. The water will dry out your hair.
  • Swim up bar

South Coast, Waterfalls, and Glacier Hike

  • Purchased online in advance through Gray Line Iceland
  • Price: $160.00
  • Includes pick up and drop off from/to hotel, one hour hike on Solheimajokull glacier with guides, and tour of the following sites:
    • Seljalandsfoss waterfall
    • Black sand beach in Vik
    • Reynisdrangar rock pillars
    • Skogafoss waterfall
  • This experience was nothing short of amazing. The tour duration was 11 hours, which may seem long…but don’t be fooled. The time flies by and I really wish we could’ve spent more time at each location. The hike was the perfect balance of adventure and sight seeing. The beauty I witness on those glaciers are indescribable.

Northern lights tour

  • We spent hours during our second and third night in Iceland chasing the northern lights. We were finally able to catch them, but they weren’t as vibrant as they could be. It’s definitely something to do to say that you saw them, but I was honestly a little disappointed. The colors that you see from pictures aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Other

  • There are so many adventures that you can experience in Iceland! Check out Gray Line Iceland website to see a full list
  • Explore Reykjavik by foot. Wander. Get lost and take in the beauty of the city.

 

Tips

  • Iceland can be expensive, so be sure to prepare for that and create a budget
  • If you’re able to rent a car, do it! I will definitely do so during my next visit the Iceland. The tours were great, but you will feel rushed at each attraction. Rent a car so that you’re on your own time
  • Everyone was extremely friendly and majority spoke English
  • I didn’t explore much of the cuisine, but the food I ate was nothing to write home about (although my siblings raved about the hot dogs!)
  • We visited in November, so we didn’t experience much daylight. Be aware of sunrise/sunset depending on when you visit.

 

Photos

 

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