#Europe, #Romance, Aurora Borealis, Aurora chase, Europe, Iceland, Northern lights, Reykjavik, Travel, travel & living, Vik, Wanderlust

Icelandic Experience

Even before our flight landed, I had made up my mind on visiting Iceland again, and probably for longer period of time. This country has a lot and lot to offer. The beauty is so raw and untouched , compared to other countries I have been to. And topping to all, were the Icelandic people. They are so humble and down to earth, and they really want you to have a nice time. Icelandic weather can be a bit irritating, but like they say “Give it a few minutes”. It keeps on changing. However if you plan to visit during the end of October, don be fooled, wear warm clothes and preferably layers so that its easier to take them off when needed.

Itinerary:

Flights : Flights can be a bit expensive, if not searched properly. However if you are very sure on the destination have an alert set up in Sky-Scanner with the preferred dates (give and take) and the destination. So they can send you an email, if there are any offers or low-cost flights. For us we booked our self the flight from Copenhagen to Reykjavik via WOW airlines. People are bit skeptical about this, but to my experience, I had a very clean and hassle free journey. The flights are pretty good, however do check their cabin baggage requirement, based on which you can opt for more luggage. The return flight cost us about 160 Euros, which is comparatively very cheap!

Stay: There are a lot of hotels, guest houses and hostels to opt from. We booked our accommodation in the Guesthouse Aurora. It was a 2 bed room, with shared kitchen and toilet. The cost for the stay was bout 75 Euros for 2 person per night. Most of the guest houses have a complimentary breakfast, which consist of variety of breads, cereals, biscuits, eggs , juice , tea and coffee. The stay can be booked from booking.com.

Transportation: Since Reykjavik is growing in the tourism area, they are trying to make your stay more and more convenient and enjoyable. Right from the time you land, you have bus services which will take you to the city center to the main bus station or to the specified guesthouses where you are staying. A single trip from Airport to city center costs about 15 Euros to the main bus terminal and round trip of 28 Euros. And the same to the guest house cost about 19 Euros and round trip costs about 35 Euros.

Things to do:

Since we were there for a very short period of time, we had to plan each and every activity so that we can utilize most of our time.

1st day: We landed around 3 PM local time at KEF airport. After which we took the fly-bus to our guest house which takes about 45 minutes. So we had a couple of hours in the evening to look around the city. Tickets can be booked online, or bought on flight or from the counter at the airport.

 “Hallgrímskirkja” : This is a church which was like a minute walk from our guest house, and one of the beautiful and very different architecture churches. It is the largest church apparently in Iceland at the moment. This church is visible and can be easily located from any part of the city center.

  
Sun Voyage (Sólfar): This majestic boat-shaped structure overlooking the sea and the mountains is a perfect place for the photographers to get a awwww moment photos. For me it was more of a beauty! with its bronze color glittering to the rays of the sun. make sure you are here for the sunset , as the light falls on this structure, giving it a nice look.

  
SushiSamba: One of the best ways to wrap up the evening with the exotic menus of the SushiSamba. It’s a restaurant in the shopping street of Reykjavik and can be easily located like any other place. We opted for a 7 course Icelandic feast which included of Puffin, Whales, Arctic char, Reindeer, lobster and lamb. And ending it with an Icelandic dessert. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone who would want a little special touch to their trip. The meal cost bout 53 Euros. A bit expensive, but very much worth it.

  
  
 Northern light tours: Yes we did this! we booked our self a tour with the Sterna tours for the Aurora Chase. The tour departs everyday at 19.30 and 21.00. Even though they don’t promise on the Aurora sighting, they are more than happy to offer you a free tour the consecutive day. For us, we were on a lucky part or may be our guide was very much determined to get us to see them. After hours of waiting, we finally managed to catch the Aurora. From my personal experience, it’s a very very pale green color light dancing (more of flowing) in the sky. A good SLR camera is a must to capture this. Don’t expect to get them on the phones 😦 Tried and tested. They also provide you with hot chocolate and twisted donuts in the middle of the freezing night, and I must say it’s like heaven!. The tour cost about 45 Euros including the pickup and drop.

  
Day 2: This whole day was dedicated to a 11 hours trip across the south coast covering the below locations, and the tickets can be booked with Arctic Adventure – Via Viator , which cost about 158 Euros.

Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss : Both of these waterfalls are beautiful and very scenic. One of them actually has a pathway behind the waterfall. meaning you can walk behind the waterfall 🙂

  
Black-sand beach of Reynisfjara : Since most of the Iceland has the Volcanic ash covered, the black sand beach is no different. What makes it different is the basalt rock stacks. This naturally formed rock structure makes us believe more in the mathematics as a practical thing rather than a theoretical one.

  
The village of Vik : This small village, overlooking the beach has a population of 300 people. A beautiful small town with everything one needs.

Sólheimajökull glacier walk : This was the exciting one in the lot. Be prepped up for a little climbing. A very well done tour which takes you bout 200 to 300 meters on the glacier depending on the group strength. They provide you with Cramp on. Other things can also be rented at a very minimal price.Make sure to specify if you want to rent at the time of the booking.

  
  
 Day 3: Since this was the last day in Iceland, we opted for Blue lagoon to end our trip. Its located about 40 minutes from the Reykjavik city center. We booked a pick up tour from our guest house and drop back to the airport. there is time slot for the bus , which can be opted from. Blue lagoon is a geothermal bath which is on a lava field. We had taken a comfort package at the blue lagoon, which included of sample packs and towels. It cost about 65 Euros. One of the must visit places in Iceland. Tickets can be booked via the tours available in the Viator site.

   
  
Other things to do:

Golden Circle tour : They cover the Geysir and Strokkur hot springs ,Gulfoss waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, Geo-thermal power plant

Whale watching tour

City tours – Hop on Hop off

Final Verdict: One of the most beautiful places on earth with the immense natural and raw beauty still untouched. And this definitely needs to be on the list of “must visit places”.

Iceland will be back again!

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