Pursuing Iceland

As many of you may have noticed from scrolling through social media, Iceland has become quite the tourist location for people of all ages. Part of this is due to the fairly new Icelandic WOW airlines expanding their territory across the U.S. and Europe. With their dramatically cheap prices, it has given tourists the ability to explore places they have never been, with Iceland being the hub.

Iceland overall is fairly large to explore, which leaves some at a loss of where to start. Well, that is what the Pursuit of Delights is here for! Rather than just providing a long article of tips, we’d like to share our pictures and personal experiences to help guide you along! Let’s begin…

  • Plan Ahead! 
    • Although you do not need to plan out every step before your trip, it is a good idea to know what types of scenes you would like to see. If you are still unsure by searching the web, there are a few Iceland focused Facebook groups. One is “Iceland Travel Team” which is great for posting questions and seeing other’s experiences 
    • Lean on Air BnB as a resource for places to stay in addition to hotels. If you choose one with a good rating, you will likely have a nice, clean, homey experience
    • There is limited daylight depending on the time of year. Our light was between 10a-4p on average. Iceland is a very dark place in some areas. If you want to actually see that monument, waterfall, beach, etc., you will need to plan around the light
  • Visit the Blue Lagoon!
    • Even if you are not planning to stay in the area, the Blue Lagoon is only 45 minutes from Keflavik airport. It was AMAZING and perfectly warm and cozy on any given day in Iceland
    • Try to get to the lagoon as close to their opening time as possible. The process from arriving to actually getting in the water takes about 30 minutes. The lines are much longer around 11a in comparison to 8a. Your experience will be smoother and less stressful the shorter the lines are and the faster you get into the water. 
  • Make it a Road Trip!
    • We rented a car through Blue Car rental- which I would suggest, as they are very reputable in Iceland and have a direct shuttle from the airport. Their prices are also beyond reasonable with coupon codes available
    • When renting, the vehicles will tell you how many pieces of luggage will fit in the car. This is based off of “small” luggage. Being mindful of this, it would be best to add 1 to the number of luggage space needed when selecting your vehicle 
    • Although your GPS will work on your phone or in the car, they may direct you to off roads that are unsafe to drive on – unless you choose the proper vehicle. Our friend and fellow traveler purchased a paper map, which was a LIFE-SAVER when determining the best route to take and maximum number of sites to visit 
    • Majority of our nights were spent in Reykjavik. However, we drove to Vik and spent one night there to see as many places as possible and complete a small portion of the Golden Circle
  • Do NOT Let The Weather Stop You!
    • The weather changes very frequently in Iceland. One moment it was nice and sunny. The next foggy. The next rainy. The next windy. Do not let this deter you from visiting the places you’d like to see. The experiences are well worth it! At some locations, we were getting hit in the face with wind and rain, but this did not stop us. That’s what having the proper clothes are for!
    • Speaking of clothes, double layers of thermal leggings/pants, hats, gloves, boots, and waterproof EVERYTHING are a MUST! Your body will thank you for being overly prepared! If you have an umbrella, you should probably ditch it, as it might break from the wind combined with the rain anyway 🙂 
  • Make Time For the Black Sand Beach!
    • I mean, just look at it. It’s beautiful. Need I say more?! How often will you get to walk on black sand?
    • Be careful though! The closer you get to the water, the windier it gets. We literally were sucked into a wind tunnel, which took every bit of effort to pull ourselves out of
    • Do not let the weather at the top of the Black Sand Beach fool you. It gets colder every step you take
  • If Your Body Allows, Walk to the Top of Skogafoss!
    • Seeing the waterfall from the bottom was such a pretty site, but walking up the 400+ steps to see it from the top made for such a unique experience. Take breaks if you must, but at least try to get to the top. Many of the waterfalls cannot accommodate this for safety reasons. If the chance is there and the site allows it, please take advantage of it
  • If you stop at Seljalandsfoss, find the hidden waterfall- Gljufrabui!
    • Many people come to Seljalandsfoss because, well… it’s magnificent. But what some may not know is there is a hidden waterfall just a short walk from it called Gljufrabui!
    • If you have waterproof shoes, be brave and walk inside. This is one of the few waterfalls you can get up close and personal with. It was breathtaking!

iceland waterfall

  • Explore Reykjavik
    • Reykjavik is one of the larger areas of Iceland and is filled with many cutesy restaurants, shops, and things to do. A few suggestions we have are:
      • Visit their tallest church and take the elevator to the top. You will see the area from a completely different perspective
      • Visit their museums
      • If you are looking for nightlife, this is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights. They do not stop until the wee hours of the morning!

We hope this was an easy guide to help enhance your Iceland experience. If you have not yet decided on traveling to this beyond amazing location, hopefully the images have pushed you toward adding it to your bucket list. You will not be disappointed. Until our next journey…. 

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Flying back home over Greenland

Don’t forget to read our full write up on the food in Iceland Here. Also, remember to tell us about your Iceland experiences in the Share Your Pursuits! section!

 

 

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