INCREDIBLE is the word I associate with our trip to Iceland. I wasn’t expecting Iceland to engage me in so many ways. Driving along the Ring Road on our first full day introduced us to the changing scenery and weather that is the norm in Iceland.
I instantly realized I needed to be continually looking for new landscapes. As we left Reykjavik the gorgeous countryside of Iceland started to show itself. The further away from Reykjavik we traveled the more unique the landscape and remote we got. There were few gas stations or stores along the drive but plenty of scenic landscape to see. It made me feel free and part of nature.
We spent a week in Iceland which wasn’t long enough to scratch the surface. I would love to travel back someday to finish driving the Ring Road, visit more waterfalls, take a Puffin boat ride, enjoy more hot dogs, order a strawberry pastry from Sandholt and experience a whale watching tour.
Enjoy Part 1 & 2 of our first and hopefully not last trip to Iceland.
July 10, 2021: Day 1 – Arrival Day and Reykjavik
The flight was an easy 5 hours and 48 minutes. Took a little over 2 hours after landing until we were on our way to Reykjavik with the rental car. Lots of lines at different checkpoints for passports, vaccine cards, pre-visitor registration, and car rental. So glad we didn’t check bags or it would have been even longer.
The drive to our hotel in Reykjavik was 45 minutes with very little traffic.
Canopy Hilton of Reykjavik is in a walkable location for food and shopping. The hotel had modern decor and a very nice rooftop patip. Breakfast was included and it was fantastic!
We always book the night before our arrival so our room is ready when we check in. It’s worth it to us to pay and immediately have access to our room. We unpacked and took a nap (this is what works best for us).
After our nap, we headed out to explore. Reykjavik is easy to navigate. As per normal on any trip, we headed straight to a bakery (Braud & Co.) and it was excellent! A little sugar helped us spend the rest of the afternoon walking around, taking pictures, and shopping.
We ended the night with a glass of wine at our hotel.
July 11, 2021: Day 2 - Road Trip, Waterfalls, Glaciers, Black Sand Beaches, Vik, and more!
We started the day early with a wonderful and filling breakfast at our hotel. Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach are located about 5 1/2 hours from Reykjavik along the Ring Road. We decided to stay one night in Vik as there are a lot of interesting, beautiful, and special places to stop along the way.
As we left Reykjavik we saw a lot of purple Nootka or Alaskan lupine fields. Which are so pretty!
The route we took had an ever-changing landscape including black flat land, incredible waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, rocky hills, the ocean, lots of sheep, Icelandic horses, small villages, streams, and bridges.
As we drive along the windy road it was hard to decide what to look at. Every direction was unique and gorgeous!
Our first stop was the impressive Seljalandsfoss waterfall. We were happy we had our hiking boots, waterproof pants, and rain jackets with us because of the mist. We used our rain gear many times during our trip.
There is a path that takes you behind the waterfall and you get very wet from the spray. The views are spectacular! The path has some climbing over rocks and uneven ground but it wasn't overly difficult. If you enjoy a little adventure then make sure to do this.
As we continued our drive we stopped at several lookout areas and took a few pictures. One thing I really liked about Iceland was how the scenery is ever changing.
Our first Icelandic hot dog was from a little gas station along the Ring Road. I had mine with fried onions and don’t think I will ever eat a regular American hot dog again. Icelandic hot dogs are sooo much better!
Around 3 pm we arrived at Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. The glaciers are stunning and more beautiful than I imagined. There was a path along the shore to view the glaciers. I took so many pictures.
Diamond Beach with black sand is accessible by walking further down the path and under the road. The pieces that are in the Glacier Lagoon make their way to the ocean and many wash up on Diamond Beach.
Some are large and some are smaller and the waves move them around. It’s a spectacular sight!
After spending a few hours enjoying this area we headed back to Vik to spend the night at Hotel Kria. There are limited dining options in Vik. We decided on The Soup Company which was a perfect choice. We each ordered soup and a sandwich. All soup comes with unlimited bread and a second bowl of soup. Everything was excellent and very filling.
The Reynisdrangar View and Black Sand Beach parking lot was a short distance from The Soup Company. We arrived at an almost empty beach. It was amazing to walk around taking pictures and listening to the waves.
Hotel Kria was in a great location and we were lucky to get a room with a great view. Breakfast was included and the room we ate in had a stunning view of the mountains.
The room was nice but wasn't as upscale as the website pictures made it look. The staff was very helpful and accommodating. There was a very large gift shop and grocery store across the street which was handy.
We did a lot in the first two days of our Iceland adventure. Day 2 & 3 coming soon!