In the past couple of years there has been a major increase in the amount of people who are visiting the beautiful country of Iceland. Because of this, I started seeing more and more images of this magical place on Instagram and all over the internet. Naturally, I added it to my bucket list and I was recently lucky enough to land there during our 17-day honeymoon, which consisted of visiting four different countries. Iceland was our first stop and this blog post is the first of a four part series where I will be sharing with you the details of our unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
(By the way- all of the stunning images in this blog post were taken by my incredibly talented husband, Jordan Heid. Check out his website here.)
Let me start by saying how important it is to marry someone who loves to travel if you tend to have a wanderlust spirit like I do. One of our favorite things to do together is open up a bottle of wine, put on comfy clothes and sit at the computer researching our next adventure. (I recently shared some of my best travel tips here.)
We were having a night like that when we mapped out the timeline of our slightly delayed honeymoon. When you don’t have a wedding, you get to take a big trip. (Eloping is the way to go!) We found flights to Iceland on WOW Air for $100 one way (plus baggage fees). WHAT A STEAL. And that’s how we chose our first stop.
To keep this post from being entirely too long, I’m going to share our top 3 Icelandic experiences.
1. Snæfellsnes Peninsula
We took a three hour drive north when we arrived in Iceland and stayed in the most adorable cottage facing the sea.
There are many small villages, unbelievable waterfalls and stunning cliffs overlooking the ocean on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. We found beautiful long stretches of uninhibited land that made the drive overwhelmingly picturesque.
While exploring the peninsula we even stumbled upon a national park where the entire ground was covered in bright green moss, black lava rocks were piled up and the mountains were showing off in the distance.
We literally felt like we had landed on Mars, or some other unknown planet! It truly was unlike anywhere else I have ever been.
2. The Blue Lagoon
Yes, this is probably the most touristy thing you can do in Iceland, but there is a reason people come from all over the world to experience it. There’s no way to describe this large geothermal pool except simply magical. The icy blue water was nearly 100 degrees while the outside air was close to 40. The entire lagoon is constantly producing steam and the large black lava rocks surrounding the water make you feel like you’re in a dream.
We decided to splurge and stay one night at the hotel right on the lagoon so we’d be close by and it’s such a stunning property that we couldn’t not stay here. The patio to our room was surrounded by lava rocks. Not a view you expect to see anywhere!
One of the perks of staying at Silica Hotel is the fact that they have their own private lagoon for hotel guests. We woke up the next morning to go for an early swim and had the whole lagoon to ourselves. I didn’t want to leave this dreamy place.
3. Sólheimasandur Plane Crash
45 years ago, a US Navy plane crashed on the south coast of Iceland and the plane is still there today alongside a beautiful black sand beach near the city of Vik. To get there, you have to hike for 45 minutes through a huuuuge field of black sand and although I got blisters on the way back and the cold wind was blowing the entire time, it was totally worth it! I can’t say I’ve ever walked through a crashed plane until now.
Everywhere you go in Iceland, you see these beautiful long haired “midget horses” (as Jordan calls them) roaming the land. On the way to the site of the plane crash, we stopped to make a few new friends.
The truth is, Iceland exceeded my expectations as far as the unique beauty of the country. The pictures don’t totally do it justice because I mean, there’s nothing like experiencing this place for yourself. A few things to consider when visiting Iceland: You definitely need to rent a car. This was fairly inexpensive, however the gas was about $10/gallon. YIKES!! Food and drinks are extremely expensive as well, so be sure to budget appropriately. We definitely had a night where we went to the grocery store and created a homemade cheese and charcuterie board for dinner instead of dining out. We also went to a local pizza joint one day because we knew that would be cheaper! Also, be sure and get your wine at the Duty Free store at the airport when you arrive. That will definitely save you money. Iceland is super tech savvy and we didn’t even end up exchanging any money into their currency because literally everywhere takes credit cards.
As you can tell by the photos, this isn’t a place you go to get dressed up and go out on the town. I hardly wore makeup, my hair was air dried most of the time and we spent our days here simply exploring a new country. So as long as you love the outdoors and a little road trippin’, you will love it here!
We spent four full days in Iceland and everyone asks if we would go back again. The answer is absolutely because it was too cloudy for us to see the Northern Lights while we were there and that is something both Jordan and I are dying to experience together. So we’ll go back, explore a new part of the country and hope to catch that glorious sight next time.
Now go visit WOW Air’s website and get your trip booked! I promise you won’t regret it. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any tips/tricks/advice when it comes to visiting Iceland! Our second stop was Norway and I cannot wait to share that part of our adventure with you. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!