Iceland is one of my favorite destinations I’ve gone to! I traveled there on a business trip layover and I was definitely shocked with the beauty I found. If you’re looking for a price breakdown, I’m sorry I didn’t purchase flights to and from, but I’ll put a breakdown of what I did spend at the bottom. When I traveled to Iceland I didn’t know much about the island, I hadn’t even known that we were headed there until a couple days before. I visited Iceland at the end of May and we only had a day and a half to explore, I think we did a lot in the short amount of time. Luckily, I got to tag along with a couple coworkers that knew the area and how to get around the island. This is a review on everything I did. Feel free to scroll down to the summary =).
Iceland is very very expensive. I had no idea before I went there just how expensive it could be, even more so than Switzerland! Think stadium prices. I forgot to pack socks in my carryon and I had to buy a pair, they cost me $14 for a CRAPPY thin pair. Food and drink is also very very expensive, mid-teens for a beer! It is an island after all!
We stayed next to the Keflavik Airport in a small town called Reykjanesbaer. It was the Park Inn by Radisson Reykjavik, a very nice hotel. Again, expensive but worth it, you’re going to pay 200usd + per night for this. This hotel is relatively close to the Blue Lagoon too…oooohhhahhhh! It isn’t very close to the big city life in Reykjavik though.
A rental car is a must in Iceland. Most of the major attractions that I went to were miles and miles apart. We traveled a lot on our short stay but Iceland has well maintained roads and it was easy to navigate. The scenery in Iceland is breathtaking and I enjoyed watching through the window as we drove around all day!
We got there in the afternoon so of course our first stop was the Blue Lagoon. If you don’t know what the Blue Lagoon is…have you been hiding under a rock? Just kidding, but seriously it’s a widely sought after destination and on many people’s bucket list. It’s a geothermal pool, spa, and hotel located in what looks like the middle of nowhere or on the moon (thanks to lava). It’s a geothermal pool that is a milky blue color due to silica and algae. The water and mud is thought to benefit your skin and be relaxing. I’m such a cheap a$$ I almost didn’t want to go but I am glad I did! I believe it was around $70ish. I also bought a drink inside and that was like $12. The Blue Lagoon is pretty large and highly commercialized. Even though there is a lot of people, you can get away from crowds easily and there are warmer and cooler places to go in the water depending on what you like. There are a few buckets of the silica mud scattered around and you can put it on your face. I didn’t really want to do that but my coworkers made me, haha! For how many people go in and out, I thought that it was very clean. The blue lagoon website also says that the lagoon renews its water every 40 hours. All in all it’s a must go when you’re in Iceland.
Plates / Rocks:
The next day we loaded up in the rental car and headed out for some real adventure. Our first stop was the Eurasian Plate/North American Plate Bridge. I’m not really in to geology but I thought this was pretty cool. It was pretty scenery and kind of cool to see some of the oldest rocks on earth!
We drove quite a ways to the next stop, Urridafoss Falls. The scenery during the drive was so magnificent that I didn’t even complain (I hate riding in the car). The falls were really beautiful, I loved seeing the gorgeous purple lupine surrounding us as well.
Next, we saw Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This was really pretty but don’t forget your rain coat! You can walk behind the falls and get all sorts of beautiful pictures. Oh, by the way, don’t forget to pack snacks for the day because most of these places aren’t surrounded by towns or gas stations.
The next waterfall we saw was probably my favorite! Don’t forget good shoes, I did this in converse with no problem but you may want better gear. This falls is called Skogafoss. It’s is quite the falls, you can hike up to the top and see the breathtaking view!
For lunch we went to one of the only restaurants in the town (small small village?) of Vik Myrdal. This town is a small fishing town and is next to a stunning black sand beach and its iconic “Sea Trolls”. The “Sea Trolls” are stacks of basalt dotted across the beach, jutting into the ocean. These rock stacks are home to a lot of different species of birds, one is the Puffin (my childhood favorite!).
Our last stop was the Solheimajokul glacier. I’ve only seen a few glaciers in my travels and this one was pretty neat because you could hike up real close and even get on it. Definitely a must stop because the enormity of it is just so cool!
All in all I think that Iceland is a very gorgeous place and I’m super glad that I was lucky enough to take a detour through the island. I’d say that if you could make a pit stop through Iceland on your way to Europe, do it! It’s amazing, I just wish I had my hubby with me (he makes everything more fun)!
BTW try a hot dog! We stumbled upon a random hot dog stand in the middle of nowhere (not at all suspicious 😉 and it was awesome! I’m not sure what its made of or whats on it but it was delish!
Here is your price break down. I’m sorry I didn’t purchase flights to and from so I’m not sure what those would cost. If you can share a hotel room, split a rental car, and gas, I think that this would be a pretty affordable vacation destination. It’s definitely worth the stop!
Hotel: 2 nights – $594.00 (I think there are cheaper out there)
Rental Car: 2 days – Toyota Yaris (small car) $265.80 with taxes and fees
Gas: $80.00 – beware gas prices are crazy expensive too $5.30/gal
Blue Lagoon: $75.00
Other attractions: Free!
*note I’m unsure about some of the spellings, I did my best. Sorry.