Whether you're looking for a relaxing and romantic getaway, a unique family-friendly vacation in a place unlike any other, or a thrill-seeking adventure, Iceland is the place for you! My trip there (see my photos below) completely changed my opinion of this island and made me want to live there.
The perfect travel destination
I went to Iceland on a whim and it was the best travel decision I've ever made. When I returned and showed friends and family my photos, many said "It looks like Ireland" and "It looks like ____". I said that Iceland looks like Iceland and there is nowhere else in the world quite like it.
Upon leaving the airport, I rented an SUV from a local agency and bypassed the expensive airport rentals. As soon as I got on the road, I noticed that I was no longer on Earth. Abutting each side of the road were vast expanses of what looked to be moon rocks. The further I drove though, the more sporadic the moon rocks became and the more plentiful the sheep became. Sheep as far as the eye could see!
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The Golden Circle
And, then, I started getting lost. Iceland only has one major road -- the Ring Road, also known as Route 1, but it has many smaller roads (many of which aren't actual paved roads).
My husband and I had one plan for the first day: the do one of the three tourist-y things while in Iceland. We were going to visit all three sights that make up The Golden Circle: Gullfoss, Þingvellir, and Geysir. It was fun to drive to the points of the triangle, but jarring and also a little scary. It was hard to tell if we were going the right way. I highly recommend going on one of their many bus tours. I would have enjoyed the early goes of my trip a lot more had I not had to worry about whether to take the first or second exit at each of their many roundabouts.
Less Tourist-y Iceland
Though, traveling by car did have many advantages. I was able to drive to Skogar, Iceland, which is somewhere the busses don't travel as frequently. I saw the most amazing waterfall and took a two hour hike along the river that flows to it. At most points, I couldn't see another human other than my husband and I couldn't see either a sign of civilization or technology. It was just me, my husband and more sheep.
The one downside, which I ended up seeing as an upside, was the horrible television selection at the bed & breakfast we stayed at. After an overnight flight, we really wanted to watch some Icelandic television and soak up culturally in the laziest way possible. Our alternative: looking over our guidebook to make our plan for the next day. Guidebooks are so much more fun when you're in the country the book is for!
Recommended Iceland Travel Guides
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Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon
Back to Toursit-y
And for those who want to relax, there are the classic tours of Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a must see. The road there takes you back through Moon territory and just when you think you'll never find it, there it is. It's situated next to what seems like a strange and big power plant, with steam billowing around (which added even more to the other worldly feel of Iceland). Once inside the Lagoon, you can order drinks, put on a face mask made of mud, and enjoy the warmth.
My trip to Iceland lasted three and a half days. I had some of the best food of my life and many of the most beautiful moments. Years later, I look back at it as the happiest three and a half days of my life. I wish I had had a month there, but it was amazing how many great adventures I was able to pack into such a short time. The flight with Icelandair was short, direct, and cheap. What's keeping you here? Head to Iceland today!