It seems like Dane and I have been preparing for Iceland for so long and almost as quick as the trip was planned, it’s now over. Isn’t that the way vacation always goes? In any case, I have a lot of good content in the works for our Iceland trip and I’m so excited to be here today to kick off a trip overview of our Icelandic vacation. Today I’m sharing our itinerary and an overview of our Iceland vacation!
Overview Of Our Iceland Vacation
We have known we wanted to go to Iceland for a long time for two reasons 1. Waterfalls and 2. The Northern Lights. When we found insanely cheap airfare last winter and booked it right away. Dane and I flew from Honolulu to Baltimore and then from Baltimore to Reykjavik.
This summer, we had friends decide to join us on the trip, which made the trip such a wonderful adventure. They’re from North Carolina so we all met up in Baltimore and spent the day in Washington, D.C. (Holocaust Museum, Spy Museum, lunch at The Smith, National Mall + The White House) before flying from BWI to Reykjavik on WOW Air.
We had set our expectations of WOW Air pretty low since it’s a budget airline, but we were all pleasantly surprised by how good it was given the slightly specific details for luggage, carry-ons, etc. If you set your expectations, grab food with you for the flight with some drinks, then you’ll be good to go. Honestly, we just ate and slept!
We arrived in Reykjavik around 5AM, headed to the Blue Lagoon and then checked into our hotel in downtown Reykjavik. We stayed at the Centerhotels Migardur and it was okay. It had free breakfast, which was nice, but the gym cost 25 euros and the rooms were so, so hot despite opening windows to the 30 degree temperatures.
We had a couple days in Reykjavik before heading south and east, so during our time there we explored the city and famous church, enjoyed the local beer, food hall, Golden Circle and some of the shops. It’s a cute town and has a lot more food options than I was expecting! All of Iceland is incredibly sensitive to food aversions and allergies, so I had no problem finding gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian options. Good to know for anyone who might be visiting!
A few days later, we headed out toward Vik, making sure to stop as much as we wanted along the way to explore. We saw the famous plane wreck, black sand beaches, plenty of waterfalls, horses, sheep, and lots of rolling mossy hills. We planted our roots in Hrifunes National Park, where we had rented one of the most picturesque properties I’ve ever seen.
If you’re familiar with hygge – this was a hygge paradise. Clean lines and architecture with lots of natural light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, an indoor sauna, cozy couches and a wood-fire hot tub made it the perfect spot to spread out and just enjoy the best of what Iceland has to offer – views.
From that spot, we went a little wild with the exploration covering glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife each day. It seemed like no matter what we did the weather was cooperative and we discovered something completely new every single day.
All too soon, it was time to head back to Reykjavik and spend a little time there before hopping on our flight back to Baltimore. We flew WOW Air back and it wasn’t quite as smooth. There was a little craziness at the airport (we should have allotted a bit more time for checking in, security and customs – I would recommend 2.5 hours), the real insanity started once we boarded the aircraft and realized the plane had no air. 6.5 hours on a flight with no air is a long ass time! We happily disembarked sweating bullets, only to realize they had broken our suitcase en route, so we had to wait around to file a claim. Not exactly the note we wanted to end our trip on, but it can always be worse, right?
If you haven’t noticed, we fell in love with Iceland. It is probably one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places I have visited. In the car driving back to Reyjavik on the last day we were all chatting about our favorite parts of the trip and it became increasingly hard to pick just one adventure or meal, because we were pretty much blown away by everything.
It seemed like we saw a different breathtaking landscape at every turn and we didn’t eat a single bad meal our entire trip. To be honest, I was pretty concerned about the food situation, so this was an amazing perk!
I’ll be back later this week breaking down our time in Reykjavik in more detail, followed by our time “in the nature” as our home rental host referred to it 🙂