My 3-Day Icelandic Stopover
Iceland was always on my list. I just wasn't planning on going so soon. However, when my friend invited me, two weeks before take off, I jumped at the opportunity. Flights to and accommodations in Iceland in November are relatively inexpensive. This is due to the cold weather and limited hours of daylight. But just because there are only a few hours of daylight - doesn't mean you can't make the most of that time. I was really surprised at how much I saw and did during my 3-day stopover.
We went straight to the Blue Lagoon from airport at 7:30 in the morning. It’s nice because on the Blue Lagoon’s website they offer transfers to and from the Blue Lagoon, the airport and Reykjavik.
Upon arriving at the Blue Lagoon, we had to stow our big luggage. This is an additional cost. We weren’t aware of this beforehand, but it was only 550 ISK per bag. There are lockers, but they are only big enough for a backpack. We were given bracelets that we had to scan to open the lockers and to pay for any extra drinks we ordered.
Before getting into the lagoon, you must shower. If you plan to get your hair wet, they recommend washing and conditioning it. We just put our hair up. However, I do suggest washing your hair that night. It’s likely that some silica will get into your hair even if it’s up. My hair afterwards was rough and dry like I had been in the ocean.
As we were there in November, it was freezing outside. So, after putting our bathing suits on, showering, and getting rid of our robes - we had to make a run for it to get into the water. Be careful though! It is slick on the way in and out. There are different packages you can purchase that offer different things during your visit. We had the Premium package which allowed for two face masks; a free drink; use of towel, slippers and bathrobe; a reservation at the restaurant; and sparkling wine if dining. We didn’t eat at the restaurant because we planned to eat in Reykjavik. We stayed at the Blue Lagoon until 11:15, and then took the bus transfer to Reykjavik.
Where to stay:
We checked into our cute hotel in Reykjavik - Skuggi Hotel by Kea Hotels. It is small, but nice and cute. The breakfast and bar at Skuggi was great too which was helpful considering breakfast at the hotel saves so much time on a short stopover.
Where to eat:
After freshening up at the hotel, we started our day in Reykjavik with lunch at Sandholt.
Everything is walkable within Reykjavik, so we chose to walk everywhere. After lunch we checked out all of the city’s highlights.
Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
There wasn’t anything super duper exotic or exciting to see in Reykjavik, but it was still nice to explore and walk around the city.
After seeing the highlights, we relaxed and freshened up at the hotel again before heading out to happy hour at Public House Gastropub. There are so many different options for bars and restaurants on Laugavegur street. I loved all of the street art in the city too.
That night we went on our first Northern Lights tour with Gray Line Iceland. The downside to this tour was that they don’t provide professional cameras and tripods. However, we did get to see the lights. You just can’t really tell because all we had was our cell phone cameras. It’s important not to travel to Iceland just for a chance to see the Aurora Borealis. You should travel there because you want to visit the country because the Aurora is such a natural phenomena that it is really hit or miss - especially on a stopover.
What is nice about Gray Line is that if you don’t get to see the lights - your ticket is good for a year. So, you could go back and try again the next evening - which we did.
Below is what we got the first night. This would have been amazing with the proper equipment. Luckily we were able to see and photograph the Aurora in Abisko, Sweden later that week.
On day two we went on the Southern Iceland Glaciers, Waterfalls and Beaches Day Tour with Bus Travel Iceland. This tour was beautiful. I got to see a lot of places I had really looked forward to after researching Iceland before the trip.
We stopped for lunch midday at Lava Bakery and Coffee in Vík.
Beware of the waves and never turn your back on them. This beach, although mysterious and beautiful, is very dangerous.
That evening we had some wine and protein bars at the hotel before heading out for our second night searching for the Northern Lights. We saw none at all this night. It was way too cloudy.
For our third and final full day in Iceland we booked a Golden Circle Tour with Gray Line Iceland. I really liked this company.
Stopped for lunch at Restaurant Geysir Glima
Þingvellir National Park
Where to eat:
After returning back to Reykjavik that night, we went dinner at The Fish Company. It was a little pricey but totally worth it.
I wanted to try the famous hotdogs, but we were too full and tired.
The next morning we took a bus transfer to airport.
I really enjoyed Iceland and thought it was insanely beautiful. I would like to go back one day during the summer season when there is maximum daylight. I'm talking daylight around the clock. So, can you see Iceland in 3 days? Yes. You can see a lot of it, more than I thought. But if you have more time definitely spend more time.
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