Over the Christmas period I had the pleasure of travelling to Iceland for a mini 4 day adventure. It was my treat to my brother for his 21st birthday as we both have an interest in travelling and going to new places.
We flew from Manchester to Reykjavik airport which was only around 2 hours long. After getting off the plane we soon realised the intensity of how short days are. I had never really thought about it before but Iceland in Winter only has on average around 3-4 hours of daylight each day. When we left Manchester it was about 6am and dark, when we landed in Reykjavik at 10am it was still dark.
We got our luggage and headed off to our coach which would be taking us to our hotel. The car park was frosted over and slippy, even more so when you’re manoeuvring a suitcase.
It took around an hour to get from the airport to Reykjavik centre where our hotel was. I had picked Fosshotel as it had good reviews on line and free breakfast! It’s always good to check that you can get a good breakfast before going on excursions like we had planned for the 3 days.
Day one was mostly being able to wander around the city centre and looking at all the cute little shops. We also ended up spending time in a sports bar for my brother to watch the Manchester United match – typical Manchester lad. We were going to see the Northern Lights but were informed that due to “adverse weather conditions” we would not have the chance. Maybe tomorrow.
Day two was The Golden Circle tour. We went on a long drive to see a Geyser along with a waterfall and also where two tectonic plates had separated. I do think though that one of the best bits was watching my brother perform a Bambi-style slip on the ice after trying to squeeze behind a photo taking tourist. Oh, and the free lunch was lovely too! We arrived back at the hotel at around 16:00 and had an hour to get ready for the next trip, The Blue Lagoon.
The Blue lagoon is beautiful. Although I would highly recommend going during the day where you can actually see the blueness of the water. Our trip was at night which was of course still incredible and a fantastic experience but I would love to do it during the day too. The water is amazing, lovely a warm (hot in some areas) and very dimly lit so nice an relaxing after a long day on a coach and walking through the rain. You get around 2 hours in the water too which is, in my opinion, more than enough.
Day three we booked last minute onto the Into the Glacier Tour. Again a long day but I think my favourite of the whole trip. Set off relatively early and headed north of the island. We travelled under water in a very long and deep tunnel before heading for a quick stop at a natural hot springs. It’s incredible how wet you get from the steam!
We then stopped off at two waterfalls: Lava Falls and Children Falls. Lava falls is a huge lava field where the water seeps and pours through the cracks into a huge river. Our tour guide also informed us that Children Falls was based on an old folk story where there was a natural bridge over the river but one day, 2 local children fell off the bridge and were never found. The mother of the children then demanded the bridge be demolished to reduce the risk of anyone else having to go through losing their children the same way.
Today was especially icy and cold. The further towards the glacier we got, the colder and snowier it got too. By the time we reached the top, it was dark and there was a blizzard which was incredibly surreal.
We headed into the glacier and was given a wonderfully interesting tour from our guide. I loved being 25 metres below ice in Iceland, its amazing to have the realisation that you’re actually there.
We then headed back to the base camp and had a wonderful buffet style dinner before stopping off to see The Northern Lights on the way back to the city. – I did manage to capture a very blurry shot of the lights (who forgets their tripod? erm…ME!)
Day 4 was home time. We had a filling breakfast, checked out and headed back home.
Such a magical 4 days that I would highly recommend for anyone.