August 27, 2012 in Inspiration
Our first trip to Iceland was a long weekend escape from Boston in the middle of winter. Iceland Air runs promotional fares including roundtrip airfare and hotel from the east coast of the USA that are hard to resist. Another great option for a long weekend is a three day layover in the middle of a North America-Europe flight. Either way, you’ll have a few days to get a taste of the best Iceland has to offer; whatever else you see, don’t miss:
The Blue Lagoon
If you’ve even casually flipped through your guidebook you’ll know that the Blue Lagoon is at the top of every “must see” list for Iceland. Does that make it overdone? Perhaps. But that’s why it’s a “must see.” If you arrive like we did, in the wee hours of the morning, sore and tired from an overnight flight, make it your first stop.
There really is no place like it in the world: geothermally heated springs that feed into an enormous pond lined with superfine silica mud that you can cake on your face or use to polish your whole body, silky smooth. Stand under the hot falls for a natural back and shoulder massage and maybe even indulge in a treatement at the high end spa on the premises. You’ll have to tear yourself away, but you can take some bath products drawn from the minerals at the lagoon to take with you!
Walk On A Glacier
The worlds glaciers are fast melting, Iceland’s are no exception. It’s well worth the time and money to take a glacier tour through one of the many companies in Rekyavik. Some of the airline packages even include the glacier walk as an option.
You’ll feel like an adventurer the moment they hand you an ice axe and you strap on your crampons at the base of the mountain of ice. We aren’t big “tour” people, but this is one experience you want to hire an expert to guide you through. Peer down sheer crevasses, marvel at the layers of volcanic ash that zebra stripe the ice, sip glacial water out of melting pools on the high surface and learnin the meaning of “ice blue.”
Gullfoss & Geysir
Of course you can hop on one of the popular bus tours to see the famous Gullfoss falls and the Geysir after which all other geysers are named, but it’s more fun to rent a car and set out through the breath-taking Icelandic highlands on your own. Pack a picnic and eat it at one of the overlooks along the road. You’ll see remnants of the viking civilization that hasn’t quite faded into Iceland’s distant past. You’ll stand close enough to feel the spray of the falls and you’ll watch water boil, quite literally, out of the surface of the earth in pools all around the Geysir.
Don’t rush, make a day of it!
What is the best time of year to visit Iceleand? That depends on whether or not you want endless daylight to stretch your adventurous days, or the chance of catching a glimpse at the magical northern lights. One thing is for sure, there’s no wrong time to go!
Nonni Haraldsson is a Social Media Coordinator at Icelandair Hotels, Iceland’s Trusted Provider since 1964, offering accommodations in several cities across Iceland including Reykjavik and Kirkjubaejarklaustur.