Iceland – Lessons Learned

Or maybe a better title – what I’d do next time.

travel5 - 1

  • Renting a car was a good decision.  We like to be away from the tourist packs and take things at our own pace whenever possible.
  • Getting the GPS was a good decision, as was having pre-printed Google Maps (with one notable exception).

Day One:

  • Definitely drive the Golden Circle Tour:golden_circle_tour_with_Jenna_recommendations
  • Leave early to stay ahead of the tour buses.
  • Instead of eating at the Visitor’s Center at the Geysir, I’d eat at Fridheimar – it’s a greenhouse/restaurant.  Make reservations in advance.
  • Bypass the Blue Lagoon.  It’s expensive and crowded.  When you’re done with the Golden Circle tour, head to the Secret Lagoon instead.  It’s small and there are no frills, but it’s quiet after 6pm and about half price of the Blue Lagoon.  It’s open from 11am-8pm.

More Options:

  • If you can swing the cost, book a tour with Oli at Always Iceland.
  • If not, drive along the southern coast on your own.  You can get to most of the places we visited, although you’ll want to avoid driving through rivers.
  • I’m still really interested in doing the Into the Glacier tour, but this time, we’ll book the excursion leaving from Reykjavik so we don’t get lost.

Other Random Tips:

  • Don’t visit during the summer time or during a full moon if you want to have a chance to see the Northern Lights.  It’s light outside almost 23 hours of the day during the summer.
  • Dinner at Icelandic Fish and Chips, inside the Volcano House at Tryggvagata 11
  • Lamb and seafood are both good local specialties.
  • Hotel Holt was in a good location and had plenty of parking.  Breakfast was decent and the staff was nice.  I’d stay there again.
  • If you want to purchase good cold-weather gear, Iceland has a lot of good options!
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