- Dean Lang
Iceland - A magical wonderland!
Updated: Dec 4, 2022
This is one country that needs to be high up your bucket list!
If you have a sense of adventure, this is the place to visit, trust me on this, I'm going back twice in 2023!
Welcome to Iceland!
A friend ask me to describe Iceland in one word after my return to Australia and I just simply couldn't!
This country will leave you taken back by the sheer beauty, mystery and absolute magic that it is, I fell in love!
From the countless amounts of stunning waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers, volcanoes, thermal pools and more, Iceland will not disappoint.
I had the pleasure of visiting Iceland in July 2022 after it sitting on top of my bucket list for 8 years and 3 cancelled trips since late 2019 due to covid restrictions and boarder closures.
My trip was shorter than planned but in 5 days, boy did I cram in a lot!
Upon landing in Reykjavik I felt this feeling come over me, a feeling of accomplishment, intrigue and excitement all in one. I made a bee line for baggage claim, collected my bags and headed for the exit to begin my Iceland journey.
Not even 2 minutes on the shuttle bus from the international airport, which is about 40 minutes from downtown Reykjavik by the way, I found myself just looking out the window in awe at the fact that I was actually here!
I checked into my hostel, Galaxy Pod Hostel, a unique pod type set up which I actually enjoyed. Each room had 6 or 8 pods in them all with privacy curtains or door, light, fan, comfy mattress, bedding, power outlets and more. But within 10 minutes I was back out the door of the hostel making a run for the central hub of downtown Reykjavik to get some food and soak it all in and then back to the hostel to rest and prepare for day one!
No matter how long you're in Iceland for, I recommend at least a day exploring Reykjavik, just wandering around discovering what it is all about, eating at local restaurants and enjoy the day! My first day in Reykjavik I spent the morning exploring and soaking in as much as possible, then I spent 4-5 hours at Sky Lagoon, which was absolutely phenomenal! Cheaper than Blue Lagoon, but that is a must visit also, which I did that on my final morning before heading to the airport.
I recommend doing small group tours if you haven't planned your trip to a tee or hired a car, I did the group tours as I was doing this trip on a budget and hiring a car for 3-4 days would have been expensive as the Australian dollar is a fun one with exchange rates! Insert sad face here...
My first group tour was on a minibus with approx. 8-10 other people from all over the world - America, Poland and others, and we did the Golden Circle Tour which included Geysir in the Haukadalur Valley, Thingvellier National Park including Sifra, Faxi Waterfall and the powerful Gullfoss Waterfrall. Overall the day was about 8 hours in total from pick up to drop off and we got ample time and information about each stop from our guide.
The second group tour was the one I was the most excited about as pictures of the places we were visiting had been all over my vision board for the last 8 years! This small group tour was along the south coast with stops at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (there is also another hidden waterfall a few minutes walk from this one called Gljufrabui), Skógafoss Waterfall, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Sólheimajökull to hike a glacier - which was one of the most amazing experiences ever!
Overall Iceland is an expensive country to visit, especially in summertime so plan your visit and everything you want to do well in advance and book it well in advance!
That way when you arrive, everything is already paid for and you only have to worry about where you want to eat and drink - oh alcohol is quite expensive in Iceland, best buy it from duty free when you land if you plan on having a few solid drinks!
I cannot wait to head back to Iceland in 2023 and do the Ring Road in a campervan and explore the highlands, so stay tuned for that!