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5 Things to do in Iceland 

 November 26, 2021

By  Wilson

I had already known that Iceland was one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but the incredible nature surrounding the city of Reykjavik, the capital, left me absolutely speechless. Iceland has their own language but because the population is only 330,000, almost all natives speak English.

How I Got There

As usual whenever I travel, I either take a United flight or search for the cheapest flight on kayak.com. I wrote an article about how I stick to flying on United as much as possible to cash out big with my miles.

For this trip, I booked on kiwi.com and chose the cheapest option.

I had 6 days to discover the beautiful island.

How Did I Organize my Trip?

My entire tour was organized by Guide to Iceland. Because I’m that type of traveler that says “mmkay sounds good just lmk how much to Venmo you”, I was very happy to book through Guide to Iceland. They did everything for me and had a very detailed, pdf itinerary sent out to me as soon as I booked the trip.

Gullfoss Waterfall

How Much Did I Spend in Iceland?

There’s no way around it: Iceland is expensive.

The tour that I booked with Guide to Iceland costed me $1235 USD for 6 days/5 nights.

Not only was the tour very expensive, the food is also expensive. There was a meal that costed me $46 USD (pictured below) – but that was no doubt the high end of my meals. You could find lunch/dinner for $20-$30 and easily just buy instant noodles at a grocery store if you’re really trying to save.

Picture taken at Lava Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon

I also purchased winter clothes in Iceland because I made the spontaneous decision to do Iceland 9 days before I went (hashtag, yolo hashtag, sorryforpartying, hashtag skysthelimit). I stuck with H&M for the following:

  • Thick winter waterproof/windproof jacket – $76 USD
  • Winter waterproof/windproof pants – $45 USD
  • Beanie – $12 USD
  • Gloves – $20 USD

Then I splurged on really nice winter waterproof shoes at Ice Mart (it’s an Icelandic chain – you’ll be able to find multiple locations there). Anyways, I purchased them for $165, and I plan on wearing them casually for the next year.

Why did I mention the winter clothes? Because if there’s any general advice that I could give, it’s to be prepared to have winter clothes in Iceland OR to no be cheap when purchasing winter clothes in Iceland because it is 100% necessary.

1. Northern Lights

Unfortunately, we depend heavily on Mother Nature for this tour. I had a friend that went on an Iceland 6 day tour the week prior to my trip and they saw the Northern Lights a total of zero times. I saw the Northern Lights twice. So. So. SO sorry for partying.

Some pointers about the Northern Lights:

  • Being Patient – Northern Lights are 100% dependent on the weather. I went with a company that checks the forecast prior to the official hunt that typically starts around 8pm, and the goal is to find a spot near Reykjavik that has no clouds. I had a company that cancelled + postponed 3 times before we could go out on a more-clear evening. I was fortunate enough to see the lights twice in one week.
  • Managing Expectations – The lights always “start” as very white. Depending on the visibility, the lights could end up being very green or they may just stay white.
  • Taking Pictures – Bring your cameras that have night mode settings – which would include iPhone 11’s and models after that. My pictures were taken on an iPhone 12 Pro. Secondly, it’s very difficult to take pictures of yourself with the light, but it is doable. You need to have somebody flash a light directly on you while another person takes the pictures with the night mode setting of the Northern Lights.

2. Blue Lagoon

I think the Blue Lagoon is the most popular spot for Instagram influencers and Instagram influencer-wannabes to take pictures because it’s only 25 minutes from the Keflavik International Airport.

My advice: bring your phone with you to the Blue Lagoon. It’s completely normal and you would want to have one hand holding your phone while the other hand is free slash inside the Blue Lagoon.

When it’s below 0 C / 32 F outside, it’s steamy HOTT in the Blue Lagoon, and it feels amazing.

3. Two-Day South Coast Tour

This includes the Dyrhólaey, Ice Cave Tour, and Diamond Beach. We spent the night at a hotel near where did the Ice Cave Tour.

4. Snӕfellsnes Tour

I did the optional Snaefellsnes Tour, which a) was absolutely worth it although b) made me really tired.

Kirkfell is where they shot scenes from Game of Thrones.

5. Golden Circle Tour

I thoroughly enjoyed the Geysir Geothermal Area and the Gullfoss Waterfall.

If I Could Have Done Anything Differently, I Would Have…

I’m not sure if I would have done anything different except maybe find ONE day to just relax and explore more of Reykjavik. I would try coming back in the summer because I have been told that summer and winter are very different in Iceland. Although you’re unable to see the Northern Lights in Summer, you can see less snow on some of the mountains which can be a different (not necessarily better) experience.

I personally liked the Snaefellsnes Tour (typically labeled as an optional tour) more than the Golden Circle Tour, which is more popular. That’s just me tho.

Closing Remarks

This was truly a once in a lifetime experience where I had 7 days off to do absolutely nothing but travel. I was already in the European area and I felt like I capitalized on the opportunity to visit one of the most gorgeous countries in the world.

Final Grade: A+ (cough I feel like I’m a very lenient grader but I swear Iceland is an A+…)

Wilson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hi, my name is Wilson, founder of WFH Nomad. I was born and raised in the US, and I boast engineering and business degrees from top programs in the US. I work a normal, WFH job for a great company in America. I am extremely passionate about traveling and my job in the Tech industry, and the best part of the WFH Nomad concept is that I can do both at the same time.

I have traveled to over 47 different countries in my lifetime and I look forward to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Thanks for visiting the website!

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