Updated: May 15, 2020
Iceland has become one of THE places to visit, especially the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik. With friendly locals, stunning scenery, tons of adventure, and a lively tourism scene, you should experience Iceland at least once in your lifetime.
3 of us embarked on a weekend trip to Iceland. We were part of Team No Sleep in order to get the most out of our trip. I have to start by saying that I do not like the cold but the affordable plane ticket was too good of a deal to pass up.
Here is a list of activities we were able to squish in our 3 days trip to Reykjavik:
Day 1) Reykjavik
We walked around town to situate ourselves and took the opportunity to check out The Harpa. It is a beautiful concert hall that features a distinctive colored glass. I am not sure if it is the actual glass or if it is the rays of the sun but it the building has a blue tone to it and its amazing.
After The Harpa we sat The Reykjavik Harbor to enjoy the view. Along there were rocks stack on top on one another. After creating our own stacks of rock we found out from Google they are called Stone Cairns and they were used to show the way; they acted as a kind of GPS system for the olden days and Icelanders don't like when tourist make their own stone cairns sooo don't be like us.
After the Harbor we made our way to The Sun Voyager. It is described as a dreamboat, or an ode to the sun. It was a good place to rest because there are stairs you can sit on and enjoy the view. You can either choose to look at the water or at the cars passing by.
Day 2) The Golden Circle Route
The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in Southern Iceland. A lot of tour companies offer that route but I recommend renting a car and doing it on your own to go at your own pace. Going with a tour gives you less time to take pictures and have fun. There are a lot of things to see on The Golden Circle and not all of them are necessarily interesting which is why having your own car is great.
First we stopped at Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park to see the waterfall. It is one of Iceland’s most remarkable historic and geological sites. It was declared a national park in 1930. There is a visitor center that offers a beautiful view of the park and it offers an interactive multimedia exhibition, a small buffet, and a souvenir shop.
After walking around the park a bit we made our way to Silfra Fissure. It's an open rift between the continental plates. It cracked open after an earthquake in 1789. It is a hot spot for diving and snorkeling as the water is the purest natural freshwater on the planet with visibility that can extend to more than 100 meters (300 feet) underwater. A lot of people (including us) fill up their water bottles when they come and it tastes great.
One of the most fun places we visited came next and it was The Strokkur Geysir. The Geysir hurl hot boiling water up to 20 meters in the air. They erupt about every 10 minutes or so with no warning. We spent about 30-40 minutes at that location in order to catch one on camera.
Our next stop was The Majestic Gullfoss Waterfall. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. The name Gullfoss translates to 'Golden Falls' or 'Waterfall of Gold.' The waterfall has a lot of power which can be experienced when walking towards it. We stayed pretty far and could still feel little droplets of water.
Not that we were feeling hot but we decided to take a little dip in The Secret Lagoon. It is a natural hot spring in a small village called Fludir (Flúðir). The place really has a mystical view because of the rising steam, tiny geysers, and bubbling hot pots. The temperature of the water ranges from about 38 - 40°C year-round. Perfect place to finish off The Golden Circle route before heading back tot he hotel.
The Lagoon is the perfect way to finish off the route but that is not what we did. By the time we got out, it was night time but we wanted to see The Kerið Volcanic Crater no matter what. It is one of the most recognizable volcanic craters in Iceland. It used to be a regular cone-shaped volcano but after an eruption about 3000 years ago, the top collapsed into its empty magma chamber. There is a small parking lot right next to it. There is usually also a small entrance fee, approximately 500 ISK per person but when we got there it was closed but that didn't stop us from seeing it as it is out in the open.
Day 3) The last day
Our last day consisted of quickly checking out a few things and make sure we made it to the airport on time.
The Hallgrímskirkja was practically a blog away from the apartment we stayed at and it was beautiful to see in the morning with the sunrise but we didn't visit it until our last day. It is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavik. It is the largest church in Iceland and among the tallest churches in the country. It is one of the city's best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city. From the inside, you can go all the way to the top to get a beautiful view of the city.
Now did you even go to Iceland if you didn't go to The Blue Lagoon? The answer is no by the way. The lagoon was our last stop before the airport as it is only a 15-minute drive from the international airport of Keflavík. It is open all year round and the entry cost starts at 6990 ISK ($58) for adults. Pre-booking is required in order to get in; you can choose between different packages. It is a man-made spa that was built in 1976 and contrary to popular belief the water isn't actually blue, it is white, the mixture of silica and the reflection of the sun and more scientific reasons make it appear blue. Depending on the package you get, you have access to a different face mask or even a drink. The warm seawater is rich with minerals such as silica that do wonders for your skin. Now is it a bit expensive? Maybe; but is it worth it? To me it was, I enjoyed the water and the environment and the food from the restaurant. It is a trip I definitely would like to do again and this time maybe spend more than 3 days.
All in all, Iceland was a successful weekend away from home. We ate hot dogs, stayed up all night or day as the sun barely sets in Iceland. After this trip, I was so tired because since we only had 3 days we wanted to see as much as can and that little time. The highlight of the trip for me was being able to find a little Haitian Cafe in Iceland (I am Haitian). We stopped by and had some coffee and talked to the owner in our native language (Haitian Creole) and it was great. I was ready to go home after that as I don't care much for the cold but it was an amazing experience that I am happy to share with you guys.
When was the last time you took a spontaneous trip whether national or international and where did you go?