Our magical trip to Iceland!

By Kristie Fitzgerald

My family embarked on an absolutely magical trip to Iceland in April 2024.  Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, photographers and anyone who loves unspoiled, natural, and incredibly stunning and diverse landscapes! Iceland has always been on my bucket list and it blew away my expectations!

We visited the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon, witnessed the incredible Northern lights, saw a spectacular active volcano eruption from a helicopter, took a boat tour of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull, did a 4 wheeler adventure ride, visited stunning black sand beaches in Vik and Diamond beach, saw Glacier Lagoon, endless waterfalls, moss covered lava fields, volcanic craters, geysers, geothermal hot springs and did the Golden circle tour, which included Thingvellir National Park, Geysir and Kerid Crater lake. 

Upon arrival at Keflavik airport we picked up our rental car and went directly to the Blue Lagoon, where we had an 8:00 am reservation. The blue lagoon is an otherworldly geothermal pool with milky blue mineral-rich 100 degree water set amongst black volcanic rock and is Iceland’s most popular tourist attraction. It was truly a rejuvenating experience after our red eye flight! They have a swim up bar and spa options as well.

We were incredibly lucky to be in Iceland during an active volcano eruption and I could not pass up the opportunity to witness this spectacular event from a helicopter! It was absolutely incredible to see the lava bouncing from the top of the crater.  Our helicopter also landed just next to a crater from a previous eruption from two years ago and the ground was still smoking. The helicopter ride also gave us fantastic view of the beautiful surrounding areas of Reykjavik.

We rented a car for the week and stayed one night in Vik, which is about 2 ½ hours from Reykjavik, to see the beautiful black sand beaches and shoreline dotted with cliffs and one night in the Glacier lagoon area, another 2 ½ hours from Vik and we made so many amazing stops along the way to see waterfalls and Yoda Cave, from the Star Wars Rogue One movie.

We did an incredible boat tour of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull and it was absolutely stunning.

We were so fortunate for incredible, mild and sunny weather and we even saw the Northern lights, which can be tricky in mid to late April, which is towards the end of the viewing season.

A few tips for planning a trip to Iceland- be flexible with your plans as the weather can change quickly and they can still get snow and strong winds even in the Spring, which can lead to road and tour closures. We were fortunate to not have this happen to us but we were also prepared to make alternative plans just in case!  We used the Parka app many times during our trip and it helps to be aware of the different parking zones in Reykjavik as free parking can be hard to find! Expect to pay A LOT for food here as Iceland is one of the most expensive countries to visit ($30 for two bowls of tomato soup, $90 for lunch for three with two salads a burger and three sodas, and minimum $10 draft beers at most bars)! All of our hotels included breakfast which definitely helps with the food expenses.

Plan the time of year that you go according to what you want to see and do- the summer time has nearly 24 hours of daylight and you are unable to see the Northern lights at that time of year and some months in the winter only have a few hours of daylight each day, minimizing your daylight time for sightseeing! The summer is also peak travel time so you will find tourist spots more crowded and hotels will be more expensive.

Our trip was nothing short of magical and the incredible scenery was absolutely breathtaking everywhere we went. I am already making notes for the places I want to visit for my next trip there!

Contact Straight Away Travel for your next Icelandic Adventure at ZERO cost to you!

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