TIPS AND TRICKS FOR FIRST TIMERS: ICELAND

Andrea rainbowPHOTO TAKEN AT SKOGAFOSS

I Just got back from the most amazing unforgettable trip of my life!!! My family and I went to the BEAUTIFUL country of ICELAND for a week! On my trip I learned so much and I wish I would of know some stuff before my trip as well! In this blog I will talk about what I have learned and how we saved money on our trip!

TIPS:

FLY CHEAP!!!

To begin we flew on the Airline WOW air and honestly it was a smooth and comfort ride! The seats recline, there was a decent amount of leg room and it only cost $230 ROUNDTRIP!!! YES THAT IS RIGHT $230!!! However, you do have to pay for everything on this flight!!! You have to pay for your checked in bag, carry on, beverages, meals etc. so after we paid for everything that we needed to purchase on WOW air it cost about $300 per person with bags and meals as we share one bag per couple. I would suggest researching for a cheap flight to Iceland as Iceland is SUPER expensive and if you can start saving money starting with the flight do it!

RENT A CAR!!!

There is honestly NO OTHER WAY to see Iceland than by renting a car! If you do not rent a car you will be spending $1000s of dollars for each Icelandic excursion you take with your travel buddies. You also will be able to take Iceland in all on your time rather than being on the tours time. To be honest, the best part of Iceland was the drive!!!  You will see the most beautiful scenes that you can not see anywhere else and you will be able to stop your car and get out and see it when you are driving yourself!

GROCERY SHOPPING!!!

Unless you have been to Iceland you do not realize how expensive eating out actually is in Iceland. It cost about $30+ per person per meal to eat out at a restaurant. Not to mention if you are not staying in the downtown Reykjavik and you are camping, I would recommend shopping for food as there is nothing once you pass the city to eat, or restaurants to go out and eat. Now when you do go shopping go to a BONUS!!! BONUS is an Icelandic discounted grocery store, and they literally have everything like a normal grocery store would have but for a cheaper price, or what we would think normal priced, from produce, dairy, ready-to-go sandwiches, meat, everything!!! BONUS is commonly found around Iceland!

AIRBNB OR BOOK AN APARTMENT!!! 

If you are not traveling to Iceland to camp, I would recommend Airbnb or booking an apartment!!! First, I would recommend because you will want more space as hotels are small and when traveling with families it is easier and cheaper than a hotel! Also, because if you are grocery shopping you want a place to be able to cook and store you food! We stayed in an Apartment in Downtown, Reykjavik and it was absolutely beautiful and in the perfect location! So much to do in walking distance and we had the view of the beautiful ocean on one side and the beautiful view of the downtown and the Church Hallgrimskirkja!

viewice church

Here the Vlog I filmed with a tour of our apartment-

 

IS FLYING A DRONE ALLOWED IN ICELAND?

A lot of known, tourist sights in Iceland you are not allowed to fly a drone!!! So no drones at Skogafoss or Gullfoss. I believe this is because it is illegal to fly over people in Iceland and because the wind and the temperatures make drones freak out. Every time I would try to fly my DJI Spark, it would fail or go crazy, due to the wind and below 15 celsius, this sucked as I was looking forward to having so many more drone shots that what I was able to capture.

BLUE LAGOON!!!

Blue Lagoon is SOOOOO worth your money!!! The basic package is $100 it comes with a towel, a ticket, a face sulfur face mask and one drink at the bar which can also be a non alcoholic  beverage as well. I would recommend buying your ticket to blue lagoon when you buy your plane tickets because they do sell out fast!!! Unfortunately but fortunately we waited and had to go at 8:00pm but it was so beautiful swimming and relaxing under the stars.

OUR TRIP TO VIK

Our trip to VIK and back was 5 hours roundtrip! We made a few stops on our way to Black sand Beach as well. Our first stop was to the beautiful waterfall Seljalandsfoss!!!

waterfall

(Photo Taken: Seljalandsfoss)

At Seljalandsfoss you DO have to pay for parking!!! They were handing out parking tickets left and right! There is a public bathroom and a small cafe! You can walk up super close to the waterfall and usually you can walk behind the waterfall but unfortunately for us it was iced out and we were not allowed to walk behind it. I rate this waterfall a 10/10!!!

Our next stop was SKOGAFOSS!!!

RAINBOW

SKOGAFOSS IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND HUGE!!! IT IS ALSO WHERE I GOT PROPOSED TO!!! This is where Ryan got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him!!! So Skogafoss will always have a special place in my heart!!! (Of course I said YES!!!)

PROPOSAL

On the side of Skogafoss there is a stair case of around 500 steps that you can walk up to see an “ariel” view of the waterfall. Again no drone allowed, Free parking and no bathrooms.

Our Next stop was Black Sand Beach, ryan rock

The wind here was so rough walking onto the beach but it is still a beautiful view that I would recommend seeing. This beach also a great story where the three stones coming out of the water, are pirates/sailors who turned into stone and that treasure was found by locals that disappeared. Black Sand Beach also has an indoor cafe with a lot of food selections to choose from and a bathroom!

Our next stop was to the crashed airplane site!

Ryan airplane

WARNING!!! If you decide to go on this journey please note it is a 5 mile walk roundtrip from the parking lot to the airplane and back!!! The view and the airplane is worth it however, I would recommend going during the day as at night the temperature drops and the wind picks up so much that the walk becomes extreme hard!

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

We did the golden circle all in one day and the first stop we made was at GULLFOSS!!! 

Again, free parking and no drones!!! The wind is super strong at this location but the waterfall is extremely beautiful and YES it does look like a slice of pie!!!

We then moved onto the Geyser! IT WAS SO COOL!!! It is just so beautiful and amazing how cool nature is! You sit there and wait and once you hear a little rumble get ready because it is going to blow!!! The Geyser also has free parking and a HUGE rest stop, with a cafe and HUGE gift shop with actual reasonable prices stuff in my opinion.

After the Geyser we went and visited the thingvillere where the two continent tecnonic plates met! R AND A TECEverything was frozen but we were still able to park our car and walk into the snow and enjoy the view!

Downtown Reykjavik

Again downtown Reykjavik is beautiful! I would suggest to eat at Elders Cafe! They have delicious crepes, Nutella hot cocoa, ice cream!!! I would 10/10 would recommend, they also have super cool art work all around the cafe!

I would also recommend Joe & the Juice and Lebowski Bar, This bar also has themed gamed nights!

Downtown is also filled with souvenir shops!!!

Seeing the Northern Lights

NORTHERN LIGHTS

When we traveled to Iceland, my family and I thought it was going to be super easy to see the northern lights, that we would just look up in the sky and see it. We were wrong. You actually have to track the northern lights and see where they will be visible and make sure it is not a cloudy day. If you can not see the stars you are in the wrong place. We were in Iceland for a week and we finally saw the Aurora Baralis on the last day of our trip!!! We were so happy! However, It does not look like all these Instagrammers make it seem. The lights in the sky look super faded with the human eye and kind of look like a white stripe in the sky but when a take picture with a camera you are able to see the green and purple lights. It truly is amazing to experience and hope everyone will also be able to experience it as well.

More photos from our trip!!!

airplane iceland

ryan rock 2RINGhorseyandrea snowAndrea smile waterfallAndrea smile waterfall 7Andrea smile waterfall 6julian smilejulian snowJOVANIRyan airplaneAndrea horsea and dAndrea rainbowAndrea smile waterfall 3

R AND A TEC KISS

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