Last week I surprised my boyfriend with a trip to Iceland as an early 30th present, I can happily say he was totally surprised! Along with his family who also came along we’d been keeping this a secret since August last year. We’d stayed at the most beautiful place I have ever stayed - a cabin by the sea. The views we got to wake up to every morning were stunning. I cannot recommend staying here enough - it’s no more than a 30 minute drive from Keflavík airport one way and Rekyjavik the other, it’s also very close to a Bonus supermarket, which is less than 15 minutes away so you can stock up on food. Sadly, we didn’t get to see the Northern lights, but we did see a lot of Iceland…
On our first day after checking in to the cabin we headed to the Blue Lagoon, which is such a surreal experience being in lovely warm water, surrounded by snow covered mountains in the background. We had pre-booked the premium package and also made a reservation at the Lava Restaurant. If you’re thinking of going to the Blue Lagoon don’t worry about the ‘showering naked’, like most other people we went into the showers in our bikinis and showered fine. For girls, my one bit of advice, (which I’d read a lot about beforehand), is to coat your hair in conditioner before going in as the water can make your hair dry. I washed my hair and then put about seven pumps of the conditioner provided in and I’ve had no problems with my hair. It’s also handy to know that there are mirrors and hairdryers!
On our second day and for the first part of our third day we drove to as many locations as we could on the Golden Circle and I was very thankful for the many layers I’d brought! If like me, you’ve never been to anywhere cold before here’s what I brought to take:
The Edge Drift Thermal Set (Unisex) -Thermal set - nice and cheap
Craghoppers Women's Kiwi Pro Winter-Lined Pants - Waterproof and insulated!
PETER STORM Women's Lakeside II 3 in 1 Jacket
I also brought a base layer set and ski gloves from Aldi, which were great and I already had a pair of walking boots which were waterproof, but added a layer of Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proofer before we went. I also got some Heat Holders socks, which you can find in most outdoor shops or bargain shops such as B&M.
If driving around Iceland yourself you’ll come across some designated stops for pictures like these :)
The first waterfall we headed to was Seljalandsfoss (you have to pay to park here and there are also toilets and some little cabin shops), followed by Skógafoss (parking here is free and there are toilets) and finally Gullfoss, which also has free parking, toilets, a cafe and shop. On the day we visited the Gullfoss it was VERY, VERY windy and cold!
As soon as you get out on the road and away from the city you’ll see Icelandic horses pretty much everywhere! Due to laws in Iceland you can’t just pull up on the side of the road, as it’s unsafe to do so, that’s why I was super excited when we spotted some people taking pictures of these horses and a parking space! They’re such lovely horses and love the attention!
Þingvellir National Park is a beautiful location for photos, we didn’t spend too much time here, purely because we only had an afternoon left to see Reykavik, but there’s plenty to see if you do have longer.
We also visited the Kerið crater, which as you can see looks totally different in winter, and yes those are messages written on top of the ice… Parking is free, but you’ll need to pay to see the crater. There are no facilities here, but there is a restaurant/cafe/shop a ten minute drive away, called Þrastalundur, which has toilets and makes an awesome hot chocolate!.
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and want to know anything else, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
All images © Jemma Dodd
Do not use without permission.