48 Hours in Iceland
When planning our trip to the UK, we found that it was cheaper to fly Iceland Air and have a quick layover in Iceland on our way to Glasgow. Andy and I had been wanting to go to Iceland, so we were thrilled when we were able to add 2 days at the end of our trip to spend in Iceland. We weren't sure how much we'd be able to cover in just two short days but we made the most of it.
We found the BEST Air Bnb to rent about two hours southeast of Reykjavik. While the home was at the end of a dirt road off another dirt road, it allowed us to have uninterrupted views of the Northern Lights. The first night we were there, I was able to lay on the couch in the living room in the dark and watch the lights move across the sky outside. The second night, Andy, my parents and I watched the lights from the hot tub in the back. It was such a surreal experience.
The Air Bnb also put us in a great place to access many of the sights we wanted to see in Iceland in our one full day (shown in the map above).
Hekla Comfort House (Airbnb)
Gullfoss (Gold waterfall)
Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool
Dyrhólaey, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vik
It's hard to explain just how beautiful Iceland is. It's a quirky landscape combination of what I'd imagine Hawaii to be like, mixed with extremely cold temps and beautiful natural elements. Clear blue lakes and rivers, waterfalls, natural hot springs, green mountains, glaciers, geysirs, brown cliffs, black sand beaches. The island literally has every type of landscape you could image.
Some friends recommended we visit Blue Lagoon, a natural hot spring near the airport. We didn't have the time (and really didn't want to spend the money) so instead we opted for another natural spring that we could walk to. While it was a once in a lifetime experience to climb into this natural pool with beautiful views (the pic on the left below), the water was a little too murky and chilly for my taste (sorry for the Instagram story pic). It did give me an opportunity to change out of the five layers of clothing I was wearing to stay warm during the colder part of the day.
The sunsets we experienced in Iceland were probably the two most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen before. We made it to the black sand beach just in time for the sunset. The black sand in contrast to the colors in the sky was completely different from any sunset we see in Florida.
We woke up on our last morning in Iceland and headed to Reykjavik. We grabbed coffee at Reykjavik Roasters before walking over to the iconic church in town. From there we wandered the streets for our remaining few hours in the city, grabbed hot dogs (apparently an Iceland staple) and tried to stay warm in the cold, cold wind.
To be honest, Reykjavik was a bit of a let down compared to the beautiful sites outside the city. There isn't a ton to the city as a non-local, and the natives weren't overly friendly to visitors (can't say I blame them; there are loads of tourists crowding their city). It is still worth seeing since about two-thirds of the countries 300,000 residents lives in the capital alone.