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Wonderguide by

Alicja Lei

So you're coming to Iceland...yay!

and it's going to be AMAZING!! Planning your trip to Iceland can be OVERWHELMING...but basically I've collected all the awesome experiences you could have plus helpful articles..so now all you have to do is choose your own adventure!

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The Blue Lagoon 💙

You have to do it. And you will totally enjoy it as well.

Image - Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Alicja:Be sure you book your time slot well in advance, and I would book it for either coming from the airport or on your way back to the airport.
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The Golden Circle 💛

The Eiffel Tower of Iceland...one of the most popular destinations with 3 primary stops: Þingvellir National Park (I would spend 30-45 mins at this stop), Gullfoss (15 mins) and Geysir (15 mins). But I've added some must-do stops to make it special.

Image - Geysir
All You Need to Know about the Golden Circle
Alicja:Scan through this article first.
Image - Snorkel Between Continents In Silfra | Free Photos  _116049
$ 169
Snorkel Between Continents In Silfra | Free Photos
Alicja:They say you can touch two tectonics plates under the water, but since an earthquake a couple years ago, it's just out of arms reach.
Image - Friðheimar
Alicja:Stop here for lunch. Make reservations. You won't regret it.
Image - Secret Lagoon Hot Spring
Secret Lagoon Hot Spring
Alicja:Definitely make this hot spring a stop. Float on a noodle, have a beer and enjoy.

South Coast 🏔️

Here I've gathered the stops you should take. And I added activities that you could consider booking to do along the way.

Image - Seljalandsfoss
Alicja:You can walk right behind this waterfall and it's awesome!
Image - Skógafoss
Alicja:I would suggest walking straight to the base of this waterfall. You could climb to the top, but I think it's much more cool from the bottom.
Image - Dyrhólaey Viewpoint
Dyrhólaey Viewpoint
Alicja:Be sure not to miss this look out point! Its so spectacular.
Image - Reynisdrangar
Alicja:The famous black sand beach. STAY AWAY FROM THE WATER! Away away. People get swept out to see every year and the waves sneak up on you!
Image - Fjaðrárgljúfur
Alicja:Otherwise knows as Bieber Canyon! Although this might be closed right now as they build infrastructure for visitors.
Image - Jökulsárlón
Alicja:Glacier Lagoon and it's so beautiful!
Image - Zodiac Tour on Glacier Lagoon Iceland
$ 110
Glacier Lagoon Zodiac Tour
Alicja:A beautiful ride around the glacier lagoon, and you get up close to the glacier as well.
Image - Ice Cave - Inside The Largest Glacier_50449
$ 162
Ice Cave - Inside The Largest Glacier
Alicja:A chance to see the Ice Cave

Snaefellsness 🗻

Forget Disneyland, the Snaefellsness peninsula is the most magical place in the world. I've marked towns and stops to make.

Image - Hellnar
Alicja:This magical little village is nestled in between the sea and a glacier and they say there is an ENERGY there! I feel it.
Image - Arnarstapi
Alicja:You can take a beautiful coastal walk to this village from Hellnar. But be sure to find the arch photo op.
Image - Snæfellsjökull
Alicja:You can hike it, or ski it or snowmobile on it. Or just marvel at it from a distance.
Image - Djúpalónssandur
Alicja:The other black sand beach.
Image - Rauðfeldsgjá ravine
Rauðfeldsgjá ravine
Alicja:You can hike into this ravine, but you might need waterproof shoes.
Image - Game of Thrones Iceland
Game Of Thrones Locations in Iceland
Alicja:A fun little article and one of the mountains is in Snaefellsness.
Image - Flatey
Alicja:This magical little island is an escape to tranquility!

Hiking 🥾

Breath in the freshest air while you climb your way to unforgettable views. Below are articles about local hikes and links to guided hikes for the more adventurous!

Image - Glymur Waterfall
Glymur Waterfall
Alicja:Only a 45 drive from Reykjavik and a beautiful hike...you'll have to cross the river, so be prepared for sharp rocks on your bare feet.
Image - Esjan
Alicja:Only a 10 minute drive from the center and will give you beautiful views over Reykjavik.
Image - Reykjadalur
The Reykjadalur Hot Spring Hike on Your Own
Alicja:This is my favorite hike! Make sure the trail is open. Bring your bathing suit and towel and be rewarded with a hot river at the top!
Image - Fimmvörðuháls Hike_57354
$ 266
Þórsmörk Hike with a Local Guide
Alicja:I haven't done it, but it looks amazing and it's something I really want to do.

Northern Lights 💚

Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland is a bucket list item, but it's by no means a sure thing. Weather, solar activity, temperature, light pollution...it will all have effect how you see the lights. That being said your best chance to see it is here in Iceland.

Image - Northern Lights
The Best Time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland
Alicja:A very helpful article

Things to do in Reykjavik 🎨

From viking legends to modern art, get to know the deeper side of Iceland.

Image - Einar Jónsson Sculpture garden and museum
Einar Jónsson Sculpture garden and museum
Alicja:This is right next to Hallgrimskirkja and its really worth checking out...especially the garden (which is free).
Image - Ísbúð Huppu
Ísbúð Huppu
Alicja:Ice Cream is serious business here and this, according to my ice cream loving husband and step-daughter, there is no place better than Huppa. You'll need a car to get here. Get ice cream called gamli is (pronounced gam-lei ees) and pick 3 toppings for them to make a blizzard. It is yum.
Image - Reykjavík Art Museum Kjarvalsstaðir
Reykjavík Art Museum Kjarvalsstaðir
Alicja:Also a great place to stop for a coffee and they have an indoor play area for kids
Image - Whale Watching_153
$ 96
Whale Watching Reykjavik
Alicja:When we went out on this tour, we saw dolphins and puffins and birds! No whales for us, but was still cool.
Image - Vesturbæjarlaug
Alicja:This is our local pool, but the pools in Iceland are famous. So be sure to find one closest to you and enjoy. They are all heated to varying degrees. Just remember to follow the washing instructions...ie shower naked before entering the pool!

Restaurants 🍽️

The food in Iceland is amazing! Here's something to remember: - Always eat the bread - Fish of the Day is always a safe bet - You have to try Icelandic Lamb

Image - Sumac Grill + Drinks
Sumac Grill + Drinks
Alicja:Icelandic take on middle eastern cuisine and it's amazing! Make reservations.
Image - Messinn
Alicja:Lovely fish in a skillet...try the dish called Gellur. Make reservations.
Image - Jómfrúin - Scandinavian Kitchen
Jómfrúin - Scandinavian Kitchen
Alicja:Danish open face sandwiches…Great place for lunch, and get a schnapps with your meal!
Image - Forettabarinn
Alicja:Traditional Icelandic cuisine but served tapas style. Make reservations.
Image - Matur og Drykkur
Matur og Drykkur
Alicja:They've recently changed their chef...haven't been yet but heard it's really good.
Image - Raðagerði Veitingahús
Raðagerði Veitingahús
Alicja:My new favorite restaurant. It's a pizza place at night but they also offer a great brunch. If you go for dinner, share everything and don't miss out on the meatballs.

Bakeries and cafes 🥐☕

Icelanders do bread, and generally all baked goods really well.

Image - Brauð & Co
Brauð & Co
Alicja:Try the cinnamon buns...they are life changing.
Image - Sandholt
Alicja:Buy a loaf of sourdough and just keep it for your trip.. It's so good.
Image - Reykjavik Roasters - Kárastígur
Reykjavik Roasters - Kárastígur
Alicja:Fancy coffee. All the dollar signs though $$$
Image - Te & Kaffi
Te & Kaffi
Alicja:Iceland's answer to Starbucks.
Image - Kaffitar
Alicja:Iceland's answer to Seattle's Best?
Image - Baka Baka
Baka Baka
Alicja:Bakery by day and pizza joint by night.
Image - Brikk
Alicja:It's my local bakery! Try the Ostasalat, a cheese salad spread and the salt caramel bun.

Drinks & Nightlife 🍺🥂

Local beers, fancy cocktails or places to shake your booty. Also note that it's been about 2 years since I went "out" so there might better places to visit these days.

Image - Kaldi Bar/Café
Kaldi Bar/Café
Alicja:A true locals hang out...especially at HH on Thursdays and Fridays.
Image - Kaffibarinn
Alicja:A nice place to get a drink, quiet before 10, but after 1 am it gets cray.
Image - Röntgen Bar
Röntgen Bar
Alicja:It's mellow before 11 and then the music turns up.
Image - Kíkí Queer Bar
Kíkí Queer Bar
Alicja:The best place to shake your tail feather to super cheesy music.

The boring but essentials 🛒💱

Grocery stores, banks and pharmacies. I've just listed on location here but they are all chains, so there are several locations of all of these throughout Iceland.

Image - Vínbúðin
Alicja:The one and only place you can purchase alcohol. And they have limited locations and opening hours so just pay attention!
Image - Bónus Reykjavík
Bónus Reykjavík
Alicja:A "discount" grocery store. They move through their product quite quickly at this chain so you are getting the freshest basics.
Image - Krónan
Alicja:Your typical run of the mill grocery store.
Image - Nettó
Alicja:Another grocery store, but with just a slightly larger health food section.
Image - 10-11
Alicja:The most expensive place to buy groceries...do not eat from their salad bars.
Image - Landsbankinn
Alicja:Icelands bank, but there is also Arion Banki, and Islandsbanki. Also Tomato ATMs are trustworthy.
Image - Lyfja
Alicja:The other pharmacy
Image - Hagkaup
Alicja:Like Target or Fred Meyer....food and other things.

Car Rentals and Airport Shuttles 🚗

Did you know that Keflavik International Airport is a 45 minute drive from Reykjavik? Here's everything you need to make this easy and seamless!

Image - Airport shuttle image shutterstock
Airport Shuttle Service
Alicja:There are lots of options. The Airport Direct Premium will drop you off right at your doorstep in Reykjavik.

Wonderguide map

  1. Blue Lagoon
  2. Snorkel Between Continents In Silfra | Free Photos
  3. Friðheimar
  4. Secret Lagoon Hot Spring
  5. Seljalandsfoss
  6. Skógafoss
  7. Dyrhólaey Viewpoint
  8. Reynisdrangar
  9. Fjaðrárgljúfur
  10. Jökulsárlón
  11. Glacier Lagoon Zodiac Tour
  12. Ice Cave - Inside The Largest Glacier
  13. Hellnar
  14. Arnarstapi
  15. Snæfellsjökull
  16. Djúpalónssandur
  17. Rauðfeldsgjá ravine
  18. Flatey
  19. Glymur Waterfall
  20. Esjan
  21. Þórsmörk Hike with a Local Guide
  22. Einar Jónsson Sculpture garden and museum
  23. Ísbúð Huppu
  24. Reykjavík Art Museum Kjarvalsstaðir
  25. Whale Watching Reykjavik
  26. Vesturbæjarlaug
  27. Sumac Grill + Drinks
  28. Messinn
  29. Jómfrúin - Scandinavian Kitchen
  30. Forettabarinn
  31. Matur og Drykkur
  32. Raðagerði Veitingahús
  33. Brauð & Co
  34. Sandholt
  35. Reykjavik Roasters - Kárastígur
  36. Te & Kaffi
  37. Kaffitar
  38. Baka Baka
  39. Brikk
  40. Kaldi Bar/Café
  41. Kaffibarinn
  42. Röntgen Bar
  43. Kíkí Queer Bar
  44. Vínbúðin
  45. Bónus Reykjavík
  46. Krónan
  47. Nettó
  48. 10-11
  49. Landsbankinn
  50. Lyfja
  51. Hagkaup

Like these tips?
High Five Alicja