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I am way late to the Love for Iceland party. I don’t know where I’ve been – probably stuck in the Michigan wilderness we call home – but I am at the party now! Better late than never, right? It seems like Iceland travel is on everyone’s mind- and it’s easy to see why. With over 30 active volcanoes, natural hot springs and the largest glacier in Europe, Iceland is a nature lover’s wonderland. Get ready to swoon. Iceland is Destination Wanderlust in every way.
So you’re thinking of going to Iceland! There is so much to see and do, this post is just a smidgen of all of the awesome sights I’ve come across while looking into such a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
The Northern Lights, Iceland Style
Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? Also known as Aurora Borealis, this natural wonder is a nighttime spectacular. Living in Michigan we often hear people say they saw the northern lights last night, from their deck. Well, we have a deck, and it even faces north, but we have not been so lucky! To see them in Iceland would be nothing short of amazing. I might have to plan a little pre-show in the Upper Peninsula before my Iceland dreams come true.
Evidently, Iceland is not always the snowy scene you may be imaging! I adore all of these colorful rooftops that perfectly complement the beautiful sea and sky. This looks like a gorgeous place to live, with quick access to the countryside and mountains. <swoon> I get antsy staying in one place for too long, so access to adventure is key to me! Reykjavik is a major city, and with that comes a variety of hotel and lodging accommodations, along with fabulous restaurants, to meet the needs of every traveler.
Black Sand Beaches
Look at this gorgeous black sand beach in Vik, Iceland! Have you ever seen such a thing? I have not. Sure, I’ve seen plenty of beaches living in Illinois and Michigan and having access to the Great Lakes, and our US travels almost always include a beach in some manner- even if it’s a day trip to the coast closest to where we are vacationing, but I’ve never seen a black sand beach. (Mentally adding this to my running bucket list….)
Can you believe the color variations in this photo of Bruarfoss Falls? The blue is amazing. What a breathtaking sight this would be. While Michigan has some beautiful waterfalls, and we’ve seen Niagara Falls, the way these falls are so flat and seem to come into center from all around would be amazing to see. My husband is a drone enthusiast and I can only imagine the fun he would have with his DJI Phanton 3 over these falls! In fact, this may be how I convince him that Iceland needs to move to the top of our Must Go To list….
Whale watching, Iceland Style
This would be so much fun! For one, you’re on a boat, and any time you’re on a boat you’re pretty much promised a great time. Secondly, seeing a whale up close and personal, with no risk of being consumed, would be awesome. I would imagine the size alone is awe-inspiring.
The Blue Lagoon
Named “One of the 25 Wonders of the World” By National Geographic, it is not hard to see why! This beautiful lagoon is so blue it looks like paint has been poured onto the landscape. This would be another amazing sight from our drone.
This naturally formed ice cave that is absolutely stunning. I may not mind being cold in a place that looks like this!
This is a lava field covered in moss. Or a life-size fairy garden. Either way, it is in Vik, Iceland, so be sure to add this into your day at the black sand beach!
Iceland is known for its geysers, and the Strokkur Geyser is at the top of the “Must See” least for travelers. Located just east of Reykjavík, this geyser erupts once every 6-10 minutes!
What an amazing trip this would be! With some zigzagging, you would be able to see evvvverything if you plan accordingly. It would be difficult to justify visiting Iceland and not seeing as much as possible. What I love about these “loop” trips is that you can jump on anywhere and eventually end up where you began, so they make for nice, short trips during your longer vacation. We’ve done the Lake Michigan Circle Tour and love tours that allow you to see so much of the land.
Ready to go? Well, start saving! Word on the street is a bagel with cream cheese will run about $18. I bet it’s the very best international bagel you will ever eat though. I’m more than ready. This would truly be a dream trip!
Travel Tips & Tricks
- Do you need a passport? It’s kind of important! US residents can check out this article on obtaining (or renewing) a passport.
- The best travel advice I have ever received is “take half as much clothing, twice as much money.” Ain’t that the truth?! I am a chronic over-packer and adhering to this has been a challenge. I was able to pull it off on our last vacation, which was great because then I had room for all of the stuff I bought with the “twice as much money” part of this equation. <heh heh>
- The second best travel advice I have ever received is that if you are traveling with a group or another couple, build in downtime for yourself or you and your spouse. Too much “together” can take its toll. Nothing says that because you are vacationing together you have to do everything together. If you’re a foodie and your friends are not, go out to dinner with your partner. If you want to read and they want to rent wave runners, stay behind and read. This is your vacation, so make it one you have the best time possible during.
- Airlines have cracked down on luggage sizes and weights, and the fee for an overweight bag can be astronomical. If your luggage is older, consider upgrading to a set that is guaranteed to be the correct size for carryons and is also lightweight. I bought this Travelhouse 3-piece luggage set for my daughter’s recent vacation. The largest piece weighs just 9 pounds, it has spinner wheels and a TSA approved lock. It also comes in several colors, which is my third tip: If you’re purchasing new luggage, consider luggage that is a color or pattern – in other words, not black! It will be so much easier to spot your bag on the luggage carousel. This is especially handy when traveling with kids whose luggage you also need to find. No one wants to hang out at the airport checking every black bag that passes by! Is that it…no…is that it…no…I think that’s it…nope. A new luggage set can solve a lot of headaches, for a pretty reasonable price!
- TSA approved bottles for liquids are another must-have when planning a big trip. These squeezable silicone bottles are 2 and 3 ounces and can be refilled each time you travel. Yes, you can check larger sized containers, but for items you want access to throughout your flight, these bottles are perfect!
- Take comfy shoes, even if you think you won’t do a lot of walking. You never know what adventures will pop up and buying shoes you already have at home is an expense that is easy to avoid.
- Save on hotel stays by choosing hotel groups, such as Intercontinental Hotels, that regularly offer deals and discounts.
Ready for some warm weather adventures? Check out Malaysia and these 10 awesome things to see & do next!
Ready to start saving up for your next big trip? Check out these 10 Surefire Ways to Save Money and these 5 Totally Awesome (and totally free!) Money Management Tools to get that vacation piggy bank started!
Have you been to Iceland? Let me know in the comments- I can’t wait to hear about your trip!