Getting There With Icelandair
Icelandair; for the price I paid it was probably one of the nicest airlines I’ve flown. I did some research on them before I booked to see what others were saying. Some positive comments, but a lot of negative as well. The main complaint was the fact that there was no meal service. The flight from New York’s JFK to Reykjavik is around 5 hours and 30 minutes, almost the same time if not less from New York to California. You’re not served a meal on those flights and not many people complain. I know Icelandair has flights that go deeper into Europe and you still don’t get a meal, but to me that should make or break the airline. Instead all factors such as the staff, quality of service and plane itself should be taken into consideration before given a 1 or 2 star rating. If you want a cheap flight to Europe you can’t expect luxuries, you get what you pay for. With the money you save on a flight with no meal you can go to a nice dinner where ever you are headed, and if it’s Iceland trust me you will need that extra cash. Something to think about. I mean I was satisfied with the bottle of Icelandic water and northern lights show on board.
Reykjavik from Keflavik Airport
Where To Stay
Iceland is a little expensive, so the less you spend on accommodation the better. I would suggest looking into hostels first. I highly suggest Loft Hostel. Friendly staff, clean rooms and amazing location. They have a bar and rooftop with an amazing view. A lot of people I met were also staying at Airbnb’s, so it’s definitely worth looking into as well to see what you can find. Then you get to see what it is really like living as an Icelander.
What To Do
- Blue Lagoon – you really only need 2 to 3 hours here, so it is the perfect stop on your way to or from the airport. I booked my tour through Viator and upgraded to the spa package. It was around $10/15 more than the basic tour and included use of a towel, an algae mask, and one drink of your choice.
- Bar Crawl through Wake Up Reykjavik – perfect for your first night out to get to know the city nightlife. It was around $100, and included 4 or 5 drinks, each at different bars. Iceland is pretty expensive so it was a pretty good price. You will stop at a local Icelandic bar where you will of course have a drink and try the famous Hakarl (fermented shark). You will also stop at the famous hot dog stand “the best hot dogs in town” (included in the price of the tour) perfect drunk food. Egill was my guide and he was absolutely awesome, but I’m sure all the staff is just as wonderful. I believe the tour only runs Friday’s and Saturday’s so plan accordingly.
- Golden Circle tour – on this tour you will stop at a gorgeous national park, a geyser and the famous Gullfoss Waterfall – definitely an awesome tour that you can’t miss.
- South Coast tour – unfortunately I was limited on time and didn’t get to go on the south coast tour but I heard from others that it was absolutely amazing.
- Horseback riding – this was probably one of my favorite things I did in Iceland. The ride was absolutely incredible, the scenery was seriously unbelievable. Icelandic law prohibits horses from being imported to the country, and any horse that has been exported cannot return – making the Icelandic horse the purest breed in the world. Aside from being adorable, the horses are extremely friendly and gentle. Perfect for first time riders, or anyone who is scared to ride.
- Northern Lights tour – due to weather I was unable to see the northern lights. Try and plan this tour at the beginning of your trip because if the weather is bad they offer a refund or a tour on another night. Planning this on the first or second night gives you a better chance of seeing them if you have to reschedule. Some people in my hostel were able to see them and the pictures were seriously amazing.
- Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral – don’t ask me how to say the name, but this lutheran cathedral is beautiful both inside and out. For around $7 you can take a lift to the top for one of the best views of Reykjavik.
- Food Walk through Wake Up Reykjavik – an awesome tour to get a real taste of Iceland. Aside from trying yummy dishes you will also get a walking tour of Reykjavik which is pretty awesome.
** Other Points of Interest – national museum of Iceland, The Sun Voyager, Harpa Opera House
Good Places To Eat
- Laundromat cafe (get the pancakes, soooooooooo good)
- Solon Bistro (next to Loft Hostel)