Iceland: 5 Experiences You Need To Have

Iceland: 5 Experiences You Need To Have

Recently I took a trip to Iceland. If you are reading this, book your trip to Iceland… now! Here are the 5 experiences you need to have when you go.

Recently I took a trip to Iceland.  If you are reading this, book your trip to Iceland… now! Here are the 5 experiences you need to have when you go.

1. VISIT THE BLUE LAGOON

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Iceland is well known for its geothermal hot springs. The Blue Lagoon is just that – except better because it is a spa too! Walking through the volcanic field to the Blue Lagoon, you feel as though you are being transported away from the world and anything that matters.

Upon checking into the Blue Lagoon, you will receive the warmest robe (that you will end up buying as a souvenir) and a towel – complimentary flip-flops too if needed. Then it is off to the showers. Before entering the Blue Lagoon, you have to completely shower – there are shower police, so no cheating!

It is clear upon entry why National Geographic named this spot one of the “25 Wonders of the World.” Steam rises from every inch of the oasis. As you drop your towel and disrobe (you will be in a bathing suit, no nudity here!) and go from the chilly air into the water, calm immediately overtakes you. The complimentary mud mask and poolside bar definitely aid in the relaxation process. There is green juice available too if you are more in the mood to detoxify – I went green!

Remember to pre-book the Blue Lagoon and just enjoy! I recommend going on your return to the airport. This was an experience I had the last day of my trip. I ended up going directly from the Blue Lagoon to the airport – never have I ever been so calm going through security.

2. RIDE AN ICELANDIC HORSE

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Icelandic horses are only in Iceland – no joke. This breed of horse has a few special characteristics much different from a horse you would watch vying for the Triple Crown in the United States. First, Icelandic horses appear to be miniature, seeming pony-sized although they are fully-grown. Also, Icelandic horses are uniquely five-gaited (five-gaited meaning they have 5 types of “steps”). In addition to the walk, trot, and canter, Icelandic horses have two other gates, tölt and flying pace, making them well-suited to cover the terrain of their territory. Before traveling to Iceland, I had no experience with horses, so do not let lack of saddling up sway you from taking the reins.

I would recommend the Íslenski Hesturinn horse tour. The horses and tour are family-owned. On the excursion, you can opt for a hotel pick-up and return – this makes travel extremely convenient. Additionally, you will receive a bit of the history and background on the specialty of the Icelandic horse breed, plus a riding lesson.

The entire excursion is roughly 3-4 hours including travel.

3. SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

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This is a must-see when in Iceland! The Northern Lights are utterly breathtaking, and to see a magical bit of nature staring you in the face from the night’s sky is beyond words. The colors and the serenity make this experience unlike anything I have seen before. I was cold, but I did not mind one bit lying on my back in the snow to look up at the stars in the sky and the Northern Lights before my eyes. I used Gray Line tours to book this excursion and would recommend their trip. They pick up directly from the hotel and return you too – what more can you ask for?!

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  1. BE A TOWNIE IN REYKJAVIK

One day in Iceland I devoted entirely to exploring the town of Reykjavik – Iceland’s sole city. There is definitely nightlife and a scene to enjoy if you are into meeting Iceland’s natives and just relaxing. There are churches you can pop into and museums to explore – so go for it and do some self-navigation.

Here are a few places I would recommend visiting in Reykjavik leaning more towards booze and food: First, Micro Bar. Micro Bar is a craft brewery, and their flights of beer are out of any American bar’s league. Their flights come served in old-fashioned glasses – kicking any standard 3 oz. American serving out of the park. Be prepared when ordering the ten sampler flight! It is massive! Remember to eat before arriving or have plans to directly after – there are only chips, olives, and peanuts to eat as a side!

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Second, head to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, the translation being the “Best Hot Dog Stand in Town” aka the hot dog stand where Bill Clinton once ate! It is a quirky little pop-up in what appears to be a back alley, but to Icelanders, this place is legendary. You can eat where Bill Clinton, at one point, enjoyed the dog. Plus, after Micro Bar, you will be wanting some carbs and protein.

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Third, if hot dogs are not for you… pop into Iceland’s oldest café, Prikið, for a burger because why not, and you can say that you were there. (I approve of the hot dog stand, but for more of a sit down, do the café.)

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5. GO EXPLORE

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There are so many tour options when traveling, I personally would recommend an option that allows you to hop on and off a tour bus and take time to explore the beautiful nature of Iceland – The Golden Circle Tour. Climbing to the waterfalls, seeing the volcanoes, hiking up the cliffs, and playing in the snow is the experience you want. Be outside and enjoy every minute. I used Gray Line to book my tours and travel and I would highly recommend the service.

Enjoy Iceland!!!

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