My last day and a half in Iceland was memorable. While the first two days were full of adventure (read about Day One and Day Two), the last two were much more tame. We were exhausted after two days of hiking, sight-seeing, snowmobiling, and constantly being on the go, so I was really looking forward to relaxing at the Blue Lagoon on our third day.
Before we went to Iceland I had read that the Blue Lagoon was touristy and some people even said skip it. DO NOT LISTEN TO THOSE PEOPLE. The Blue Lagoon is MAGICAL. I would have stayed all day had I known more about it going in. I will be doing an entire post with all the specifics, more photos, and a video (!) but I can tell you that if you go to Iceland you absolutely MUST go. And if you are doing a stopover flight and have like 8 hours — go to the Blue Lagoon.
We had tickets for 10 am (yes, you need to get tickets in advance), and we ate lunch at the Lava Restaurant on the property, which was the best meal we had in Iceland. It’s expensive, but in my opinion, I say make a day of the Blue Lagoon, go all out, and eat a long, lingering lunch at Lava. It’s delicious. I was so relaxed after spending 90 minutes in the Blue Lagoon, sitting and enjoying a long meal was delightful. I only wish we had gotten back in the Blue Lagoon afterward! More specifics about it coming up in another post soon!
In the lagoon you can get two types of masks to put on your face, and a body scrub mask. I did them all of course.
The Blue Lagoon actually took much longer than we thought, so by the time we had enjoyed the lagoon, had lunch, showered, and gotten ready again it was already 2 pm. My plan was to drive down to Skogafoss Waterfall and then on to the black beach near Vík where giant pieces of icebergs wash up on the beach like Mother Nature’s ice sculptures. BUT we all felt like the drive was just too far. It was almost 3 hours from the Blue Lagoon, which is 45 minutes from Reykjavik. It would have meant at least 7 hours in the car and it was already mid-afternoon. So we nixed the idea and went back to Reykjavik and caught the last hour of the flea market and walked around downtown.
If you want to buy an Icelandic sweater, you can get them at the flea market for half the price ($100-$150) you will find them in stores (around $300). I was too flustered with the market closing down to purchase one but I completely regret this and next time I go to Iceland (there will be a next time) I will get a sweater!
I also stopped into the HARPA Concert Hall for a quick peek a the architecture. This building is GORGEOUS inside and out!
For dinner we found a secret pizza place just by doing some quick research. It’s “secret” because the restaurant doesn’t have a name. I believe the address is the name — Hverfisgata 12. It’s also called pizza with no name online. It had great reviews so we figured we’d try it out. Honestly, it was SO GOOD. I’m still thinking about the pizza we had there. I stuffed myself with pizza and lots of red wine. It was divine. I mean, the Blue Lagoon and this pizza in one day = heaven.
The next day we were leaving but we had time in the morning to make a stop at the Hallgrímskirkja Church in downtown Reykjavik. I almost just said, eh, let’s just have a lazy morning and sleep in, but I’m so glad I didn’t and I made time to go to Hallgrímskirkja. The view and the architecture of the church is beautiful and gets all the love online, but the inside of the church suprised me at how beautiful it was! I’ll be doing a post with more photos and details about Hallgrímskirkja soon!
See the view from the church in this short video:
After visiting Hallgrímskirkja we went and picked up our friends who had rented an Airbnb and headed to the airport. On our way I realized I hadn’t gotten any good photos of the amazing Iceland terrain and I was like pull over — I need a photo!
The moss covering the rocky terrain is thick and very spongey. In some places it’s so thick you would have no idea you are walking on rocks.
We thought we had plenty of time to get to the airport, return our rental car to Blue Rental Car, check my bag with WOW Air, go through security and passport checks, but with the recent boom in tourism in Iceland the airport was a hot mess. The lines were insane long. So I recommend getting there at least 2.5 hours before your flight if you don’t have an digital ticket or if you need to check a bag. If you can get your ticket online and you aren’t checking a bag then the usual 90 minutes to 2 hours is probably fine.
We might have made our by the skin on our teeth, but they actually held the plane for us because I got randomly selected for additional screening — like where they do a full pat-down and go through your carry-on luggage. And if they do that to you, they hold the flight for you. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise.
I was sad to be going home because honestly, I could have spent two weeks in Iceland. Everyone who asks me about the trip, I tell them it was too short. If you really want to explore the country and do a good amount of the things it has to offer, you should go for at least 10 days.
I would like to go back in the summer when there is 20 hours of daylight and drive around the entire country. I want to see more of the unique terrain, more waterfalls, icebergs on a black beach, Icelandic ponies and more. I also want to go back in the winter for a few days when the northern lights are at their peak, see the country covered in white snow, buy an Icelandic sweater, and do another round at the Blue Lagoon of course.
If Iceland is on your travel bucket list, I recommend you go soon. Tourism is really picking up there, and I think the sooner you go, the less tourists you will encounter. I highly recommend going! It was active, fun, interesting, and relaxing.
Have you been to Iceland? Did you go to the Blue Lagoon? What did you love about Iceland? Where should I go when I go back?
Photos by Meg Biram, do not use without permission.
Special thanks to the Blue Lagoon for providing my experience and to WOW Air for partnering with me on this trip. All opinions are my own.