5 Things You HAVE To Do in Iceland

I was fortunate enough to spend 5 days in Reykjavik, Iceland in March of 2022, and it was definitely the most unique trip I’ve been on. It’s one of those one-in-a-lifetime adventures that I’d urge anyone to do given the chance.

Going in March was a perfect time to see Iceland in all it’s natural glory. It was still cold and snowy enough for the authentic feel you’d expect when going to Iceland, but it wasn’t unbearable and there was a decent amount of daylight, with daytime lasting around 10 hours.

While speaking to other people on my travels here, in the dead of winter (December-February time) there are times when it’s only light for 4 hours, and it can get so cold that even your eyelashes can freeze when you go outside! As I’m not used to this climate, we found March to be a perfect middle.

If you’re wanting to see the Northern Lights (who doesn’t) then I wouldn’t go any later than March, it needs to be really dark for them to visibly dance across the sky so the midnight sun you get in the summer months wouldn’t bode well for a Northern Lights trip.

1. Northern Lights Tour

This may seem obvious, but if you want to see the Aurora Borealis, then I’d really recommend booking a tour rather than trying to hunt for them yourself.
I booked ours with Reykjavik Excursions and we found them to be one of the best in the city.

We booked on our first night, because they offer you to come back for free if you don’t see anything, and the first two nights were cancelled because it was too cloudy. I really appreciated the honesty so no-one wasted their time.

Once we were on the tour, our guide, Stefan, was impressively knowledgeable about the area and about the lights, so even though we didn’t see anything on the tour, we learnt a lot that we wouldn’t have otherwise found out.

2. The Blue Lagoon

Yes, it’s worth the hype it receives. The water sits at a relaxing 38 degrees Celsius and you’re not timed once you’re in there, so there’s plenty of time to chill.

The mineral water is naturally sourced and heated from approx. 6,500 feet below the surface and is surrounded by 800 year old lava fields – it really is a sight to behold!

All tickets into the Blue Lagoon also include a natural face mask and a drink, with more premium tickets offering even more. Nothing in Iceland is cheap, but this I think is worth the money; it was enjoyed by 3 generations on our trip!

3. Drink the Water

I know what you’re thinking – WHAT?! (And no, I don’t mean the water from the Blue Lagoon!)
The water in Iceland is known to be one of the purest on earth, so any water source is drinkable. Don’t be put off by the sulphur smell, it’s some of the freshest water you’ll ever drink!

4. Golden Circle Tour

We did this tour almost accidentally. It was very spontaneously booked that morning and I’m so glad we booked it!
It’s a whole day tour (so take a packed lunch!) but there’s some absolutely phenomenal views of the country.
Volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, you name it, this tour has it. You can even walk between the two tectonic plates of Europe and America – technically you can touch two continents at the same time.

5. Go Whale Watching

I’ll be the first to admit, this wasn’t the most *comfortable* outing. As we went in winter, the seas were quite rough and it made a lot of people ill (not me, though!). In general, whale watching is best left for the summer. More whales, puffins, and better sea conditions overall.

Even in March though we did see some Minki whales and a whole family of dolphins! Again, the guides on board were very helpful and insightful about the animals, so it was a fascinating trip despite the rough conditions.

There’s plenty more things that I didn’t get to do that I would have loved to experience, but that just means I’ll need to go back…what a shame!
I would have loved to have seen/done:

  • Snorkelling in the Silfra
  • The black sand beaches
  • Dog sledding or snowmobiling
  • An active volcano hike

Overall, Iceland is a magical place that truly is like no other. I hope to find myself back there one day!

Writing from Reykjavik,

Wish You Were Here x

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