Our Iceland holiday began with a drive from the airport to Reykjavik
, during which we got a taste of Iceland's volcanic charm. The moment we landed we were greeted by the breathtaking natural beauty that defines this country.
Our home for the trip, The Reykjavik EDITION
, was the hottest new luxury hotel in Iceland's capital. With a central location, contemporary design and amazing food, it was easy to see why there's such a buzz around this hotel! After settling in, we even managed to explore the city which is filled with charm, and everything was conveniently within walking distance.
Our first full day consisted of a Golden Circle tour. It began with a visit to Thingvellir National Park, just 40 minutes away from the city, where the Europe and Asia tectonic plates meet and are drifting apart. The drive between places is an experience in itself, with a constantly changing landscape and waterfalls at every turn!
We then braved the snowmobiles, whizzing across Iceland's second-largest glacier, Langjokull, followed by a walk right up to Gullfoss Waterfall which was a spectacular sight (but a bit wet!). The final stop was seeing the Geysers where we even caught an impressive eruption that left everyone amazed! The whole experience was surreal; each different landscape was as unique yet as beautiful as the next.
We spent the night at Torfhus Retreat
which was everything you'd imagine for an Icelandic retreat - cosy houses set in the remote countryside, with a shared hot tub that we enjoyed after the impressive set dinner.
We spent two days discovering Iceland's scenery. It was unlike anything I'd seen before with how picture-perfect and beautiful it was.
Our visit to Solheimajokull glacier was incredible; we were geared up with crampons, harnesses and ice picks to navigate crevasses and learn about glaciers. We also explored The South Shore
, witnessing awe-inspiring waterfalls and venturing behind a couple of them, as well as the untouched black beaches, all in one day!
The following day we drove in a monster truck through rivers and stopped at various points of Thorsmork for some awe-inspiring hikes, seeing the dramatic mountains, glaciers, valleys, caves and waterfalls. Our guide, Jon, who was with us for the duration of our trip, was incredibly knowledgeable and experienced, and this made all the difference - he either timed our visits to avoid the crowds or let us in on some local secrets when it came to must-see destinations so that we had whole valleys all to ourselves.
In the South Shore area, we had the privilege of experiencing two distinct hotels. Hotel Ranga
, with its wooden lodge-style retreat, was the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring with relaxing outdoor hot tubs (and in winter there's a good chance you'll catch the Northern Lights).
was a cosy Manor House set on a farm, featuring a small spa with a hot tub, sauna, and even an equestrian centre which would make for even more unforgettable adventures. Both places provided unique experiences in the heart of Iceland's natural wonders.
On our last day, after another scenic hike, we took a journey to the centre of the earth, descending 120 meters into a volcano that erupted 4,000 years ago! It was a definite highlight of our trip, being able to learn more about volcanos while being inside one!
We then headed to the famous Blue Lagoon for some much-needed pampering after days of all-out adventuring.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
went above and beyond any expectations: suites with their own private lagoons, a fine dining restaurant with an underground wine cave and an impressive spa with a lagoon, complete with a complimentary self-application ritual using salts, algae and oils to leave your skin glowing! The public lagoon had a great atmosphere of its own too, with a own mini face ritual available as well as swim-up bars.
Iceland has definitely won our hearts (and worn out our feet!). It is a truly spectacular destination that has to be seen to be believed - no photos, videos or stories can do it justice!
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