Two women, Jenny and Ann, visit Reykjavik in Iceland for one weekend of sightseeing.
Reykjavik is just three hours flying time from the UK. Jenny and Ann flew from Luton Airport on Easyjet to Keflavik Airport.
Comfortable and affordable 4 Star accommodation at the Icelandair Reykjavik Marina Hotel which is close to the city centre and the spectacular Harpa Opera House.
Things to do:
The Northern Lights: This is a must do if you are in Iceland between September and April and once seen, the Northern Lights are seldom forgotten. Jenny and Ann recommend you book to go with a small group if possible and their group with Time Tours was just 16 people. They were picked up from their hotel at 8.30 pm and driven to a good vantage point. The guides are knowledgeable and constantly watch the sky to ensure that the group has the greatest chance of seeing the best of the lights. Cost per person is approximately £42 and do wrap up warmly – thermals essential! The Northern Light show started at around midnight for Jenny and Ann and they arrived back at their hotel at around 1.30 am.
Their consensus: exhausting but unmissable. A hip flask would have been a welcome addition!
A Guided Walk: Jenny and Ann enjoyed a free two-hour history and culture walk around Reykjavik with guide Marteinn of City Walks. A guided walk is an excellent way to get your bearings and it provided a superb overview of the city. Marteinn was entertaining, informative and good company. Booking essential and although you won’t walk far (approx. 2 km in total), it’s well worth wearing comfortable shoes and warm clothes.
Their consensus: really interesting and informative.
The Blue Lagoon: The geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon are considered one of the wonders of the world whereas they are in fact a by-product of the construction of the nearby geothermal power station Svartsengi. However, to bathe in warm waters of approximately 37-40°C (98-104°F) under a perfectly blue sky was irresistible to our two travellers and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Jenny and Ann also splashed out and enjoyed the inwater massage which also meant they had the use of complimentary robes for their visit: “no bad thing for women of a certain age to be able to fully cover up when out of the water” said Jenny. Approximately £55 per person for transportation from Reykjavik and entry to the Blue Lagoon. Inwater Massage is an additional charge. Booking essential.
Their consensus: Busy and commercially minded but well managed and therefore not overcrowded. The massage was luxurious and very spoiling. There are a number of other geothermal baths in Iceland and these are probably more reasonably priced for a very similar bathing experience so well worth investigating.
Golden Circle Tour: This is an all day tour which again, Jenny and Ann chose to undertake within a small group with a guide. The tour includes a visit to Pingvellir National Park and the intersection of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, the Geysir hot springs and the impressive Gullfoss Waterfall. The cost of the tour per person is approximately £62. Booking essential.
Their consensus: jaw dropping scenery, fascinating natural wonders, unmissable.
Eating and drinking: Unsurprisingly there is plenty of fresh fish in Iceland and Jenny and Ann enjoyed superb locally caught halibut with spelt batter and chips. They also ate lamb one night which was meltingly good and unforgettable. They enjoyed a few drinks of the local Birch Schnapps on the recommendation of a local bar waiter and said it was excellent! Hic!
Shopping: There are lots of shops in Reykjavik and without unwilling husbands in tow, both ladies were able to thoroughly investigate every souvenir shop for as long as they liked! They found beautiful locally made wool blankets and clothing, lots of puffin related souvenirs and felt that in general, all the souvenirs were of good quality.
There is lots to do in Iceland and Reykjavik has a plethora of museums which our duo was disappointed they didn’t have time to visit. The crime rate is very low and so Iceland feels safe and it is easy to travel around with good transport links. Both Jenny and Ann feel that Iceland is an all year round destination as each season offers something slightly different to visitors.
Jenny and Ann said “Overall a fabulous trip and most relaxing although we were kept very busy as there is so much to do. We loved the scenery and found the Icelanders extremely friendly and the bonus is that they all speak superb English. Although Iceland is slightly more expensive than the UK, the cost is not prohibitive and we highly recommend it as a weekend destination”.
Prices correct as at March 2015