I hope you enjoy watching our Iceland video! It doesn’t nearly cover everything we saw and did, but it’s a great representation of how much fun we had and how incredibly beautiful Iceland is! Keep reading under the video if you want to hear more about the trip “at a glance.” 🙂
I’ve just come home from a 10 day trip in Iceland. I’m actually not even home yet, still on the plane home, but needed to start writing before I forgot all of the parts that made this trip so special. My boyfriend, er, rather fiancé now (yippee!!!) and I booked tickets for this trip in mid-April, a month before I graduated college.
A lot of people told me about this website called Pomelo, which is a company that sends emails for discounted international flights, and I signed up right away waiting for Iceland. Boom! $95 one way to Iceland leaving from LAX. It was perfect. We booked with WOW Air, a budget airline, and at the end of the trip we are now wondering how “budget” it really is. I’ll talk more about that in another post for sure.
Because I live in Arizona, the only extreme weather I’ve ever experienced is heat and the best solution for that is a swimsuit + a pool. Rain? Wind? Cold? All three at the same time? I was definitely needing to go shopping and borrow from friends.
Once we were all packed up with proper gear + LOTS of snacks, we were off. For some reason, and I won’t question it, all of our flights and arrangements went eerily smooth. No delays, no hang ups, no “oh crap, I forgot ~insert very important thing here.~” We both slept a majority of the flights and felt rested upon waking! What the heck, how? We got picked up from our campervan company at the Keflavík airport and it was a 45 minute or so drive to their office where we grabbed our van and some left over food and headed to the grocery store.
Our initiative was to head north first because we knew that the roads and conditions in the north are a little bit more unpredictable. Not as many tourists make their way up there, in fact we saw zero tour busses, so it felt a lot more untouched. Because of the lack of tourism, any deviation we made from the Ring Road (road that circles all of Iceland) was full of potholes and 1 lane bridges. It was actually funny how bad some of the roads were, but it was such a cool feeling being the only people on the road for hours. We really would go miles and miles without seeing another car.
We were surprised to find so many campsites still open at the end of September! When I looked online and read everyone else’s blog posts and websites, they all said that most campsites close down after summer. We only encountered 2 closed campsites on the trip and we were really just picking one on the map and driving there.
A lot of the sites had awesome facilities which I 100% was not expecting. I was expecting port-a-potties and a parking lot, but what we found were awesome little spots with great views and heated floors in the bathrooms!!! That was the best part! Not every place was super lux, but they all at least had clean bathrooms and showers with some sort of sink + an indoor dining area. A lot of the time we chose the sites that were pretty far off the road to avoid crowds of people, but sometimes when we were tired and had been driving all day, we settled for the crowded ones in the cities.
Our favorite spot was definitely the northeast. Here especially we went miles and miles without seeing other vans and even got a chance to see the northern lights! Albeit they were small, but we got to see them together for both of our first time…plus we got engaged right underneath them! It was really special.
We drove down the most beautiful [bumpy] road, road 95, on our way to the southern region. Every turn we took, every hill we climbed, required a photo. Speaking of waterfalls, Iceland has a ton of them. By day 6 out of 10 we were a little sick of them, I’ll admit. It’s funny because there are many “famous” waterfalls… definitely famous for a reason… but there were SO MANY more without names and that weren’t deemed tourist destinations that were so much better. Especially on road 95. It was so hard to not stop at every turn on that road! We were shocked that no one else was stopping.
Iceland is such a beautiful treasure and gift to us! They called it the land of fire and ice and I totally see why. From glaciers to volcanos, mountains to plains, oceans to rivers, they truly have it all. The local people are so kind (in our experience) and were only helpful to us in our journey. There are more sheep than people living in Iceland right now, the horses are beautiful and the blue lagoon really is bright blue. Natural hot springs are amazing, even with the sulfur smell.
You really can see a lot in 10 days, by certainly not all of it. I would hate to minimize a country and culture by saying “we saw it all in 10 days… here’s how you can too!!!” I think it would take years to see it all and understand it all. There’s so much there that doesn’t involve waterfalls and the Blue Lagoon. Definitely more to come on this trip that I loved so much and will always be special to me. It’ll be hard to stop writing about it.