I was thrilled when my best friend from England said she will join me to see the Northern lights in Iceland. Having a tight schedule because of work, we only had few days to explore the Island. After a few days of blogs searches our 3 days (4 nights) break was all booked up. Here are the highlights.
Where to go ?
- Day 1 : The Golden Circle Circuit. Stop at Þingvellir National Park, Geysir and Gullfoss Falls natural sites.
- Day 2: On your way to the Vik (heading South) stop at Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool, Seljalandsfoss, Skogafossand and The Black sand Beach. With an extra day, drive another 2 hours south to the Diamond beach or Jokulsarlon Icebergs and have a sleep over.
- Day 3: Have you breakfast in Reykjavik and go for an incredible experience to the Blue Lagoon . Get there before 3pm so you can also enjoy a night time experience.
- Any day : The Northern Lights. Make sure to maximize you chances to see them by going at the right period and at the right time.
WheN TO GO AND WHERE TO STAY ?
It is not easy to book an Airbnb and no chance to stay in a campsite during winter. Here are some friendly-hotel recommendations booked via booking.com :
- Kriunes Hotel : Traditional hotel located at the start of the Golden Circle.
- UMI Hotel. Designed Hotel in a remote place with scenic surroundings and a nice restaurant. Highly recommended.
- CenterHotel Plaza. Great location if you want to stay in Reykjavik for a day shopping and site sightseeing.
- Hotel Jazz. A 10 minute drive from the Keflavik airport. Ideal if you have a late flight coming in or departing early morning.
ON WHAT BUDGET ?
Well, Iceland is not cheap. Count 125 Euros per head and per day, including hotels, restaurants, car rental and flights. Although You can get some good deals on the flights, hotels and food can be expensive. Simply because of the taxes the local must pay and the high cost of leaving. With a good organisation you do not need to book any agency tours. They can be quiet expensive and not worth the money. We saved around 150 Euros over the weekend ! So, be adventurous and rent a car. Roads are very safe and quiet. In the summer it will be your best option to go around the island.
Enjoy this striking beautiful island.
- Do things in your own time and save money by renting a car. We used Avis this time.
- Some roads are closed in the winter (mainly on the Eastern side), don’t be too adventurous and stay safe.
- In the winter, you only have a couple of hours of daylight, don’t spend too much time on each sites.
- Grab something to eat at the Islenski Barinn. A cool and traditional Icelandic Bar in Rejkavik.
- See the Northern Lights from your door steps by staying in remote hotels.
- Try an alternative hot springs to the Blue Lagoon and go to Mývatn.
- You need to have the right gear when travelling in the winter and have a good camera to capture the beauty of the Northern Lights.
- Go again in the summer for a totally different experience.