We were the lucky two that got chosen to explore one of our top trending cities right now – Reykjavik in Iceland and what an adventure we had!
We had a great start to our journey by visiting the No1 Traveller Lounge at Edinburgh Airport – what a difference it makes, especially when it involves a little G&T pre-flight.
After our seamless EasyJet flights we arrived our hotel the Reykjavik Centrum around 10pm, dumped our bags and got right on Irene’s pre-planned Northern Lights hunt round Reykjavik harbour and the main city. Which to our amazement we managed to catch a slight glimpse of the lights and we had only been here for less than 2 hours – now that’s a great start! Then we wandered to the marina area packed full of lovely seafood restaurants, hip bars with live music and fantastic views right across the water to the snow-capped mountains. Then it was a swift slightly cold walk back to the hotel to bed.
Top Tip: Must see is the Marina for the views, nice at night with the city all lit up!
We woke up to a superb breakfast at the hotel – with a large spread of everything you could want – full cooked, cereals, pastries and lots of juices. Which set us right up for the day ahead!
This day was mainly for us to explore our featured hotels and get our bearings of this fantastic city. Throughout the day we actually managed to walk everywhere, from hotel to hotel – Reykjavik is so easy to navigate about and made it an enjoyable exploring day!
We got a quick stop off at the huge Hallgrímskirkja Church and took the lift right up to the top – for what can only be described as stunning! The 360 degree views showed us all the beautiful coloured roof tops, marina, harbour, mountains – basically the whole city and beyond! This is by far a must do when visiting this city.
Next we went to explore the Sun Voyager – that’s it above! Which is just behind the main shopping street – which is the place to be if you want to splash the cash! With lots of beautiful dresses and inspirational house interiors, our eyes were fixed on the windows.
We kept walking along the water passing the Harpa Concert Hall which was shimmering in the sky with its beautiful glass exterior and coloured lights. Inside was nice restaurants and shops – which made the perfect pit stop on our walk. Wandering further took us to a large working harbour, stacked with fishing boats and all of the tourist boats for whale watching and Puffin tours. Beside this was a new development which looked like a converted warehouse filled with street food stall, craft markets and tourists goodies.
After our busy day we headed straight to happy hour at the hotel bar (obviously). We got a huge plate of fish and chips each washed down with a little wine! Now we were fuelled up for the big adventure – our long awaited Northern Light Tour (Irene’s bucket list must!).
Top Tip: Must try the Icelandic yoghurt! Like a thick Greek style – just yummy.
The Northern Lights tour: the driver took us about an hour out from the city to a beach – well we think it was a beach but it was pitch dark – we couldn’t ‘sea’ a thing. Then we were all set up to wait and see if the Northern Lights were going to show their colours. Unfortunately they didn’t – it really is chance, but we were fully entertained by the guide showing us how to properly use our cameras with some little tricks to help us get the best pictures from the tour. The driver took us to a couple more different locations but still no luck with the lights and by this time the majority of the other guests had fallen asleep on the coach (aka Diane!). So it was back to the hotel for us.
It was time for activity number two: Gullfoss, Geysir & Þingvellir Tour to see the natural wonders of Iceland! We were amazed at how much snow was still here for it being April, it very much did feel and look like winter it’s was lovely. Our guide was just wonderful, we were bombarded with fascinating information about all of Iceland’s land formations. Our favourite stop was the Geysir – what a sight, its erupts every 4-6 minutes so it’s quite an exciting wait, and with the rugged grey landscape around us it felt like we were on the moon! They took us next to the waterfalls which we didn’t realise was a whole collection of them – not just one and they were huge, the pictures really don’t do them justice! Overall the tour took roughly 6 hours – but so worth it!
Happy hour at the bar again was calling – so we had a couple of drinks then walked back over to the Marina to a very trendy bar in the Icelandair Marina Hotel, supposedly this is the one to be seen in – so obviously we had to go. Where we had dinner and some more drinks.
However Irene wasn’t settled as she still hadn’t properly seen the Northern Lights! Even though it was 11pm we once again headed back out in search – but no sign of the lights and this time it ended up hail stoning on us.
Top Tip: Be prepared for all weathers – rain, hailstone, sun you name it Reykjavik will have it! Would ideally recommend to check in a bag on your flights to make sure you have all the clothes you might need.
It was Blue Lagoon day! This was by far the highlight of our trip and made up for not catching the lights. From the high-tech wrist-bands to the white clay masks we had a lovely relaxing time. We swam right up to the bar to get a Prosecco and by this time the sun was shining so it felt like we were in the Caribbean, the water was that warm! The Blue Lagoon was very well organised and super clean – making the whole experience seamless, we just loved it.
Top Tip: Upgrade your Blue Lagoon package to Premium so you get all your towels, a drink, robe and slippers – it really does add to the experience!
We had some time to kill before our flight home so we headed straight back into Reykjavik for a little coffee and some essential tourist shopping/gifts! Then it was time to jump on our shuttle transfer and grab the flight home to Edinburgh so that we can brag about this amazing city to everyone! P.S. When can we go back…?
To find out more about of our City Breaks to Reykjavik, Iceland or to speak to Diane or Irene about their recommendations and more top tips call them on 0131 243 8098 or request a tailor-made itinerary online.