Reykjavik & Beyond: Adventure to Iceland

Sunday, 18 February 2018

My most important New Years Resolution this year was to take every opportunity that came my way; to live a life with no regrets, so that in the future I can look back at these years and say yes, I did do everything that I wanted to do.

So when I returned to university in January and a couple of my friends suggested a short break to travel to Iceland, I was completely on board. Within just under three weeks, me and 5 other girls from my course arranged flights, accommodation, and tours around the beautiful country of Iceland.

I had never been on a winter holiday before this trip, so I had no idea what to expect. While I had heard stories about how incredible Iceland was, nothing could ever have really prepared me for how amazing the landscape and culture was there. 

I only stayed in Iceland for three full days, but I somehow managed to experience so much of the culture and scenery of the country. Still, I know that there is so much that I wasn't able to embrace in such a short stay, and I would love to go back at some point.

Iceland had a hold of my heart from day 1. My friends and I stayed in the urban, budget-friendly KEX hostel, which is housed in an old biscuit factory just a two minute walk away from the coast. All it took was that two minute walk from the hostel to the coast -which overlooked Mt. Esja- to take my breath away. 

It was very cloudy during our stay, but Reykjavik was somehow still bright... it was so unlike my home-city, Glasgow, where the clouds linger and create a permanent shadow over the streets.

There was one amazing moment when I was trying to take photos from the coast across to Mt. Esja. It was completely cloudy and overcast -which meant my photos weren't coming out amazingly. But then out of nowhere, there was a 5 minute gap where the clouds completely lifted, and the sun decided to make a brief appearance... perfect conditions for a photoshoot, haha.

We had planned to go on our first of three day-tours on the first day of our stay, but that was unfortunately cancelled because of an overnight storm the previous night, so we spent the day exploring Reykjavik instead.

The houses were all so beautiful; each one was a different colour, shape, and design from the one next to it. I wanted to stop and take pictures almost every step I took, which I'm sure drove my friends insane at times... but it was so worth it, to be able to now look back at all these photos.

We had planned to go on a guided tour to see the Northern Lights in the evening, but this too was cancelled due to the unfavourable weather conditions. However, we were lucky enough to have accidentally planned our trip over the period of Reykjavik's famous light festival. 

As a part of the Light festival that night, every museum in Reykjavik was open for free entry to all members of the public. This meant we got free access to museums that otherwise would have had an entry fee of around £20-25. 

My choice was to explore Reykjavik's Modern Art Gallery.

When we went in, the first gallery was completely pitch black, and we were handed torches to use to go around and see the art. It was such an interesting experience- I've never seen art in that kind of setting before, and it was really entrancing.

Our second museum visit was the Perlan museum, which exhibited the 'wonders of Iceland'. We didn't spend very long here, as it was getting late and we were all growing weary, but the time we spent there was definitely well spent. Within the museum, the main attraction was a man-made ice cave -made of real ice- which was so much fun exploring. 

From the get-go, we all agreed that if we were going to do this trip to Iceland, going to Blue Lagoon was a must. A couple of friends from work had already been, and told me that it was like heaven on earth. 

Honestly, it was like heaven on earth.

The only piece of advice I would give to anyone going to the Blue Lagoon (particularly my long haired, or dry haired friends..) is to make sure you condition the heck out of your hair. And tie it up. If you care about your hair at all, please please tie your hair up. 

The minerals in the hot springs in the Blue Lagoon really dry your hair out- I was warned about it, but I thought it would be enough to just put a load of conditioner on my hair... let me make it super clear to you; it wasn't.

On the day we went to the Blue Lagoon, we also went on the infamous Golden Circle tour, which took us around three main scenic attractions across Iceland. We saw the Geysirs, a beautiful (historic) valley, the most jaw-dropping waterfall, and some gorgeous Icelandic horses.

Our tour guide told us that the horses in Iceland (which look really similar to Shetland ponies) are the purest breed of horse in the world. They are bred and exported from Iceland around the world, but heavy law and regulation around the horses means that no horses are permitted to enter the country. This way, the Icelandic horses only ever breed with their own kind.

On the day of our flight, we made a last minute decision to go on a tour down one of Iceland's most famous Lava Caves. I didn't want to get my phone or camera ruined by the cold and wet conditions, so I didn't manage to get any photos of it- but I can promise you it was incredible. We were told by the tour guide that we had went on a fairly 'warm' day , so a lot of the ice was starting to melt within the cave. If I were to do it again, I would love to either see it during the summer on a dry day, or on a very cold winters day. 

The most unforgettable moment of the whole trip was in the Lava Cave. We walked deep, deep into the cave, where there was absolutely no natural light whatsoever, and were instructed to turn off our headlights.

And when we did, we were immersed by complete blackness. Honestly, I have never felt so unable to see. It was so still, and peaceful. It almost felt like I was meditating for 5 minutes.

Have you ever been to Iceland, or would you ever consider planning a trip there?

Adios, xo


  1. Wow Iceland looks spectacular! It's right at the top of my bucket list, I suppose I better get on and book something! Great post, it's awesome to see that you managed to do so much of the "Must do" Iceland stuff :)

  2. Stunning pictures! I really want to go to the blue lagoon and just take lots pictures, it looks so pretty. x


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