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I recently planned a girls trip to Iceland. We technically called it a “Divorce Trip” because a couple of my friends were getting divorced and we wanted to plan something fun they could look forward to. (On a sidenote: I’m a big believer in this–It doesn’t have to be an overcomplicated international trip, you can plan a hiking trip or an easy weekend staycation–but when I’m going through a tricky time giving myself something to look forward to is so important.) We did a recap on Ashlynn’s podcast right here.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

Jen who works with me at Oh Happy Day loves research and helped me plan a great itinerary. We decided to go all the way around the island which meant we did a lot of driving. I think if your trip is ~10 days or less I probably would just cover half the island so you can spend more time hiking and sitting in hot springs. But I really enjoyed seeing everything and it was honestly one of the best trips of my life.

I’m putting a version of our itinerary below but I thought I would highlight my Seven Favorite Experiences as well.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

7. Klettar Tower. Jen found this funny lighthouse to stay in. It was seriously my favorite thing. If I ever come back with my family, I would stay here again for a few nights. The whole top floor is a 360 degree windows so you can watch the Northern Lights in the winter. We loved it.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

6. Vök Baths. Iceland is famous for its geothermal bath culture. We made it a goal to try as many as we could. Vök Baths was a standout experience for me for a few reasons. If you are based in Reykjavik, it is harder to get to: it is on the East side of the Island and is fairly new. The pools are very very warm (all the pools are varying temperatures) but what’s amazing is they are built on a cold lake. So you can jump from the pier into the freezing water and get out and get in the hot water. I generally dislike any form of cold water and I didn’t realize how much I would love it. If you’re on that side of the island, don’t miss it.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

5. Volcano. There isn’t always an active volcano in Iceland but luckily there was one when we were there. It was so breathtaking to see the earth being formed. It was truly one of the coolest experiences of my life. We splurged on a helicopter ride and landed close by but usually there are options to hike there as well.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

4. Kolaportið Flea Market. Reykjavik isn’t a large city but I always check for flea markets wherever I’m traveling to. This one is open on Saturdays and Sundays and was so fun to shop. It isn’t big and smells a little funny but I got some treasures and souvenirs to take home to my family. I loved it.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

3. Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse. My friend Heather told me about this place. The majority of Iceland’s fresh produce is grown in greenhouses. This place turned its greenhouse into a restaurant. It is such a cool atmosphere. It was one of our favorite meals of the whole trip.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

2. Matur og Drykkur. The last night of the trip we got reservations here. It was excellent. The cocktails and the meal were wonderful. Highly recommend.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

1. Hot Springs. We tried a lot of geothermal pools and even stopped at some local community pools. It was so fun. Highly recommend planning your trip around it.

9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day
7 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

Here is a sample of our itinerary.

  • DAY 1 / Golden Circle
    • ACTIVITY: Hvalfjörður fjord
    • ACTIVITY: Glymur Waterfall
    • ACTIVITY: Þingvellir National Park
    • EAT: Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse
    • ACTIVITY: Rye Bread Tour, Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths
    • ACTIVITY: Gullfoss Waterfall
    • ACTIVITY: Geysir
    • EAT: Farmers Bistro Mushroom Farm
    • ACTIVITY: Gamla Laugin Secret Lagoon
    • EAT: Efstidalur II Ice Cream
    • STAY: Húsafell Holiday Villa
  • DAY 2 / Reykjavik
    • EAT: Brauð & Co
    • ACTIVITY: Nordurflug Helicopter Tours – Helicopter ride to visit erupting volcano
    • ACTIVITY: Kolaportið Flea Market (weekend only)
    • ACTIVITY: Shopping
      • Streets: Laugavegur, Skólavörðustígur
      • Shops: Aftur, Kokka, Yeoman, Aurum, HAF Store, Kiosk (Icelandic design)
    • EAT: Coocoo’s Nest, California brunch
    • ACTIVITY: Blue Lagoon
    • EAT: Fjöruborðið Restaurant
    • STAY: Klettar Tower
  • DAY 3 / South Coast
    • ACTIVITY: Reykjadalur Valley Hot Spring Thermal River
    • ACTIVITY: Seljalandsfoss – walk to Gljufrabui (hidden waterfall inside a canyon)
    • ACTIVITY: Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool
    • ACTIVITY: Skogafoss Waterfall
    • EAT: Mia’s Country Van Icelandic fish and chips
    • ACTIVITY: Sólheimajökull Glacier Kayak
    • ACTIVITY: Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – Puffins
    • EAT: Halldorskaffi
    • STAY: Hotel Kría
  • DAY 4 / South + East Coast
    • ACTIVITY: Skaftafell – Glacier Hike
    • EAT: Cafe Vatnajökull
    • ACTIVITY: Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon
    • ACTIVITY: Fjadrargljufur Hike
    • ACTIVITY: Vatnajokull National Park – hike options
    • EAT: Otto Matur & Drykkur OR Pakkhús Restaurant
    • STAY: Fosshotel Glacier Hotel
  • DAY 5 / East Coast
    • ACTIVITY: Diamond Beach
    • ACTIVITY: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon – Zodiac Boat Ride
    • EAT: Kaffi Hornid, lobster
    • ACTIVITY: Vestrahorn Mountain, Hike
    • ACTIVITY: Sveinsstekksfoss Waterfalls
    • ACTIVITY: Folaldafoss Waterfalls
    • ACTIVITY: Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Waterfall
    • ACTIVITY: Vok Baths
    • ACTIVITY: Egilsstadir
    • EAT: Aldan
    • ACTIVITY: Borgarfjörður Eystri – Puffins
    • STAY: Hotel 1001 Nott
  • DAY 6 / North Iceland
    • ACTIVITY: Rjukandi Waterfall
    • ACTIVITY: Dettifoss and Selfoss Waterfalls
    • ACTIVITY: Grjótagjá Geothermal Hot Springs
    • ACTIVITY: Asbyrgi Canyon – hike options
    • EAT/STAY: Melar Guesthouse
    • ACTIVITY: Hverfjall Crater Hike
    • ACTIVITY: Namafjall Hverir Geothermal Area
    • ACTIVITY: Askja
    • EAT: Vogafjós Restaurant, fresh mozzarella, fresh milk
    • ACTIVITY: Myvatn Nature Baths
    • STAY: Hotel Laxá
  • DAY 7 / North Iceland
    • ACTIVITY: Dimmuborgir Hike
    • ACTIVITY: Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths
    • ACTIVITY: Geitafoss and Godafoss Waterfall
    • EAT: Strikið
    • ACTIVITY: Akureyri
    • ACTIVITY: Fosslaug Hot Springs
    • ACTIVITY: Grettislaug Geothermal Pools
    • EAT / STAY: Brimslóð Atelier Guesthouse
  • DAY 8 / Reykjavik
    • EAT: Sandholt Bakery
    • ACTIVITY: Sky Lagoon Thermal Spa
    • EAT: Matur og Drykkur
    • STAY: Ion City
9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day
9 Favorite Iceland Experiences | Oh Happy Day

Original source: https://ohhappyday.com/2021/08/7-favorite-iceland-experiences/