In planning for traveling across Europe, I had put together a list of places I’d like to visit in my time here. Iceland was on that list, but given its geographic location and the overall cost to travel there, I figured it was probably not a place I’d get to visit this time around.
Fortunately, a little bit of spontaneity spurred the decision to spend my spring break there. I’m lucky I decided to go when I did. I was able to find a cheap flight to Reykjavik with WOW Airlines. With their recent shuttering, I’d have a lot more trouble finding a cheap flight.
I spent 7 days traveling all over the southern half of Iceland. I’m lucky I went with a Spanish and Finnish friend from my program, because they decided to rent a car when we got there. That made travel incredibly easy, and there’s no way I would’ve been able to see anything other than Reykjavik if I’d gone alone.
One of the best things about Iceland is all of the hidden gems. I’m normally not the type to travel without solidified plans. I used to love knowing what each day would hold ahead of time, but being in Europe has helped me realize that flexibility when traveling can make your experience much more enjoyable. My friends and I only booked hotels or hostels for three of the six nights we were there ahead of time, and had we booked all six in advance, there’s no way I would’ve been able to see some of the hidden gems there. Whether it’s Olafsvik near the Snaefellsness National Park on the West Coast, or Hof near Vatnajokull National Park, there are all sorts of wonderful towns to enjoy.
I would highly recommend a visit to Blue Lagoon. It’s somewhat expensive, but I found it was worth every penny. It was one of the most relaxing experience of my life. The crystal blue hue of the hot spring was breathtaking.
Geysir, Glacier Lagoon, Reynisfjara, and the Golden Circle are all within a day’s drive from Reykjavik, and are can’t miss spots if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Icelandic landscape. Iceland exceeded every expectation I had for it, and I found it to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.