KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Language: Icelandic is the official language.  Engligh is commonly spoken as well especially in the capital, Reykjavik.

Currency: Icelandic Krona.  Iceland does not participate in the Euro.  Most places will accept a credit card but make sure to have cash on hand for tips during excursions.

Daylight Hours: Summer months will have long daylight hours with the sun barely setting from May 21st until July 30th.  Expect only around 3 hours of twilight a day.  Winter months will experience the exact opposite with only around 4 or 5 hours of daylight a day, typically from around 11am to 3pm.

When to go: Iceland is beautiful year round! In the summer, the country will be green and lush with long hours of daylight.  Travel to Iceland in the winter to experience a winter wonderland and a chance to view the northen lights.  Northern lights can only be seen during the winter months.

WHAT WE DID

Our short trip to Iceland was jammed pack with activities! Only a 4 hour flight from Boston, Iceland is a great place for a long weekend. We spent 3 nights in Reykjavik and due to the overnight flight on the way there, we had 3 full days to explore.

A frquently asked question about our trip to Iceland involved the weather as we were visiting in January.   Isn’t it freezing there? Aren’t you worried about snow fall?  Did you have issues with flight delays? But we were pleasantly surpirsed by the weather.  It was cold around 30 degrees Fahrenheit with a few snow flurries, which isn’t too different from winter temperatures in North Carolina. I think people hear Iceland and assume the temperature is going to be below zero.

Our first stop in Iceland was the Blue Lagoon. We traveled straight from the airport as the lagoon is a closer distance to the airport than Reykjavik. There is on site luggage storage at the facility for this very reason. I read several reviews beforehand claiming the Lagoon is a tourist trap. Yes, there are tourists. Yes, it does get crowded. Yes, it can be expensive. But I did not feel like this took away from the whole experience. Check out our post on the Blue Lagoon for more detailed information on our time here and the beautiful sunrise we witness while enjoying a glass of champagne.

That evening we arranged a northern lights tour. Unfortunately for us, the conditions were poor for seeing the lights during our stay….The tour would take you every night in hopes you would see the lights, but it was not in the cards for us during this trip. I had not done my homework on northern lights visibility and what our chances would be of actually seeing the light display. I assumed visiting in the winter equated to seeing the Aurora. However, conditions must be just right to view the lights: clear skies, solar cycle, time of year, location, etc. Check the forecast before you book your trip if possible and check the aurora forecast in advance.

On day two, we opted for an adventure day and booked an all day excursion through Extreme Iceland. Traveling along the southern coast of Iceland, the day trip included a visit to Seljalandsfoss waterfall, hiking on Solheimajokull Glacier and a visit to the black sand beach of Reynisfjara.

The glacier hike was no joke! Complete with crampons on our boots and an ice axe in our hands, we hiked to the top of the glacier, one of Iceland’s largest. Although at times the weather wasn’t ideal (cold and rainy to be exact), the views were incredible from the top! Extreme Iceland did a great job with the tour: our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, our group was small, and transportation very comfortable with a  pickup and dropoff in front of our hotel. We would recommend Extreme Iceland and their Sensational Iceland tour (the official name of our excursion).

One last full day, we spent leisurely enjoying Reykjavik. We ventured to the top of Hallgrimskirkja cathedral for a beautiful aerial view of the city. Walked the beautiful streets of Reykjavik shopping for souvenirs. Enjoyed a bite at a local restaurant serving grilled kabobs featuring horse, minke whale, reindeer, lobster and/or tiger shrimp. (Nah Felicia, I’ll have shrimp!) Finally, enjoying a beer at one of the many pubs close to our hotel before calling it a day.

On a return trip to Iceland, we would love to visit Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and Diamond Beach. Sadly, the over 4 hour drive, not to mention the unpredictable weather conditions of Iceland, meant this would not fit into our short visit.

Welcome to Mullen it Over!

Hi, we’re Amanda & Kai!

An every day couple trying to see the world and cross off our ever expanding bucket list.

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