Tomatoes and Waterfalls: The Quick Tour of Iceland

Hi everyone!  

It seems everyone is going to Iceland these days. It has become easy to fly to with many affordable flights available. I went for a week last month, and while I discussed in an earlier post about my flight, I didn’t really say anything about my trip. So I decided to give you a quick, brief synopsis of my visit.

I had a great time, and it was probably the most educational trip I have ever taken. I learned a lot about the country’s history and culture. One hundred thirty volcanos, glaciers, geothermal energy, horses and tomatoes! Oh my!

First of all, when you visit you fly into Keflavik Airport. It is about a 45 minute-1-hour bus ride. A round trip ticket is about $61 US. It is a boring trip, but you can see some of the countrysides as you come into Reykjavik. The bus terminal is close to downtown Reykjavik, and after taking a short transfer I was right in the middle of downtown. I stayed at an Airbnb that was right in the heart of Reykjavik, walking distance from the cathedral, Hallgrimskirja. Reykjavik is a very walkable city and easy to get around. 

If you need alcohol, the tax-free shop at the airport is suggested. Liquor stores are rare in Reykjavik, and the beer in the stores is non-alcoholic. You can pay for just about anything with a credit card. The heat and the water are from geothermal power. it is very hot! The water is some of the purest and cleanest in the world. 

Suggestions

My great landlord Adam gave me a few tips about what to do in Reykjavík, besides the usual famous attractions. Here are his suggestions:

The oldest swimming pool of Reykjavík is just a few minutes’ walk from where I was staying. It was renovated recently. It is called Sundhöllin, located at Barónsstígur 45a. I went there and really enjoyed it. It’s going native. I think it was much more enjoyable than the Blue Lagoon, which is very popular and available on numerous tours.

If you would like to enjoy the “Ibiza of Iceland”, go to the Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Golden sand, a hot pool, and a relatively warm ocean bay are awaiting you.

There several bookstores downtown, and they have cafés, where you can read any of their books or magazines while having your coffee or cake. The one I like the most is at Laugavegur 18.

A small cinema, Bíó Paradís is also right downtown, and they are screen some new and classical Icelandic movies the entire year.

If you are fond of art, the perhaps most famous Icelandic painter, Jóhannes S. Kjarval has an exhibition. It is in the Reykjavík Art Museum Kjarvalsstaðir, Flókagata 24.

And the most famous sculptor, Einar Jónsson, has an outdoors exhibition just by Hallgrimskirkja.

I went on one of the “Golden Triangle” tours. I did not go to the one that includes the Blue Lagoon. I went to the pool listed above. The tours included a lot of stuff, and you have to kind of hustle to see everything and take pictures. But I really enjoyed the visit to a horse farm and the tomato luncheon. Who knew? You can see my pictures on my Instagram page.

I also recommend Cafe Loki. The local food is great. The rye bread with mashed fish was to die for! As was the rye bread ice cream. 

While I really wanted to see the northern lights, but it was not to be. It does have to be clear at night. This time of year, it will be cold, pack warm stuff!

Conclusion

All in all, I had a great time. The people are very nice, very patient, and warm. I was always made to feel welcomed, and this in itself makes any trip enjoyable.

So, what are you waiting for? Get going!

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