Iceland: An Overview

Iceland was an absolute dream!! Just under two weeks ago a found a great last minute deal and booked a spontaneous trip to Reykjavik.  Three nights/four days was absolutely not enough time to see the country, but it was worth it all the same, and definitely made a great getaway.

Iceland this time of year isn’t the typical place you’d escape to; the temperature is below-freezing and the sun doesn’t rise until 10:30am. But it’s also cheap this time of year and considerably less touristy, and with a $400 round trip flight from Montreal to Reykyavik it was a no-brainer.

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I arrived to a rainy city in the dead of night and made my way from Keflavik, the international airport, downtown to my hostel.  The drive takes about 45-minutes; it’s easiest to book ahead with fly-bus for a cheap ride into town.  I only paid to get to the bus station, which in hind sight was a mistake – it’s worth paying extra to get dropped at your hostel.  Instead I was dropped in the pitch black at a bus station with no idea how to get where I needed to be.

Kex Hostel

1 Night – $50CAD

I ended up cabbing to my hostel – the most expensive 5min drive I’ve ever had! Luckily, the hostel made it worth my while.  Kex hostel is a pretty famous hostel in Reykjavik, and for good reason.  It’s located in a building down by the harbour that used to be a biscuit factory (Kex is Icelandic for Biscuit – disappointingly, they did not give out free cookies). The hostel let me wait in their beautifully decorated lobby until my bed was ready, and served a delicious Icelandic breakfast while I waited.  When I did eventually get my room, I was pleased to find out the hostel places solo travelers in rooms together to help people meet and socialize which is such a great idea – everyone in my room was great. The hostel also helped  arrange transfers around the country and day trips with their Kexland travel company which was very helpful.

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Hot Springs

Secret Lagoon – $20CAD 

There’s some really amazing hot springs all around Iceland, with the most famous being the Blue Lagoon.  I wasn’t all that excited about spending so much money on such a quick trip to float around with hundreds of other tourists so I opted for the Secret Lagoon.  Somewhat less glamorous, the Secret Lagoon is a small, natural hot spring in the interior of the country, about an hour and a half from the capital.  I arranged a transfer through my hostel and spent my first afternoon fighting jetlag by floating around the hot springs with a glass of prosecco.  I would definitely recommend checking this one out for a quarter of the price of the blue lagoon!

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Day Trip

Southern Iceland – $120CAD / 10 hours

I only had time for one day trip without a car so I went for the southern Iceland tour, famous for waterfalls, glaciers, and black sand beaches. I booked my tour through the hostel, but there are hundreds of tour companies and as it turns out they all run identical tours.  It was a full day – we left at 8am and didn’t get back until late evening.  I would definitely recommend this one if you are short on time.  We managed to pack in two amazing waterfalls, two stops at black sand beaches, a visit to the village of Wik, and a walk out onto the beginning of a glacier, as well as one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever done.

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Overall, Reykjavik was an absolute dream.  I could not believe how easy it was to get there from Canada and how much I could comfortably pack into a long weekend. I’ll need to go back and explore for longer, but Iceland was the perfect escape.

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One thought on “Iceland: An Overview

  1. Awesome post. Iceland is a place I’ve been wanting to go for so long… & I’m crossing my fingers that I will be able to go within the next year, so these were really helpful tips! I will definitely have to check out that Hostel’s website 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience!

    & if you’d also like to check out my travel blog, I’ll leave my link here!❤
    https://aWanderlustfulLife.com/

    Liked by 1 person

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