Iceland has always been a dream of mine and at the top of my bucket list especially after seeing such beautiful photos of the Northern Lights. I’m always in the lookout for deals and I currently subscribe to many travel deal websites such as Travelzoo, where I found this deal! Travelzoo is a third party company that emails you travel deals from your city. This deal was from Iceland Air for 4 days to Iceland from NYC for only $800!! There was no blackout dates and this included air and hotel at the Hilton in downtown Reykjavik. This was a great deal and I knew I had to get it immediately! Long and behold my flight to Iceland was booked for Thanksgiving break. BTW, I had great flight times and a direct flight to Iceland from NYC is under 6 hours! And that is how I got to Iceland for $800! I will share with you a current deal later at the end of my post that will get you to Iceland for as low as $489!! So keep reading =) One thing to note is that it can be super helpful to rent a car if you plan to see all of Iceland. Here are my highlights of my trip.
I recommend taking a red eye flight, once you land it’s early morning which will give you a full day to explore. My suggestion is to book the Blue Lagoon to help beat the jet lag. Tickets can be purchased there but I suggest buying the airport transfer tickets, this takes you from the airport to the Blue Lagoon and then to Reykjavik. The Blue Lagoon is on the way into the city so it’s best to get that bucket list item checked off first. The Blue Lagoon has storage so no need to worry about your luggage. The tour bus will then take you into the city after spending a few awesome hours in the geothermal spa. Make sure to get a free mask facial and drink alcohol at the bar! It felt amazing!! I wish I opted for a massage too!
This is where you should stay when in Iceland. The hotel at the Hilton was clean and convenient! Across the street is the bus stop so it was easy enough to get around.
A visit to the Hallgrimskirkja church is a must! The tower can be seen throughout the city and it is also the largest church in Iceland. Don’t forget to buy a ticket to the top of the church to get a view overlooking downtown. I fell in love with the colorful rooftops and I’m sure you will too!
Tour to the Tectonic Plates, Gulfoss Falls and Geysirs (Golden Circle Tour)
We woke up super early for this tour but it was so worth it! The tour started with a sunrise at the tectonic plates and it was so beautiful during this time. I felt like I was in a winter wonderland. The tour bus then goes to the Gulfoss Falls which is a big waterfall, pretty amazing to see most of it frozen. My favorite of the tour was the eruptions at Geysir which is boiling water that goes up to 70 metres in the air every few minutes. This is one of the most popular tours in Iceland and can be reserved at your hotel.
South Shore Day Tour
This was my favorite tour during my trip. It is a full day tour that takes you to the southern part of Iceland into a town called Vik. I saw multiple waterfalls where we spent some time hiking around it. The coolest part of all was seeing the Sólheimajökull Glaciers!! If you have time I suggest doing a glacier hike! It can be pricey but worth the experience. The tour then goes further into the South Shore to the black sand beach. This is also a highlight of my trip as it was so beautiful and peaceful. I didn’t want to leave.. I was probably the last person to get back onto the bus. The bus then goes to another waterfall before stopping at the Skógar Folk Museum. The museum was opened in 1949 to exhibit artifacts and how Icelanders lived in the past.
Here’s to all the things I wish I did…
Since I was only in Iceland for 4 days I was limited in time. If you have more time I suggest visiting Iceland for at least a full week! There is so much to do!! Camping in the southern part of Iceland is also a great idea if you’re looking to chase the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights
Sadly, I was unable to catch it! Every single night I was there it was foggy and no clear skies. I was pretty bummed but it’s an opportunity for me to return. It’s also known as the Aurora Borealis, collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere to appear in many forms of beautiful glowing lights in the night sky.
Photo by: @guidetoiceland
Ice Caves/Glacier Hikes
How awesome is this? If you’re feeling adventurous, take a look into a tour to explore the ice caves or hiking the glaciers.
Photo by: @guidetoiceland
I highly recommend checking out Jökulsárlón, a glacier river lagoon in the south of Iceland. The South Shore Tour did not take me here but I wish it did!!! It looks like an awesome experience to walk on a glacier lagoon.
Photo by: @icelandair
If that doesn’t inspire you to book a trip to Iceland, I’m not sure what will. There seems to be great deals throughout the year so I would suggest keeping an eye out for a cheap flight and hotel deals like the one I found. Right now theres an airfare deal from Boston or Baltimore for $489 per person, $300 extra for flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles from September through March. This includes hotel, daily breakfast and a night tour to see the northern lights! What a steal! If you are thinking of going, I recommend going for at least 5-6 days, 4 days was not enough! Check out the deal before it’s gone here. The only other expenses will be food and tours so depending on what you would like to do, the tours could add up. I’m already dreaming about my next trip back to do everything I did not get to do.
Check out the Fly Away Girl’s guide to Iceland in 48 hours
Passport Collective’s trip hunting the Northern Lights in Iceland
The Thought Card’s guide to visiting Reykjavik
Have you been to Iceland? Comment below on what you love about Iceland!