These are Carolina’s tips for a 3-day visit to Reykjavik and the Golden Circle in February. They ate, slept and toured well (think helicopter champagne tour!).
What was the trip? We left Boston on a Thursday evening and got to Iceland early on Friday morning and then left on Sunday so it was a quickie trip! We were also in Iceland in February. There was no snow on the ground (so no dog sledding) and also clearly no water activities. I would actually love to go back in the summer when it would be a completely different experience with different activities.
Who took the trip? This was actually a surprise trip for my husband’s birthday so I took full control! I honestly am not the type of traveler who enjoys being on a group tour and at the same time since it was such a short trip, I wanted to have a private guide so we didn’t have to think about anything. We are really good at short intense trips so we do try to give ourselves perks while away (e.g., helicopter champagne tour). We are also definitely foodies and tend to plan our trips around meals!
Any hotels, restaurants or activities especially awesome?
Accommodation suggestion: Radisson Blu 1919 or Hotel Borg.
Le Bistro (on main shopping street Laugavegur); serve Raclette
Fish Company (my parents went here instead of Fish Market and also said this was superb)
Late night food: Beztu Pylsur (well-known hot dog stand)
Best shopping: Laugavegur and Skolavoroustigur streets
Favorite nightlife: B4 next to North 66 on main shopping street. This seemed to be the spot to be at late night. Note…people start going out at 2:30 am…just as we were leaving.
We did the Golden Circle tour with a private guide through Eskimos Iceland (Ludvig was the best!) and we added on a snowmobile out on the glacier (not to be missed). Then we did a “heli happy hour” through Nordurflug on our last morning.
Dislikes/things you would have done differently?
I would have put my hair up for the blue lagoon!
I would have planned on a light activity upon arrival because our hotel room wasn’t ready and the shops and museums were not open yet either.
If you had one more day? If you had one less day?
If we had one day less I would have skipped the helicopter tour because that was just a fun bonus. If we had one more day I would have done a northern lights trip despite there being no guarantee of seeing the northern lights, I think the trip itself would have been worth it.
Any other tips?
Blue Lagoon thoughts: do an evening visit. We went around 5pm and had 3 hours. The bar in the lagoon sells face masks but if you around the corner of the lagoon near the spa treatment area they have pales of other face mask muds for free. If you want a spa treatment, book well in advance. The entrance fee only includes a towel, a robe is a separate fee and bring your own flip flops. Put your hair up!
Cabs are pricey but they take credit card.
Reykjavik airport to city: if not renting a car, take FlyBus (45 min and they take you straight to your hotel)
Wine is pricey and the whale does not taste good.