My Guide to Iceland:
This is no way is a professional guideline to Iceland just a list of the things I learned while I was there.
Layers are your friend. That first blast of cold air is intense but after a couple minutes of walking you will be glad that you can remove some clothing. If you are from the South you will need extra layers. Do not be shocked by the noises that you emit until you get used to it. Whimpering being a popular one.
Iceland is not cheap. Drink and eat as much as you can at home. ( Icelandic lamb is amazing and way cheaper there. Make you some lamb rice and gravy.)
To help save money they have a supermarket called Bonus. It is way cheaper than most of the other stores and has a good selection. (Bring your own bag for groceries.)
I packed some small boxes of wine and snacks to save even more money. (Do not put an open box of wine in your purse it doesn’t end well, see previous blog post.)
Walking around Reykjavik is easy and very safe.
Do not expect to be ale to say the street names. Or try, just so you can amuse yourself by how much you butcher them. I would recommend printing a map and highlighting where you are staying. The language is so different from ours I found it hard to remember street names.
The people of Iceland seem to know how hard their language is to learn so most speak English. Communication is not really an issue there.
Their pastries are phenomenal and budget friendly. Eat all the pastries!
Fish and chips are worth the money. Their fish is beautiful.
There is a vast amount of natural wonders to see. Taking the more private tours are more expensive but you can fit more in and I enjoyed being on a less strict schedule like the bus tours. We got a great tour from Clint at volcano tours.is/ His stop at the black beach with the shipwreck was the winner for me. He also took us to a real farm to table restaurant. It is on the actual farm. If they can take me in a car for an entire day, they can take anyone.
If you want to explore on your own, the public bus system is far reaching and will save you a ton of money. There is full map of the routes online.
You can only see the NorthernLights on a clear night so take that into account when planning a trip.
Now tips from Ms. Robin Rocque who has lived in Iceland: written exactly how she told me.
Local Pools- they have numerous local pools. Naturally Heated pools and hot tubs open year round and for a bargain price.
Blue Lagoon- It is more expensive but worth it. A true beautiful sight that you can be part of.
Westman Islands ( Vestmannaeyjar, say that fast three times)- You can hop a ferry there. A lot of fisherman and locals. Good restaurants and beaches.
Northern Iceland- A lot of beautiful sights and Hot Springs. You can drive but she recommends getting a guide because and I quote “A lot of crazy ass tourists go there and fall into hot springs and burn their asses”
Go on the whale tours (make sure to go on a sunnier day so you can see)- She has heard great things but has not done it herself because “ don’t like being cold.” * Makes you wonder why she would live in Iceland?
Penis Museum- look it up, it exists.
Visit the nIghtclubs- be aware since they have days with endless sunlight the clubs can be open till 7 a.m.
They have late night food trucks in the center of town and they are really good. ( We went to a lobster one and that bisque was like a cure after a night out.
Try to pronounce the names. They appreciate you trying and like when you ask them. They are very aware how hard the language is ( unlike some other places, side eye to you Paris.)
Hopefully this is helpful to someone because Mardi Gras almost killed me and this is all my brain could muster.