Iceland: An Adventure in the Land of Fire and Ice
Iceland is an exceptional destination to explore. Its unique blend of natural wonders, from majestic waterfalls and glacial lagoons to bubbling geothermal sites, offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature's grandeur. Reykjavik's rich history and architectural charm provide a cultural dimension to the trip. Whether you take guided tours or go on your own personal road trip into remote UNESCO-protected landscapes, an adventure awaits you. The country's commitment to preserving its pristine beauty is evident in every stop, making Iceland a truly exceptional place for an unforgettable journey.
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The Reykjavik EDITION
The Reykjavik EDITION brings the first five-star modern luxury experience to one of the world's most sustainable capitals.
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In southern Iceland, this lodge-like resort is the spot to experience the magical Northern Lights go star gazing with the experts.
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ION Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, a Member of Design Hotels
ION Adventure Hotel is a captivating retreat located in Nesjavellir, offering guests a thrilling experience amidst stunning landscapes, and it is part of the prestigious Design Hotels collection.
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Day 1: Exploring Reykjavik's delights
After a five-hour flight from New York City, you'll be greeted at Keflavik International Airport. A swift 40-minute drive will transport you to Reykjavik, Iceland's vibrant capital city. Begin your exploration with an informative walking tour of Reykjavik, allowing you to immerse yourself in its rich history and architectural charm (be prepared for possible rain). Remarkably, Reykjavik enjoys extended daylight hours, with sunset not occurring until around 11:30pm and sunrise as early as 3:30am in June!
The compact nature of downtown Reykjavik makes it highly walkable, with key attractions like the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the iconic Sun Voyager sculpture, and the captivating Harpa Concert Hall all within a 30-minute stroll. As the day winds down, indulge in a delightful dinner with a view at Kopar, boasting panoramic vistas of the mountains and the harbor. For a comfortable night's rest in the heart of Reykjavik, the Sand Hotel awaits with its modern amenities, which I highly recommend.
Day 2: Expedition to the Glacier Lagoon
Rise with the sun for an early morning adventure to the awe-inspiring Glacier Lagoon and Jökulsárlón. Brace yourself for a more extended but scenic, approximately five-hour drive each way. Along the route, nature's wonders abound, with enchanting waterfalls like Barnafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Kvernufoss, Skógafoss and Sólheimajökull beckoning you to explore. Then make your way to the charming village of Vik, see black sand beaches with icebergs. The highlight of the day lies at the Glacier Lagoon, where a boat tour offers breathtaking views of seals, arctic birds and majestic icebergs. Don't forget to visit nearby Diamond Beach for a truly magical experience. If adventure calls, consider optional activities like a glacier hike or a descent into a lava cave—a surreal adventure indeed. As the day concludes, dine sumptuously at Apotek, savoring its culinary delights.
Day 3: Private nature discovery
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Sandholt, fueling up for an extraordinary private (or group) tour focused on nature. Your knowledgeable guide will lead you through remote and UNESCO-protected landscapes, offering personalized insights and individualized attention. Explore geothermal sites, ancient craters and serene lagoons, immersing yourself in the raw beauty of Iceland's untouched wilderness. Drive through the lava fields of Geldingadalur or the moss fields of the Eldhraun lava field to explore the unique geology. End your day with an exploration of the lava cave Raufarhólshellir, where you'll wear helmets equipped with lights to navigate the otherworldly subterranean terrain. Head back to the hotel for dinner or a quick casual bite around town - keep in mind that food can be quite expensive, but the culinary experiences are often worth the splurge!
Day 4: Unveiling Golden Circle wonders
Next, you'll dive headfirst into Iceland's iconic Golden Circle, a land of natural wonders. The adventure features essential stops such as Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and the mesmerizing Strokkur Geyser, which erupts with impressive regularity. Take a scenic hike to the Kerid Volcanic Crater promises unforgettable views and photo opportunities and continue the journey with visits to geothermal areas, where you'll witness geysers and bubbling mud pools, all set against a backdrop of vivid red oxidized rocks, pristine blue waters and moss-covered ground. A drive along the enchanting South Coast to bring you to nature's masterpieces like Skogafoss waterfall. To conclude this splendid day, indulge in relaxation at the renowned Blue Lagoon, a tourist hotspot that offers an unparalleled spa experience. A day's culinary experience awaits at Kol, promising an exceptional dining affair.
Day 5: Farewell to Iceland
With unforgettable memories in your heart, it's time to bid adieu to the land of fire and ice as you commence your journey back home.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Rabia Malik’s guide, 5-Day Itinerary to Explore Iceland’s Natural Beauty.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Iceland.