Saturday, 13 February 2016

An Escape to Iceland | TRAVEL



On our way from New York to London, we decided to take a quick stopover to Iceland and what an incredible experience we had!
We arrived into Keflavik International Airport early on a bitterly cold winter morning. As soon as I left the plane, I wrapped up in as many clothes as I could and then we headed through to Reykjavik.
We drove past ice covered lava fields to get into the city so with a view like that, the 45 minute drive went quickly. We arrived at our hotel at 9am and went straight to sleep for a few hours as jet lag got the better of us.
As there is only 4 hours of daylight in winter we wanted to make the most of what we could see before it got dark again so when we woke up we decided to go for a walk to the beautiful lake only metres away from out hotel. 



Later that evening, after putting on almost all the clothes we owned, we headed off to meet the 30 other excited travellers hoping to experience the Northern Lights.
The night started off freezing cold, -6°C to be exact, and only got colder as the night went on. We hopped onto the bus and our tour guide took us to a few different lookouts just past Reykjavik. I fell asleep on the way to our first stop but was awoken by our first glimpse of the Northern Lights. We saw a lovely green light stretched out over the mountains. That was when we stopped at our first lookout to get a better view. By the time we stopped it had faded to a green haze. After 5 minutes of standing in the icy air, I was ready to head back to the bus. 


We then continued onto a lovely little cafe in what felt like the middle of nowhere, to get another view of the lights. Unfortunately we didn’t see them while we were here but we did have the most magnificent view of the Milky Way. 
We then began our journey back to Reykjavik. On our way back we spotted the lights again so our tour guide decided to stop in a deserted paddock. We all got out of the bus and what we saw was absolutely incredible that I didn’t even mind the freezing cold temperatures. This really was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.
The sky lit up with the most spectacular display of greens, pinks and yellows. The colours moved above us for about 15 minutes leaving the entire bus speechless. 




The next day we explored Reykjavik city, visiting adorable cafes and shops.


We also spent some time wandering around Hallgrímskirkja which is a beautiful cathedral. 


The last day we spent in Iceland we relaxed in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Hot Pools. It was another cold day but we didn’t mind. The spa is located in a snow and ice covered lava field making it the perfect view for our final day here.



We began the morning with an in water massage and facial. The whole day was spent peacefully moving through the beautiful blue waters and indulging in silica face masks whenever we wanted to. 



We ended our day at the spa with a late lunch at the lava restaurant overlooking the lagoon. 

It was an absolutely perfect end to an amazing holiday.


ICELAND TRAVEL TIPS:
  • The currency is the Icelandic króna (it will be written as ISK). 1000ISK is equivalent to roughly £5.50
  • When you arrive into Iceland, you will arrive at Keflavik International Airport. The airport is about 45 minutes away from the capital city of Reykjavik.  The cheapest way to get to Reykjavik is via flybus. The tickets can be purchased at the airport or in advance.
  • Getting around Reykjavik is quite easy. I would recommend finding a hotel within walking distance to the city centre. There are plenty to choose from. Otherwise buses and taxis are available.
  • Reykjavik Excursions and Grey Line are the companies that run the tours, whether that is a Northern Lights tour, the Golden Circle tour or anything to do with nature and adventure. They also can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel, as well as other destinations such as the Blue Lagoon Spa. Reykjavik Excursions are also the company that run the Flybus airport transfer service.
  • The best time to see the Northern Lights is from November to February as these are the months with the darkest skies. They are also the months with the worst weather. Although it is not unheard of to see them from September to mid-April. Make sure you plan a decent stay as that will give you a higher chance of seeing them.

Iceland was such a beautiful place to visit and I hope to make it back in summer so I can experience more of its beauty. 

Amber x
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