ICELAND TRAVEL GUIDE
Our Iceland trip was such a last-minute decision. My amazing in-laws suggested that they come to Chicago to visit for time with the kids and to allow us to take some time off. Of course, Jason and I jumped on this opportunity as we hadn’t even had a chance to celebrate our 10th year anniversary! Iceland was on our bucket list and September-October is the best time to go to see the Northern Lights, so Iceland it was. We didn’t end up catching Aurora Borealis, but what we did see and experience was just as magical.
The first two days we stayed at The Retreat Spa that is located right on the Blue Lagoon. Our room had an incredible view, with our balcony facing the lagoon. The rooms are small but very pretty and cleverly designed.
Spas are my weakness and I’ve seen many incredible ones, but nothing like Blue Lagoon! The Retreat’s spa was next-level amazing. My favorite was swimming in the warm water on cold, rainy days. The feeling was indescribable. And my preferred treatment was the water massage in the lagoon — it’s a must!
I also loved their mask rooms, where you can experiment with different skincare products and apply masks before swimming in the lagoon. Of course, we had to purchase a few to bring some of the blue lagoon magic back to our new home.
Note: Cameras are not allowed at the spa but you can ask the staff to snap a pic with their phone and send it to you. Most of these pics were taken by them — I think they have a good eye! The hotel offered exceptional service overall.
The food in the hotel’s restaurant was amazing, with lots of healthy options. Atlantic smoked salmon is my favorite so I indulged in it daily. Breakfast at the hotel was by far the best I’ve had. We did the wine pairing dinner one night — I can barely remember what we ate but I know it was delicious!
In anticipation of such beautiful scenery, I packed my wedding dress for the trip and captured some epic shots to mark 10 years together.
SKALAKOT AND ROAD TRIP
After relaxing at the retreat for a few days we started our Iceland adventure. We drove to Skalakot a hidden gem of a farm that was renovated into the chicest little hotel. We were there for two nights and we dived into all the activities the staff recommended. Starting with horseback riding, which we loved so much that we did it twice! On the second time, my horse almost ran away with me! It was a bit scary, but we managed and now we have a great story.
The best part, though, was the black beach ATV TOUR (A two-hour ATV adventure tour, across the black sand area Sólheimasandur and a visit to the famous airplane wreck. Includes great landscapes with rivers and hills and a nice view of the mountains and the Mýrdalsjökull glacier.) We felt like we went to the moon and back! From black sands to waterfalls, greenery, snow, glaciers, and rainbows — all in 2 hours! I strongly recommend this unforgettable experience!
Finally, for the last 4 hours we spent in the city, we ate breakfast at the well-known Bergsson and grabbed famous Baejarins hotdogs. We did a little shopping, naturally, and visited a famous church of Hallgrimur. I loved the colorful city and people, but we were happy that the majority of our trip was spent in nature, in settings unlike anywhere else in the world.
If you haven’t yet visited Iceland, definitely move it to the top of your bucket list! You can thank me later.