Planning for Iceland

Glacier climbing.

Ice caves.

Northern Lights.


Horseback Riding, snorkeling, hot water spring hunts, hiking, snowmobiling over glaciers, geysers bursting into the sky, and exploring deep into lava caves. The potential adventure in Iceland is endless! As mentioned in a previous post, I’ll be there in just over a month!

My heart has been set on a select few spots for a while, including:

  • The Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skógafoss waterfall and Bruarfoss waterfall
  • A day trip to Southern Vik to walk the Black Sand Beaches and see the basalt rock formations
  • The Blue Lagoon Hot Water Spring
  • and a Northern Lights Tour.

Attractions & Sights

Last week, my latest partner-in-travel, Heather, drove up to New Hampshire to discuss our itinerary for the trip. Over 10 p.m. pizza and margarita filled bellies, we settled on a Blue Ice Tour with Arctic Adventures, a tour company suggested by the trusty Adventurous Kate, a solo female traveling bog I’ve been following religiously since before studying abroad. The Blue Ice Tour will take us to southern Iceland where we’ll stop at the Skógafoss waterfall and hike and climb the Sólheimajökull glacier (Iceland’s 4th largest glacier). The tour company has great ratings on TripAdvisor and some people even said their tour guide brought them to some ice caves along the way.

Our next purchase is the Northern Lights Bus Tour, which we’re booking through Sterna Travel Iceland. Their bus tour is only 6,400 isk ($50) and includes an English speaking guide, Klein, or Klenät (Icelandic fried pastry; essentially, a twisted doughnut), hot chocolate, and pickup.

The rest, we will seek on our own with a rented car. According to most blog posts I’ve read, renting a car is a cheaper option than paying for a full tour, plus it gives us some freedom. We are still researching which company is best, so suggestions are encouraged and appreciated!

There were so many other amazing guided tours offered through Arctic Adventures and Sterna Travel, as well as various other tour companies. I’ve also found and read that most tour companies are reliable and worth it – there was not much said negativity about any specific one I found, and if there was, you’d find out right away.

Let’s not forget about the Icelandic Phallological Museum, the world’s largest (and only?)  display of various mammal penile parts. See Kate’s post for more information; it’s quite fascinating and she speaks with the museum curator and son of the founder.

It is one of the most unusual museums in the world, clearly, and the largest part belongs to a sperm whale and stands tall encased in the museum.


We booked our stay at Kex Hostel, another suggestion from Adventurous Kate, a biscuit factory turned upscale hostel widely known for its retro funk, 90s-hip design, tasty bar selections and live music right in the center of town. I recently saw an Instagram post from HostelWorld of a band playing at Kex; the frontman was nude and wearing a horse mask. So, I don’t believe we’ll get too bored there. Pictures show a disheveled bookshelf, vintage posters and wide spaces for meeting new friends, views from the windows of ice capped mountains and even some with Aurora Borealis streaked skies.

Since booking, I’ve been in touch with some of the folks there who are great at getting back to me and very informational! I’ve probably asked them 20 questions already.




One thought on “Planning for Iceland

  1. Make sure you go to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon! One of the highlights of my trip to Iceland… definitely worth the drive, and only 45 mins away from Skaftafell (great area for hikes/glacier walks). Whatever you do though, you’ll have an amazing time. Iceland is simply stunning.


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