Location: Trip to Iceland
Elena Ng has fond memories of her family’s holiday in beautiful Iceland, a 10-day self-drive trip along the Ring Road, soaking in the Blue Lagoon Iceland is famous for. Come with her on Iceland Road Trip, as she shares with us highlights from her beautiful journey…
Wanted to share my family’s beautiful experience to Iceland, the amazing land of Fire and Ice….
We visited Iceland from Amsterdam, our other destination on that trip. We took IcelandAir from Amsterdam.
From the Airport, we drove along the main Ring Road (or Route 1), visiting towns and attractions as we passed though them. As we were travelling OFF-PEAK, we mainly found accommodation as we moved along… We went to tourist info centres, stashed up on brochures and guides, and walked in when we felt like resting, moving along this way until we found suitable ones we liked.
Our first stop was definitely going to be the Blue Lagoon Iceland…
Stayed at the Clinic so that we can access the lagoon at night and most importantly, the Clinic offered indoor access to the lagoon, from which you can slowly make your way to the outdoor open-air area while already submerged in the nice warm therapeutic waters.
The bottom of the lagoon has a very special white clay, which is unlike any other hot springs we have been to in the past. We applied the clay on our faces and with the cool winter breeze on our faces, the experience is absolutely amazing!
(Editor’s note: The Blue Lagoon Iceland is famous for is a geothermal Spa, located a 20-min drive from the airport. It is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland, and was also the pitstop of the 1st leg of the 6th season of The Amazing Race.)
We also visited the famous Great Geysir… Do you know that the origin of the word “geyser” actually came from Iceland?
I have read somewhere that Iceland is going to start charging visitors who visit the Great Geysir soon, so hurry and pack your bags now… Our kids thoroughly enjoyed the anticipation of the water rising, which was simply unpredictable… You never know if the next spray was going to be a big one or tiny one..
Gullfoss (or “Golden Falls”) is one of the many beautiful waterfalls around Iceland. This waterfall is a very touristy place but nevertheless well worth the visit! It is very family friendly unlike Dettifoss which requires an hour of trekking, at least.
We also tried to hike to Dettifoss but failed… with no proper walking equipment and waist deep snow at times, only my hubby managed to trek all the way…. It was also apparently quite dangerous. My husband said part of the trail disappeared (marked by red flags) in the snow and he wasn’t sure if he was stepping on solid ground or just plain snow.. When he got to the falls, he said if you lose your balance due to the wind, you could easily fall over the cliffs… By the way, we are not sure why but during the 3 hours we were on the trail, we were the only people there… maybe we were not even supposed to go there? ;P
Not sure where the above photo was taken, somewhere along the Dettifloss hike, but there were loads and loads of soft, fluffy snow! Our kids had lots of fun here… perfect place for little snow angels…
The children didn’t really appreciate this though… my kids were saying its like a giant piece of ICE, that’s all… Due to the unbearable wind blowing them off balance, they kept asking to go back to the car… Word of caution : It’s really really windy in Iceland… People told us to hold on to our car doors when opening them as apparently there were cases of the doors flying away and that is NOT covered by insurance…
Icelandic Food at a nice cosy family restaurant… cannot remember where we had this meal but I remembered it was the only decent place in the town that we stayed at for that night. Food was a little too rich (very salty) for our Asian taste buds and it was back to rice and noodles for the rest of the trip.
On this Iceland Road Trip, our daily affair was visiting supermarkets and getting the best bargains for our home-cooked “Chinese-style” dinner. We brought along a rice cooker for the trip. Lunch was typically packed while on the road.
Tip : We always use Trip Advisor to tell us where the best restaurants were when we travel… this restaurant we splurged at had the best ratings… I recalled we spent about SGD200 for this meal..
Driving in Iceland in winter is really not easy due to the ever changing Iceland weather during the same day! It could turn from bright and sunny, to rain and snow and to this endless cloudy blue within a few hours… Unless you are a seasoned driver, I wouldn’t suggest a free and easy trip in Winter.
Don’t forget to try the world famous Icelandic hotdog before you leave the country… We had as many as we could… really the best hotdog we have ever tasted!
Do you know: the population in Iceland is only about 300-400k and mostly at the capital? So away from the capital and popular sights like the Blue Lagoon Iceland was sparsely populated…
Editor’s note: Iceland Ring Road is a national road that runs around the island and connects most of the inhabited parts of the country. Some of it’s most popular attractions, such as Gullfoss and the Blue Lagoon, are on or near the Ring Road. The total length of the road is 1,332 kilometres. An example of a classic 10-day itinerary can be found here.