July 8, 2013
In the summer of 2012 my wife and I had a wonderful 5-day visit to Iceland, our first. A year later I’m getting around to making a few notes about the trip. Jump to the non-generic tips if you’ve already read a guidebook or two.
We stayed in Reykjavík for the first couple of days (at this Airbnb place). It’s a pretty laid back town and it really is a town despite being the nation’s capital, with 120,000 residents (about a third of the tiny population of the country). There are relatively few must-sees (which was fine by us) but it is a pleasantly walkable town on the ocean with some charming architecture and interesting museums. Also the daylight, so much daylight (as long as you’re there in the summer). Our visit was about a month after the summer solstice, so the sun did go down around midnight but it hovered just below the horizon providing a beautiful twilight all through the night.
We hired a car for the second part of our trip and took a leisurely drive around the SW corner of the Iceland. First we drove the Golden Circle route that takes in clashing tectonic plates, gushing geysers and crashing waterfalls. This is the major tourist bus route in Iceland, but far more enjoyable and unspoilt that that might suggest.
Here are four recommendations that you might not get from any good guidebook:
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