A good friend of mine keeps asking me “Do I just wake up and pick a country to visit?  I guess I do!  Back in January, I decided that I wanted to visit Iceland.  I had no idea if it was part of Europe or North America.  Clueless, uh (lol)?  On top of that, I invited four other people to take this journey with me.  Go figure!

Any who, people started “recognizing” Iceland in 2010 when they had a volcanic eruption that caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe over an initial period of six days in April.  Can you imagine the expression and statement? “Iceland, huh?” “Where is that?”  Soon afterwards, the tourism just exploded (no pun intended) especially with flights from the United States to Iceland.

During my visit, I learned so much about Iceland (as you can tell with the history lesson above) and wanted to share some tidbits with you:

Tidbits

1.  Iceland is expensive.   Literally, everything is taxed and imported.  Would you believe I spent $50 on a meal at the Hard Rock Café?    Just go with that expectation that you will pay more for a meal and everything else.   Should I mention that I spent $90 on a sweatshirt?

Still in shock look

 
2.   Since I mentioned meals above, let’s talk about it for a minute. In my opinion, the dishes are okay.  Just okay!  When I had seafood, I  enjoyed those dishes more than meat and chicken.

 

Pan-fried Atlantic catfish with herb pesto made w/ Icelandic herbs, creamy potato salad, grilled corn and Brussel sprouts

Oh, if you are a drinker, I strongly recommend that you buy your alcohol/wine at the duty-free shop at the airport.  A glass of wine at the restaurant will cost about $15 and I won’t even talk about cocktails.

I have no idea what I had, but it was good

3.   I strong recommend the escorted tours that will pick you up at your accommodations. They are expensive but worth it because you get to see and hear the history of Iceland.   The only downside of these tours is the short amount of time at each one of the sites.

4.  The major sites/attractions are about 2 hours outside of Reykjavik.  Yes, you are travelling on “greyhound” type bus or a minivan.   All I can say those driving time allowed all of us to catch up on our sleep.

5.  The city of Reykjavik is walkable and (in my opinion) pretty safe. On my first day, I walked from my hotel, which is about 2 miles outside the city center, to the heart of Reykjavik.  Yep, my FitBit was on fire.

6. Everyone speaks English.  However, the signs are in their native language of Icelandic.  I am going to tell you a little secret, I finally was able to pronounce Reykjavik successfully on my last day.

I hope you enjoyed the tidbits and just maybe add Iceland on your list to visit.  I truly enjoyed my visit during the winter season. The snow-capped mountains, the glacier, the precarious walk on ice, and the waterfalls made this a truly memorable and adventurous trip.

 

  1. Iceland is beautiful! I am not a traveler but I love your tidbits. They will help someone traveling to that beautiful country. Where are you off to next?

  2. What a beautiful location. I love your waterfall shots, well I love waterfalls in general. I also enjoyed your jumping series too 🙂 A fun way to put some whimsy in your travel pics.

  3. Gorgeous shots! It’s a winter wonderland here in Chicago too, and the expensive part sounds the same. I’m thinking one of your other travel posts might be my ticket, lol.

  4. Great tips! I feel like I would prefer to do a roadtrip, and avoid the expensive tours, but I would miss out on the history that way! Good to know how expensive it is as well. Definitely would need to budget appropriately if/when I head out there.

  5. I think you should have befriended someone from Iceland first. That could help you save up, plus a tour guide! LOL Have you tried their traditional food? I heard it doesn’t taste great.

  6. I so enjoy reading tidbits type posts- especially when I’ve never been and don’t know much about the country! I’ll definitely save Iceland for when I have a bit more money then! 😉

  7. I bet it was absolutely gorgeous! Once you get over the sticker shock, I’m sure everything is awesome lol Wow, who knew?!? I heard Russia was expensive like this as well. Great tips and beautiful photos.

  8. I can totally relate to everything you wrote! Iceland seemed very expensive to me too! I loved the restaurants, but the prices were really high! But it’s a wonderful country and it is totally worth the costs!

  9. No wonder Iceland is a favorite of most ultra-high-net-worth-people. Its expensive for us, but just fine to them and not too crowded.

    Glad you’ve enjoyed your skiing trip!

  10. Everytime somebody writes about Iceland I just get more and more keen to visit. It looks like such an incredible country. Great pics of its natural beauty.