Pearl Escapes

Custom Search

About Our Trip To Iceland


It’s amazing the number of things you can do in Iceland; whale watching, horse riding, visit waterfalls, see geysers, swim in the Blue Lagoon, visit volcanoes, trek across lava fields, snorkelling, rafting, superjeep treks, visit museums, galleries and churches, snowmobiling, puffin trips, sea kayaking, glacier hikes… and it's amazing how few of these things you can do when the weather is bad or you come at the wrong time of year.


This is the challenge when planning your trip, (especially with us as we all wanted to do different things and were flying back at different times), so I took my usual approach to planning a trip, which is that everyone got to choose one top thing that they wanted to do and then another two they'd like.  Between Orla, Marion and me, we all agreed on the Northern Lights and the Blue Lagoon, so it was then just trying to squeeze in the Golden Circle Tour, whale watching, some horse riding and general sight seeing around Reykjavik.


Our itinerary


Thursday night

Arrive Reykjavik Airport (which is actually nearer Grindavik)

Taxi to Blue Lagoon Clinic



Blue Lagoon private lagoon

Blue Lagoon public lagoon and massages

Lunch Lava restaurant

Bus to Reykjavik (the bus dropped us you at the Centerhotel Arnarhvoll)

Northern Lights guided tour (was cancelled but we hopped on another one)

Return to Reykjavik and our hotel in the early hours of Saturday morning



Picked up for Golden Circle Tour

Dropped at bus station where we realised there were no buses – back to Reykjavik for Irish coffees and Skyr Cake

Bus to Northern Light Inn (bus dropped us directly)

Relaxing dinner followed by wake up call for Northern Lights



Marion left in the early hours for the airport (transfer provided by Northern Light Inn)

Whale watching tour – cancelled

Arctic Horses tour (our plan B) – cancelled

Dropped off at Grindavik town by Northern Light Inn.  Drank some coffee, saw some fish guts and Orla got blown over by the wind.  Return to Northern Light Inn to sit and read before being dropped back at Blue Lagoon for a bus trip back to Reykjavik and being dropped off at Centerhotel Thingholt.

Visited local baths for a dip in a hot tub, followed by shopping and dinner



Orla left in the early hours for the airport (transfer by bus tours)

Picked up by The Icelandic Horse for horse riding in the outskirts of Reykavik

Bus to airport from Reykjavik bus terminal


As things worked out we had more than enough time to wander round Reykjavik on Sunday as everything we'd planned was cancelled due to horrendous weather (it’s not the snow so much as the wind that calls a halt to everything).  Certain activities are possible in any weather; like visiting the Blue Lagoon, riding in Reykjavik with The Icelandic Horse and even taking a dip in a hot tub, but even a dip in a hot tub was unpleasant with the wind blowing snow into our faces.  Yes, this is the time to curl up with a book and enjoy some Skyr Cake.  (I even heard on the plane that the Blue Lagoon wasn't much fun in this weather – so we were very lucky with the weather on the day we went.)


It's definitely an odd feeling, after days of rushing around trying to fit everything in, to find yourself cornered by the weather and that a short walk around a fishing harbour is not only disappointing (fish guts anyone?) but also hazardous when the wind blows you over (thankfully not into the fish guts).


Having said that, for three of our four days there we could not have wished for better weather; snow on our arrival, sun and snow in the Blue Lagoon, clear night skies for viewing the lights, a beautiful sunny day for our Golden Circle Tour, and on my last day, after a night of snow blizzards and torrential rain, a sudden thaw and a walk through lava fields of autumnal colours and miniature ice floes that made me feel that I was as much a part of "The Hobbit" as the Icelandic Horses in the film.


With weather like this you can understand why the Icelandic people have a great sense of humour, and many, many stories to while away the long nights (and days) inside.  (Of course now they have unprecedented internet usage…)  I won't give all the popular jokes away, but I particularly liked that the types of lava have different names; one is called a ha a – which is the sound you make when you're walking across it.  And the local name for one of the power stations that emits an egg-like smell translates as "who did it."


When planning a trip it's often hard to gauge distances before you get there, and compared to many of the sights that may take 3-4 hours in a car, Grindavik and Reykjavik seem pretty close together at around 45 minutes, however I underestimated just how wearing the bus trip between the two would become after a few trips. If you can, try to make the trip just the once, even if it is broken up with a stay at the Blue Lagoon or Northern Light Inn.  We ferried back and forth, and when you add this to the many hours we spent on the Northern Lights bus trip and the Golden Circle bus trip, we got quite sick of buses by the end of the weekend.





The view from the Blue Lagoon Clinic
The old Blue Lagoon
Northern Light at the Northern Light Inn
Lava fields, Iceland

Pearl's Blog

Email me at

(c) Pearl Howie 2013.  All rights reserved.