Iceland has become a popular destination for vacationers, due in no small part to the otherworldly beauty of the landscape, the excellent food scene, and the interesting history of volcanoes and glaciers that leads to many adventure sporting options. If this sounds like the dream vacation destination to you, here’s some steps to take to make a honeymoon in Iceland unforgettable.
Budgeting for Your Icelandic Vacation
When planning for a trip to Iceland, there are ways to plan a splurge and ways to potentially conserve money. In general, there are quite a few options for inexpensive flights to Iceland these days, especially if you intend to go elsewhere in Europe. Look for flights that offer a free stopover in Iceland on the way to other locations (one company that has offered this is Icelandair), or look at airports that might require you to drive a few hours in the States, but which are ultimately much cheaper.
Another area that is often affordable is lodging. While hotels may be expensive, explore the home and apartment rental options, especially if you and your new spouse would like to explore outside of the capital of Reykjavik. If you intend to visit many natural wonders around the country, compare the price of renting a car with the prices of tour buses; sometimes renting a car is a more affordable option.
One area in which you are likely to need a substantial budget is food; most restaurants in Iceland are excellent, but are also quite expensive. You can mitigate the amazing dinners out with a few meals that you make in your lodging using grocery store ingredients, which are much more affordable.
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Activities and Sightseeing in Iceland
As you might guess, Reykjavik is the center of Icelandic population, so you’ll find the best shopping, museums, and restaurants all in that area. Plan to visit for at least part of your stay when you can explore the harbor and Icelandic Opera. One popular Icelandic pastime is a visit to the public pools; many of them have waterslides and hot tubs for a relaxing afternoon with your new spouse.
The Golden Circle is the most common route for seeing natural wonders including geysers, crater lakes, and the border between tectonic plates. This is a great option if you enjoy hiking, walking under waterfalls, or just seeing the outdoor beauty of Iceland. In most cases, however, the Golden Circle won’t be an extreme outing. For that, look into chartered tours to go ice caving, climbing up a glacier, or snowmobiling in the interior of the country.
If you can, make it to Vik, a medium-sized town on the Southern coast of Iceland. It will give you a glimpse of small-town life outside of Reykjavik and will let you see the famous black sand beaches as well. If you are driving your own rental car, along the route there you can stop and see beautiful places like the hot-spring-fed swimming pool at Seljavallalaug, an isolated and gorgeous location.
Speaking of geothermal pools, the Blue Lagoon or one of the less famous hot-spring-fed spas is a wonderful idea after a big day of sightseeing, or as a day unto itself! Your honeymoon should have at least a little relaxation, and a day pass to one of these beautiful and relaxing places is just the right idea.
Keep in mind that while many people who work in the tourism industry in Reykjavik speak English, not everyone will be conversant as you journey into more remote areas of the country. Try to get a phrasebook for Icelandic so that you can, at minimum, read signs.
Before planning your trip in too much detail, decide what time of year you want to visit. The bitter cold of the winters is offset by the ability to see the magical Northern Lights, but the summers can be a bit disorienting, given that the sun doesn’t set until after midnight, and even then a kind of twilight persists until very early morning sunrises. It may be worth delaying your trip after the wedding if you want some weather-dependent activities to be on your schedule. And speaking of activities, research the prices of what you want to do ahead of time because they can change.
Pack as lightly as you can; many of the flights that go to Iceland are budget airlines, which will charge extra for checked baggage. An easy way to save enough for a lovely meal upon arrival is to pack only what fits in your carry-on or backpack.
A trip to Iceland can be an unforgettable experience, and a little planning can help you find lots of useful information such as discount codes for tours, affordable restaurants, comfortable lodging, and walkable sightseeing. Your honeymoon in Iceland will be one to remember, so don’t forget to take lots and lots of pictures!