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72 hours in Reykjavik

Like so many people the Northern Lights has always been on my bucket list and the low cost airlines have made it so much easier for us all to achieve this.

After a 2 hour 30 minute flight we arrived in Keflavik International from Liverpool. The fly bus transfers to Reykjavik are frequent, cost under £12 each way and take 45 minutes to get to the city.

Our hotel was comfortable and in a great location to explore the bustling cafes and restaurants. Reykjavik has a compact centre, which makes it an ideal city to explore on foot. It has many cobbled streets dotted with boutiques, cafes and colourful two-tone hours.

Rising 244 feet above Reykjavik, I would recommend climbing to the top of Hallgrimskirkja church to the observation desk to take in the panoramic views across the city’s colourful rooftops to the bay and distant mountains.

Our first evening we were picked up from the hotel around 5.30pm in order to search for the lights. The temperature was around -15 degrees! Snow was on the ground and we stood for a long time in the freezing cold in the hope of seeing the lights and fearful that if we went inside we would miss them. However, eventually we went inside for the best Baileys and Hot Chocolate ever. Whilst we did not see the lights the experience was worthwhile. For anyone who fails to see the lights they offer a free trip the following evening.

The next day, it was time to go whale watching. We were provided with thermal suits and I was looking forward to seeing Minke and Humpback whales as well as dolphins. Venturing out to sea in Reykjavik is an experience not to be missed. There’s not many opportunities in this world to see whales in their natural habitat but this is one tour where it can happen. Again if there are no sightings you can return free of charge within a 12 month period.

The following day we ventured to the Blue Lagoon. We hired fluffy bathrobes and towels. We emerged from the changing rooms into the icy cold air and into the 39 degrees water. We booked an in-water back massage. Silica mud was scattered around the edge of the pool where you could opt for a DIY face mask. As this is one of Icelands top attractions I would highly recommend that you pre-book. The mineral rich geothermal sea water is known for its healing and well- being qualities.

There was so much that we did not get to see as we missed out on the Golden Circle Tour which includes the Geyser, Gulfoss waterfalls, Pingvellir National Park where Game of Thrones was filmed that I’m looking forward to returning one day. On my next visit, I also would like to go Snowmobiling.

Whilst we did not see the amazing natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights or the whales we were not disappointed as overall we had an incredible time.

 

Sharon May

Mar 02 2016 Share Tweet