Reykjavik – Tourist Attractions & the beautiful Northern Lights (Iceland)

Categories: Travel reports, Europe, Iceland

9 months we were looking forward to this moment so much, and today we finally started for us – on to Reykjavik! The start of our 6 month world tour through 28 countries. If you look forward so incredibly for such a long time to a certain day, you can’t believe it when it’s finally there 🙂

Iceland




Welcome to Iceland – the start of our trip around the world!

Today we had to say at 11 a.m.: Suitcases closed, apartment closed and off to the train station. This is where our start began today for 6 months of adventure, new countries and many experiences. From the main train station in Darmstadt you can easily get to the airport in Frankfurt every 30 minutes by airliner. More information about what we packed into our suitcases and how it all fit, you can find here.

Start of the world tour, Reykjavik, Iceland, Travelreport, World Tour, On Your Own

The start of our world tour in Darmstadt

From Terminal 2, our Icelandair flight went to Iceland, the first country on our world itinerary. Just in time at 1.40 p.m. we started in Frankfurt towards Reykjavik. Already on the landing approach to Iceland you could see that the whole island is covered with a white layer of snow. Welcome to Winter Wonderland Island 🙂

Our car rental at Keflavik Airport (Reykjavik)

Reykjavik has about 120,000 inhabitants is the capital of Iceland. It is also the northernmost capital of the world. The capital region around Reykjavik is home to more than 60 percent of Iceland’s population, as well as most of the country’s universities, theatres, museums, cultural institutions and a high seas port. Just in time at 4 p.m. we landed at the airport Keflavik in Iceland at minus 7 degrees and picked up our small rental car. Ok, iceland would get cold in December, that’s what we were preparing for. But we didn’t expect so much snow.

We have booked our rental car through billiger-mietwagen.de and have booked with budget Iceland X for 3 full days incl. paid a total of €94 to the all-round carefree insurance package, i.e. a good €30 per day. The airport of Keflavik is located just outside Reykjavik and it takes a good 45 minutes to get to the city centre.

Rental car for Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, Travelreport, World tour, On your own

Our rental car for Iceland

Iceland in December?

Almost every time we were asked about our itinerary and told that Iceland would be our first stop, questions such as “Why Iceland in December? It’s super cold.” Yes, that’s true 🙂

Iceland actually came relatively spontaneously to our world tour. We were looking for a cheap flight to the USA or directly to the Caribbean and then found a really good offer from Icelandair from Frankfurt via Reykjavik to Boston and Orlando. Since stopovers at Icelandair are mostly at no extra charge, we thought, ok, why not discover Iceland for a few days at the start and make three days out of the actual three hours stopover? Especially in winter, this island should have its very special charm. So we did a little research and liked the idea.

Things to know about Iceland

Iceland with its 340,000 inhabitants is the largest Vunkan Island in the world. Even today there are many active volcanoes. Otherwise, the landscape is mainly characterized by rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The land mass of Iceland lies partly on the North American and partly on the Eurasian continental plate, which drift about 2 cm further apart each year. The resulting enormous spat runs through the entire island. In the Silfra column in Thingvellir National Park you can even dive or snorkel. The melting water of the glacier is so clear here that the widths are over 100 meters. However, the water has only a temperature of 2°C – 4°C.

Our route planning for the south of Iceland

Overall, our plan for the 4 days in Iceland was as follows:

Day 1: Reykjavik & Northern Lights
Day 2: Drive along the Golden Circle Route (Thingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
Day 3: The ice caves of Vatnajökull in Skaftafell National Park Iceland
Day 4: Visit to the Blue Lagoon

Route Planning for Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland, Travel Report, World Tour, On Your Own

Our route planning for Iceland

Our hotel in Reykjavik

In Reykjavik we had booked a night at the CenterHotel Klopp. The hotel is ideally located in the heart of the Christmas-decorated city centre.

The CenterHotel Klopp in Reykjavik is located in a side street of the city centre and therefore super central. Parking is available directly on the street – from 6 pm to 9 am in the morning even free of charge. Otherwise there is a parking meter. The rooms are clean, but very bright and slightly older from the furniture. The heating ran smoothly. The free WIFI worked very well. The free breakfast was plentiful – there is something for every taste.

CenterHotel Klopp, Reykjavik, Iceland, Travelreport, World Tour, On Your Own

Our room at CenterHotel Klopp

Downtown Reykjavik with Hallgrimskirkja Church

After we had briefly dropped our belongings in the hotel, we walked a little through the Christmas-decorated city centre of Reykjavik and at the beginning of our world trip we went to eat something in a small reastaurant 🙂

In the city center is also the really very beautiful Hallgrimskirkja church.

The Northern Lights in Iceland

We have never seen the Aurora Lights before and had asked the hotel if and where it is best to see the Aurora borealis. We have not found such correct information on the Internet. There are many tour operators who offer three- or four-hour excursions for an incredible amount of money. But since we had our own car, we wanted to set ourselves on our way. We were then given the tip to just get something out of the city. You have to find a place that is in absolute darkness and is not influenced by the artificial light of the city.

In the very west of Reykjavik in Seltjarnarnes you will find such a place. Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., the lights are probably the best to see. For this purpose, you drive, for example, the Norsurströnd road to the very end and reach a small parking lot, where usually a few other cars are already standing.

Since it was a starry night, it didn’t take long for us to see the first aurora lights in the sky. Actually, it looked more like a veil-like cloud with the naked eye – but viewed through the camera, one then saw the so well-known greenish light very nicely. However, this is unfortunately also really difficult to photograph without a tripod in the total darkness with longer exposure time. Therefore, always take a tripod with you if possible! We definitely found it impressive…

A really great and exciting first day for a world tour! 🙂

All travelogues from Iceland

Iceland actually came relatively spontaneously to our world trip. We were looking for a cheap flight to the USA or directly to the Caribbean and found a really good offer from Icelandair from Frankfurt via Reykjavik to Boston and Orlando. Since stopovers at Icelandair are mostly without extra charge, we thought, ok, why not discover Iceland for a few days at take off and make three days out of the actual three hours stopover? Especially in winter this island should have its very special charm. So we had done some research and found the idea good.IcelandDay 1 Reykjavik – Tourist Attractions & the beautiful Northern Lights (Iceland)
Day 2 Golden Circle Route – Thingvellir, Waterfalls & Geyser Strokkur (Iceland)
Day 3 Skaftafell National Park – The blue ice caves of Vatnajökull (Iceland)
Day 4 The Blue Lagoon – The famous thermal bath at Reykjavik (Iceland)
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