Postcards from Reykjavik, Iceland

Recently me and some of the gal pals went gallivanting around Reykjavik, Iceland and it was beautiful, completely unlike anything else we had ever seen before. If you've never been I'd strongly recommended adding Iceland to your bucket list of places to go! In today's post I thought I'd share some of the sights we went to see and a few tips we picked up along the way.

We booked our trip to Iceland via wowcher and in all honesty the booking process wasn't great. We were told that the hotel was full during the time period that we had booked for and we ended up having to pay more money each to secure an apartment to stay in. Despite all the initial stress, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise! The apartment was withing walking distance from Reykjavik's city center and provided us with our own cooking facilities.

On our first morning in the city we had our priorities set - coffee. We found an adorable (albeit hipster) coffee shop right around the corner from where we were staying. 'Reykjavik Roasters' had some of the best coffee I have ever tasted; and that's coming from someone who worked in coffee shops for over five years. Plus this place served some seriously instagram-able food, just look at the avocado on toast.

We spent our first day in Reykjavik wondering around the city to get a feel for the place (and find out where had the best happy hour deals). The highlight for me was definitely going up to the top of Hallgrimskirkja church and being able to see amazing views of the city from every angle.

We had hired a car for our time in Iceland so that we were able to travel around the golden circle and also to save ourselves some money. Airport transfers cost only around £15/£20 less each than having the car for our entire stay, so it was a no-brainer! Along with this, tours of the golden circle are typically £70 per person for the day with everyone piled on a coach together and having to all go at the same pace. Having a car definitely suited the laid back but explorative holiday we had gone for! We sat back, stuck on our Iceland spotify playlist and ate our own body weight in crisps whilst driving through stunning countryside.

The photos above are of Thingvellir, which was easily my favourite site we went to see during our stay! Not only did Thingvellir national park hold the most sensational views but also had the richest history. I did my undergraduate degree in History and Politics and my Masters in International Relations so I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to this kind of thing (sorry, not sorry). I found it so inspirational to be at the site where Iceland's national parliament was created in 930 and where it held its' sessions until as late as 1798.

Iceland is known for it's natural wonders and rightly so. Whether it be the geysirs, the waterfalls or the mountains this place is unbelievable. We found ourselves constantly telling each other to look at one thing or another or remarking that it looked like another planet compared to home. I'm not going to write too much here and allow the above images do most of the talking.

We ended our trip at The Blue Lagoon en route to the airport. Now, I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about how much of a good time we could have at a big blue bath but in the end, I was gutted to be leaving! We had a drink at the bar and helped ourselves to the complimentary face masks available. The lagoon was so refreshing and really was the perfect way to wind down before heading back home. 

A few tips we picked up along the way...
- As I've previously mentioned, if someone on your trip can drive then seriously consider hiring a car over paying for the tours! It's a much more convenient and intimate way to travel, not to mention the money you can save.
- Check out those happy hours! Iceland is not cheap to say the least! As a bunch of rowdy Yorkshire lasses, we were sure to find ourselves a good happy hour deal for the Viking pints. 
- If you're popping to the supermarket avoid 10-11, it's open later than the alternative supermarkets (such as Bonus or Kronan) but much more pricey!
- Stock up on travel snacks, everything is pretty spread out so if you do opt to go to the golden circle or other sites be prepared for at least a few hours in the car.
- If you're going to The Blue Lagoon be sure to do it either on your way from the airport to Reykjavik, or on your way back to the airport from Reykjavik to save yourself some travel time. I'd really recommend ending your trip there so you go home feeling pampered and rejuvenated.
- Enjoy yourself, you're on holiday after all!

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