Iceland Trip Report - Nov 2017

Old Feb 16th, 2018, 05:47 PM
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Iceland Trip Report - Nov 2017

Hi guys!
This is a rather belated trip report of an Iceland trip I took with my brother in Nov last year. I had gone to Iceland before, so this trip was more of aimed at doing the outdoorsy/adventurous stuff I didn't do in my first trip! We mainly based ourselves in Reykjavik and took tours out with companies as we haven't driven in snow/ windy conditions before so didn't want to drive this time.

Day 1: Fly from Singapore --> Iceland
Day 2: Reached Reykjavik airport ~ at 10am, booked Back to Iceland again for transfers as it worked really well the first time. Antanas from Back To Iceland was waiting for us at the arrivals gate and had a sign with our names on it! Quick ride into the city center and checked into our Hotel - Reykjavik Residence Hotel.

Started off with a nice lunch at Icelandic Street Food. We had the lamb stew, seafood soup, and some traditional icelandic cake. There was icelandic music playing and the owner goes from table to table to chat with the customers (its a pretty small shop) and frequently gets asked to take selfies wih them. Walked to check out Tjornin lake and the swans, Hallagrimskirkja, then had coffee at Reykjavik Roasters. Went to a supermarket nearby our hotel to buy some bread and ham (for sandwiches).

Day 2:
Breakfasted on the bread/ ham/ icelandic skyr we bought the day before from the supermarket + Nescafe coffee from the coffee machine in our room and then waited at Bus stop 7 to be picked up for the glacier walk!
We went with

Turned out to be a REALLY small group ie just me, my brother and the tour guide. We firstly stopped off at a small petrol station for more coffee, then were driven to the glacier, suited up with harnesses and ice axes and hiked up. Amazing experience!! The ice was super blue and the guide was great at taking paranoma photos with our phones for us. On the way back we also went to the 2 waterfalls and also visited the secret lagoon! It was really beautiful as per all the online photos I'd seen, although clearly not so secret anymore, was full of people enjoying a nice warm soak in beautiful surroundings.

Day 3:
Went with the awesome Iceland Activities for a hike to Reykjadalur Hot Springs. Hot chocolate at the office in Hveragerdi, then our guide Helgi drove us into the mountains. We get off the huge car with snow-equipped wheels and all and start trekking - and it started snowing around us! The snow continued well into our soak in the Reykjadalur Hot Springs. Lunch - supplied by the guide was sandwiches/ apples/ more chocolate drinks. Best experience ever. This is actually the second time I've done this hike (first was in summer), and it was even nicer the second time round!
After we got back to our hotel, we took a short walk to see the Sun Voyager before the sunset and then walked to see the Harpa lights, then for dinner at Kaffivaganinn (had the traditional fish stew).

Day 4:
Early start, took the Grayline Delicious Golden Circle Food Tour. Was a delicious day indeed! First up Pingvellir National Park, very beautiful and really makes you feel like you're in Game of Thrones. I also loved the Logberg where the Icelandic Parliment was held in the past. Then to the highlight - lunch at Efstidalur Farmhouse with ice cream after! It was kinda cute watching the cows eat their lunch too through the adjoining windows.
Then off to Gulfoss and Geysir, and then a stop at a greenhouse which grows tomatoes - tried some amazing tomato jams + chutneys there.

Day 5:
Breakfasted at Port 9 (the breakfast place linked to our hotel).
Then off for the highlight of the trip - snorkelling in Silfra between 2 continents!! I was actually quite nervous about this as I had never really snorkelled before and it was November, so pretty cold. It turned out great though!
The same as the other days, waited at Bus Stop 7 for the minibus to come pick us up. Jumped into the minibus, met our guide for the day AJ (great guy!), picked up some other people (total 6 of us on the snorkelling trip), and we drove to Silfra. Suited up in the wetsuit, armed ourselves with the GoPro and started the snorkelling! I also discovered that it is pretty difficult to operate the gopro underwater and with the thick gloves that one needs to wear. So the best way was to start recording, then go into the water and record all the way, then edit the video after. Silfra was of course stunningly beautiful and not as cold as I had expected. Best experience of a lifetime.

We were lucky because after we reached back to Reykjavik around 2pm, huge winds and a storm came. We literally reached back just in time before the storm came! Wandered around Reykjavik exploring after that, bought some beanies from Icewear, and had cinnamon rolls from Sandholt.

Day 6:
Flight back home! Transfers with Back to Iceland, good as usual.

In summary, it was a really fun trip! The Icelandic scenery was so beautiful and the weather was (largely) on our side. I loved doing the more adventurous things like glacier hiking, snorkelling etc, but the good food and watching the beautiful landscapes go past from the bus/car was great too.

Now planning another hiking trip in Iceland in summer someday...

Also would like to say thank you to this forum and the tripreports of others that have greatly helped in all my trip planning all these years!
ETMJ is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2018, 05:06 AM
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Thanks for the trip report, very helpful with lots of information. We are headed to Iceland at the end of March so am making various notes and tips from other Fodorites!
AndyPandy is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2018, 10:04 PM
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Great report! We have a trip to Iceland planned for the end of October/beginning of November, so it was good to read a report about a trip from that time of year.
carnalismocc is offline  
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