Iceland Travel Diary

Iceland Travel Diary

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Adam and I went to Iceland for a week at the end of August, and it was absolutely magical. It’s been the number one place on my bucket list for awhile, and I still can’t believe we went. Before our trip, I thought it would be a place we’d only want to visit once, but now I want to go back a few more times! Here’s a little look at my Iceland travel diary. Be sure to watch my Iceland vlog as well to see more fun stuff from our trip!

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Day One

We hopped off the plane at 4 AM both excited and exhausted. Despite our lack of sleep, we spent the entire day out at the Blue Lagoon and in Reykjavik.

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a man-made lagoon that formed in 1976 during the operation of a geothermal power plant, and it’s known as one of the wonders of the world. Swimming in it is an unreal experience – it feels like you’re in a dream!

We decided to go with standard admission (the cheapest one). Since we went during peak season, it was about $100 CAD a person, and we didn’t think it was worth an extra $20+ a person to get a towel and drink. I totally would have wanted to come here a second time during our trip if admission wasn’t so expensive!

I brought a waterproof phone case I got off Amazon, and it turned out to be so useful. It has a strap so you can wear it around your neck or wrap it around your wrist while you’re swimming. If you lose something in the Blue Lagoon, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever get it back!

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Reykjavik

We decided to get all the touristy stuff in Reykjavik done on our first day. If you’re driving, you can park for free at the Hallgrimskirkja church. Reykjavik is a very walkable city!

Hallgrimskirkja Church

The Hallgrimskirkja church is the tallest church in Iceland, as well as one of the tallest structures in Iceland. Walking around inside was free, but admission to get to the top was 1800 ISK for the both of us (about $20 Canadian). The views were cool from up top, but honestly, it was nothing really special and it wasn’t worth the price.

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik, Iceland

View from the top of Hallgrimskirkja Church in Iceland

Harpa Concert Hall

The Harpa Concert Hall is a gorgeous building that was built pretty recently back in 2011. The area around it is under construction right now, but I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like in a few years! P.S. If you need to use a bathroom and don’t want to awkwardly walk into a random family restaurant (there aren’t many public bathrooms), use the bathroom here.

Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

The Sun Voyager

I would’ve loved to have come here during sunrise or sunset, but we never got the chance to. Next time though, for sure! It took a lot of tries to get good photos because kids kept jumping all over the structure, but we managed to get a few.

Sun Voyager, Iceland


Day Two

Golden Circle

For our second day, we drove the Golden Circle Tour. Since we’d stayed in an Airbnb in Hveragerdi the night before (PS you can get $45 off your first Airbnb here), we decided to do the Golden Circle backwards. It was nice, because we managed to skip a lot of tourists for the most part!

Kerid Crater Lake

Our first stop was Kerid Crater Lake. You can hike all around it, and get great views both from the top of the crater and at the bottom of it. Fun fact: the water isn’t actually blue or green – it’s just a reflection of the sky and the greenery around it!

Kerid Crater Lake in Iceland

Kerid Crater Lake in Iceland

Kerid Crater Lake in Iceland

Geysir Hot Spring Area

The Geysir Hot Spring Area is really cool, but really smelly. Strokkur is the most active geyser in the area, and it sprouts every few minutes. We managed to see it sprout three times, and it was awesome! You can see it sprout twice in the vlog.

Geysir in Iceland

Geysir in Iceland Geysir in Iceland

Geysir in Iceland

Gulfoss Waterfall

Gulfoss is a massive waterfall, and it is incredible. The best views were from the top! It was the busiest spot we visited during the Golden Circle, but it was definitely the most impressive.

Gulfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Gulfoss Waterfall in Iceland

The drive from Gulfoss to Thingvellir was one of the most beautiful and scenic drives during our road trip. We stopped a few times at some lookouts and some pretty spots, including this little area with some Icelandic horses!

Horses in Iceland

Horses in Iceland

Horses in Iceland

Thingvellir National Park

We arrived at Thingvellir National Park pretty late in the afternoon, and it was almost empty. We did one short hike and got some nice photos.

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland Thingvellir National Park in Iceland

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland


Day Three

Westman Islands

For day three, we paid a visit to Vestmannaeyjar (otherwise known as the Westman Islands). When I was planning our trip and searching up things to do in Iceland, the Westman Islands surprisingly didn’t come up very often! If you’re able to, it’s so worth the visit.

The ferry ride from Landeyjahofn to the Westman Islands took about a half hour, and it was a pretty terrifying boat ride. It was very windy and very rainy on the day we went, and standing on the slippery deck while watching the heavy waves crash against the boat was horrifying (especially for someone who doesn’t know how to swim). However, as we approached the island, we were treated to some pretty awesome views of its stunning rock formations.

Westman Islands in Iceland

Westman Islands in Iceland

We wanted to get as good a view as we could of the island, so we trekked uphill against the wind and rain. This is as high as we could get – the view was worth all the pain!

Westman Islands in Iceland

We wanted to hike up the Eldfell Volcano and visit Storhofdi (the windiest spot in Europe), but the weather was too bad. We spent the rest of the day walking around and exploring the island. We were able to spot puffins from afar at the Elephant Rock, but didn’t manage to get any good photos.

The island might be walkable on a beautiful, sunny day, but it definitely isn’t walkable when it’s pouring rain. We spent the entire day completely soaked, with puddles of water in our shoes!

Westman Islands in Iceland

I believe these were the first cottages to be built on the island. Adam was too afraid to go in at first, so I started exploring by myself. The interior reminded me of old dining halls like in Game of Thrones and Outlander. It was pretty fascinating to explore inside of these, until we heard a loud noise and raced back outside in terror!

Westman Islands in Iceland

Since the weather was so awful, the ferry going back to Landeyjahofn had to divert to a port near Hofn, which took three hours. We then had to take an hour-long shuttle bus from the port to Landeyjahofn, followed by a two-hour drive back to our Airbnb. The hilarious thing was that the port the ferry ended up dropping us off at was 15 minutes away from our Airbnb, so we could have saved almost three hours if we’d brought our car on-board!


Day Four

The next day was dedicated to seeing various waterfalls and exploring parts of Vik.

Seljalandsfoss

Our first stop was Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall you could walk right behind! Beware of using cameras near any waterfalls – my Canon G7x got soaked and almost ruined! My waterproof phone case proved to be very useful and I ended up just using my phone for photos on this day.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

 

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Skogafoss

We didn’t realize Skogafoss was more than just a waterfall; there was a whole trail behind it! That was the beauty of coming to Iceland – every site we visited had way more to offer than we’d expected. We only explored a bit of Skogafoss before finding out it was a 10-hour hike.

Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Skogafoss Hiking Trail in Iceland

Skogafoss Hiking Trail in Iceland Skogafoss Hiking Trail in Iceland

Skogafoss Hiking Trail in Iceland

Vik

Funny enough, Vik was what I was looking forward to seeing most, but it wasn’t as amazing as I’d anticipated. Seeing the plane wreckage was cool though!

Church in Vik, Iceland

DC-3 Plane Wreckage

The hike was about 45 minutes one-way.

DC-3 Plane Crash in Iceland

Dyrholaey Lighthouse & Arch

The drive up to the Dyrholaey Lighthouse is not for the faint of heart.

Dyrholaey Lighthouse in Iceland

Dyrholaey Lighthouse in Iceland

Dyrholaey Arch in Iceland


Day Five

This was our longest driving day, as we were staying near Hella and driving all the way to the southeastern part of the island.

Fjadrargljufur Canyon

This hike was one of my favourites – the views were stunning!

Fjadrargljufur Canyon in Iceland Fjadrargljufur Canyon in Iceland

Fjadrargljufur Canyon in Iceland

We took some extra stops along the way throughout the day (hey that rhymed). We found this hidden waterfall that was pretty cool!

Hidden Waterfall in Iceland

I loved seeing the random little houses and villages during our drives.

House in Iceland

Svartifoss

The hike to Svartifoss was a long one, and compared to the rest of the day, it wasn’t very special. We definitely could’ve skipped this one!

Svartifoss Waterfall in Iceland

Jokulsarlon

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

The glacier lagoon was by far my most favourite spot in Iceland. We were only able to spend 40 minutes here because the drive back to our Airbnb was 5 hours, but it was still wonderful.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland
Diamond Beach

Diamond Beach in Iceland


Day Six

Our last full day in Iceland was dedicated to seeing more of Reykjavik and paying a visit to Glymur. We enjoyed Reykjavik so much more than our first day there because we weren’t exhausted from lack of sleep!

Glymur

Glymur is Iceland’s second-highest waterfall, but it’s incredibly difficult to get to if you’re not an experienced hiker. There comes a point in the trail where you have to cross over the water using just a rope, and it’s not for the faint of heart. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it, so we just turned back and took some photos in a cave along the trail.

Hiking the Glymur trail in Iceland

Hiking the Glymur trail in Iceland


Day Seven

Reykjavik

We spent our last morning in Reykjavik to do some shopping and have lunch. We definitely did not spend enough time in the city, and I really want to stay in and explore more of Reykjavik next time I visit Iceland! There are a lot of pretty walls and cool street art everywhere – perfect for photos.

Exploring Reykjavik, Iceland

Exploring Reykjavik, Iceland

I also made a short vlog with some exclusive highlights from our trip:

So, this was my Iceland travel diary. Iceland is such an amazing country, and I can’t wait to go back. I’ll have a few more posts about travelling to Iceland soon, so be sure to stay tuned for that!

For more fun travel posts, click here.

Iceland road trip itinerary + Iceland travel diary | Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Golden Circle Tour, Westman Islands, Vik, Jokulsarlon, & more

Photos by Adam G. & Jessica L.

Jessica Lam

Jessica Lam

22-year-old lifestyle blogger and social media addict. Follow me + keep updated with my latest posts on Bloglovin & Facebook.
Jessica Lam
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  • Dia

    Iceland is so beautiful! I would love to go one day. It looks like you had an amazing trip.

  • Iceland is at the top of my bucket list as well! It is SUCH a beautiful country!

  • Macy Osman

    All of your photos are so gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! I am planning a trip to Iceland this summer

  • Britt K

    Wow your pictures are so stunning. While Iceland always interested me to some degree it wasn’t necessarily on my must visit list, but that may have changed after seeing all of this!
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

    • Iceland is great if you enjoy hiking and adventure! 🙂

  • Francesca Gariano

    These photos are stunning! I remember how in love with Iceland my roommate was when she came back from her trip last summer. So glad you had a lovely time and I hope you get to go back soon! 🙂

    • You need to pay it a visit too!! It’s so beautiful there!

  • Your photos are BEAUTIFUL! It looks like a wonderful time, and I can’t wait to have a chance to visit the country. SO GREEN!

    • Thanks Andreanne! It’s sooo gorgeous in Iceland – photos don’t even do it justice!

  • Your photos are absolutely breathtaking. The plane wreckage, I’d LOVE to see that in person!

    • The plane wreckage was so cool but so terrifying!! I was so scared of falling off haha!

  • Wowza. You documented the hell out of Iceland! Wonderful job. Can’t wait to visit soon.

  • Brittany Daoud

    This looks amazing! Iceland and Norway are in my top 10 of places to visit right now and you literally did everything I want to do when I visit! So glad you had an amazing trip! xo, Brittany | http://www.theblistblog.com

    • Norway is next on my list hopefully! Hope you get to visit them both soon! 🙂

  • OMG I want to pack my bags and go right now! Reykjavik is on my bucket list of places I want to go!

    • It’s sooo cute there! You can take OOTDs in every corner hahaha!

  • Ah, that phone cover was exactly what I’ve been looking for before my last canoe trip. Gonna have to stock up on a couple. Great pics, always wanted to see Iceland. And that Skogafoss place looks intense!

    • I used the waterproof phone case in Niagara Falls as well – it’s so great for traveling!

  • Yasss I have been waiting for this!! Your trip looked absolutely amazing <3 So lucky you got to explore with your boy! Bookmarking this for my future Icelandic travels (hopefully)!

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Hehe hopefully you get to visit Iceland sometime soon!

  • thesophiadiaries

    The photos look amaaazing!! Looks like you two had an amazing time 🙂 glad your first couple trip went well! xo

  • Kimberly Hsieh

    I am going later this month, thanks for such a helpful post!! I love all your photos 🙂

    • Ooo enjoy your trip girl! Iceland is such an amazing country!!

  • Wow your Iceland trip looks incredible! And you have so many unique photos of the country I’ve never seen before.

  • Katherine

    Your photos are amazing and this post just confirms Iceland being at the top of my list!! So beautiful!

  • JolieandGrace

    What a great trip! Iceland is definitely one on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!