Reykjavik of Iceland
Reykjavik of Iceland
O M G it’s cold. And…since Xmas are coming: Baby it’s cold outside. I believe that us Greeks, we are not used to this cold. Me and my friends went to Reykjavik of Iceland for 4 days at the end of October and we were far from prepared. Of course we had our isothermal clothes, but still… However, we enjoyed every moment in this wild nature accompanied with their flavorful skyr. Skyr is cheese with the consistency of strained Greek yogurt. The only difference is that skyr has a milder flavor than our yogurt. Give it a try. We loved it.
The landscape outside Reykjavik of Iceland was magnificent. Primitive and untouchable from people’s hand with earthy colors all over it. Remember to do not stay only inside the Reykjavik city, but go outside to enjoy this infinite horizon’s scenery.
For instance, there are many tour buses you can take to go to all these sights, if you do not want to drive. In other words, Iceland has long distances to cross. But, since Iceland is a little bit expensive for visiting in general, it is cheaper to rent a car from the airport than taking a tour bus. Depends on how many are you. Anyway, you must take Iceland’s Golden Circle sightseeing route to enjoy this beautifulness.
Reykjavik Accommodation ¼
We were three of us, so we decided to book an airbnb house. Honestly, seemed to be much cheaper than a room in a hotel inside Reykjavik of Iceland. Notice: This was my first ever contact as a guest to an airbnb house.
Xmm… I didn’t like it at all. Let me clarify. The house was perfect. It was big and cozy. Furthermore -and most important- it was close to the city center and to the harbor. Hence, everything was within walking distance. Although, we were disappointed very much from the hygiene of the place. I will not describe more. Moreover, the water of the shower was smelling like Iceland’s geysers, so we were feeling dirty after each shower.
Consequently, I will be much more skeptical to my next trip. I do not know if I will choose an airbnb again. Of course there are clean houses, but our experience was decisive for the next trips, I believe.
Reykjavik bars & coffee places 2/4
Dillon whiskey bar
Probably the largest selection of whiskey I have ever seen. So many choices. On the other hand, the knowledgeable bartender was extra willing to help us decide. Of course there was cold gull beer, but we wanted something to warm us up. As a result, we tried local distill bourbon and whiskeys. The Dillon bar was wooden with simple decorations. The air was that energy pop and rock feeling from the music. Furthermore, it was cozy with view of the street Laugavegur of Reykjavik through the windows. In short, it is the perfect local bar for drinks.
The English pub
Like all English pubs. Crowded with lots of cheer from habitants of Reykjavik in Iceland. Add to this crowed a lot of gull draft beer and you have extra fun. The night we went on 29th of October, they have live music from 3 different musicians. We had so much fun, because they were singing also English songs and not only Icelandic ones. We enjoyed the Icelandic ones, even though we didn’t know the language. However, we lo-lo-loooved the: la dolce vita from Páll Óskar. You will hear it to my video on Youtube.
Sandholt coffee place-bakery
Those poppy seed buns stole our heart. Moreover, this cozy roaring little bakery has everything extra flavored. Furthermore, every sandwich we ate at Sandholt was extremely fresh. Everyone was polite. The service at the coffee tables was a little bit slow, but totally justified. On the other hand, who cares? When the flavor is so good, then you can wait for this croque madame to come hot. Or for those shakshuka fried eggs and sausages in red sauce. Ohh I am dreaming of a …poppy seed bun.
This restaurant-coffee&pastry place is the one you should not miss during the golden circle. The Skyrgerðin is placed inside an old skyr factory. Moreover, this place loyal to the tradition, it still produces its own skyr. Over there, I ate the most delicious blueberries cheesecake ever. Sooo, moist and delight and heavenly and…all 3 desserts we tried were so fresh and the personnel so kind. Just remember to make a stopover during your Golden circle tour. We loved the sound of jazz music hovering in the air. I wanna go back to taste the savory dishes as well.
Reykjavik Eateries ¾
I have to say that anything we ate at Reykjavik of Iceland was extremely taste. Sweet or savory. Maybe because of the fresh ingredients or because of the fresh air, that seemed to be appetizing to us. Har…har…
Three coats- Þrír frakkar
From whale steak, herring fish to every form, fish-shrimp soup, mushroom soup and fried cod, these 3 coats have everything. So, we tasted everything to this family place. Including a mango skyr cheesecake. In addition to these tasty balanced dishes, all personnel were so kind and friendly. The personnel helped us to choose a perfectly paired to our dish red wine. It is worth to pay a visit to this 1989’s restaurant to taste these genuinely Icelandic flavors. It’s like an institution to the city of Reykjavik of Iceland with all these strange decorations with the head of Charly Chaplin at the bar.
Placed at the marina of Reykjavik this restaurant is so close to the sea, that you can smell it. In addition to that, you can see the old harbor through the windows. The warm decoration was so suitable for this with framed sailor knots, ankers and many more. Most importantly, the food was freshly delish and the portions quite large. We tasted reindeer carpaccio with asparagus, lobster pesto risotto and lamb fillet. All they had delight flavor. Above all, the personnel were extremely helpful and so friendly. Especially the Greek waitress from Kavala at the above floor, who told us even more hints about Iceland.
PS: When you book the table, ask one close to the window. You will have unobstructed view of the harbor.
Lava restaurant at Blue Lagoon
On 30th of October we went for relaxation at the hot springs of Blue Lagoon. And then the culinary surprise. This top-notch restaurant built inside a 800-year-old lava cliff. We loved the among-the-rocks design watching the springs. Furthermore, we had a quick friendly service. Above all we had an Icelandic cuisine experience with the grilled beef with the mushrooms. The personnel were quick and discreet and we even met a very polite Greek waiter. I do not know if we are influenced by the relaxation, but I believe you should try this restaurant’s flavors.
PS: We also tried the freshest skyr crème brûlée.
The combination of grass-fed free-range meats seems to make a difference in how the meat tastes. Therefore, those burgers we ate had this drooling moreish filling to our mouth. The burger patties were pure meat, no lard or fat. Moreover, the place has the best view of the plain field and you can eat watching from restaurant’s window the cows feeding. Ust to get in touch with the nature. It is worth to pay a visit to this place now. Before it becomes touristic.
PS: Do not forget to try Efstidalur’s ice cream with fresh milk from their cows. I loved the blueberry flavor.
We all know that Iceland’s street food is hot dogs. In Ingólfur Square you can realize that by walking among all these hot dog cantinas. We tried few, to regain our strength and wander to the city even more. After all, it is an affordable bite to walk around with.
However, if you want something special, then walk 200meters further to meet the bbp canteen (Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur) from 1937. Try the irregular mustard and the other toppings and sauces in a really soft warm bun. It would become a part of your Icelandic experience, for sure. The service was super-fast and there are few stands over there. Furthermore, on the tables there are holders designed especially for the hot dogs.
Notice: Just be careful of the birds that were coming for the crumbs.
However, for the Greeks -or Greek’s cuisine friends- that want the safety of our food, at the Laugavegur street inside Reykjavik there is Greek gyros and loukoumades. That is to say that we met so many Greek tourists in Reykjavik of Iceland, we couldn’t believe time.
Reykjavik Activities 4/4
If you are asking someone at Reykjavik of Iceland or if you read one of the tour guides, everyone bar none will advise you to do the Golden Circle tour. What is that? The Golden Circle basically consists of three locations in Iceland. The Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir-Geyser Geothermal Area and the Gullfoss waterfall. In my opinion the Gullfoss was the most stunning of the three.
So, we took the Golden Circle tour with our rental. Just be careful to read all contract’s clauses. The rent insurance for the car costs equally with the rental price.
PS: If you do not want a rental or a tour bus, if you dot want to wet your clothes, you can take a helicopter tour. If you have the money for this ride, you will flight upon all these sightseeing relaxed.
Thingvellir National Park
Do you like geology? Then, you do not have miss it. Over there you will discover the formation of the island upon the rocks. Moreover, you will meet the corner of the North American continent. One of Iceland’s national parks with UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
This time of the year we couldn’t go snorkeling or diving between Eurasia continent and North America’s continent. Also, there were not so many birds, because of the migration. So, I do not know which season it’s the most appropriate for visiting.
Continuing our Golden Circle tour, after a quick stop at Efstidalur II, we ended up at the Geysir-geyser geothermal area at the Haukadalur Valley. That is to say that you will see an intense earth’s activity. You can walk at the valley among steaming vents and watery chimneys and see many hot pools to erupt. The Geysir itself it’s not so active, but the Strokkur will not disappoint you. In other words, every 10minutes you will become wet, if you are close enough, from this 30 meters long earthy ‘fountain’.
Next stop, the falls. In my opinion the most magnificent of all. Those who were saved thanks to actions of a strong woman called Sigridur Tomasdottir. You will see her memorial stone at the top of the fall.
Just relax and listen the cold falling water. Τhe majestic rush of water causes inner thoughts. This water reminds us that life is too short. So, we have to live our life in happiness, before it leaves.
And if you are lucky, you will see a rainbow upon the waterfall.
Our last sightseeing stop was at this 6500 years crater with a lake in its middle. We walked up until the top of the mountain, surrounded by red soil on our feet and 2-3 hawks upon our heads. And now we are ready for the skyr factory. Mmm yummy!
But Iceland it’s not only the Golden Circle. It has so many more to see. Like the Blue Lagoon and the cathedral of Hallgrimskirkja inside Reykjavik.
So, we went to the most famous and popular hot springs of the island. Most importantly, the levels of relaxation over there are endlessly uncountable. We were wandering to these thermal soothing waters putting clay on our faces. Moreover, we drunk hydrating smoothies and attend for few minutes at the saunas. To sum up, we managed to relax. At the end, we ate at their Lava restaurant the most terrifically delicious beef ever.
Of course we went for whale watching with a fishing boat. We saw dolphins and a whale-shark to play with its flap. You have to be patient for this process. And no one can guarantee that you will see a whale eventually. but, we saw one. Give it a try to see the wild marine life.
However, there are many more to do in Iceland. Take a tour at the glacier with snowmobiles. Or you could hike at the mountain to see the lave flowing river (with the appropriate shoes). Or choose another hot spring not so crowded. Furthermore, you can rent a RV-road vehicle in a field to hunt the Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn. You can go for bird watching at the national park or…or…
Last but not least, 2 out of the 3 nights at Reykjavik we saw the polar lights of Aurora Borealis. This green light’s dance upon the sky was enchantingly magnificent. My advice is: try to enjoy it a little bit and not consume your whole time behind a camera. It is a fast dance and soon will be disappeared out of your sight.
In conclusion, I definitely must come again to Reykjavik to see the museums and the lava river.
PS: You can see even more photos on my Instagram or on my google maps profile and you can watch a small video with all this magnificent Icelandic scenery to my YouTube channel. Remember to press a thumbs up and the bell before you leave.
Travel tip: useful telephones for Reykavik
- National museum’s tel: +354 530 2200
- National University Hospital tel: Landspitali: +354 543 1000
- Police’s tel: +354 444 1000
- Keflavik airport tel: +354 425 0600
- Airpot’s taxi tel: +354 520 1212/uber app
Important notice: During the time of visiting Iceland do not forget to download an app that will help you by sending notifications with the hours of Aurora’s appearance.
Aaand… after your request, since many of you dm me, I put many more photos to this article. i hope you like it. Please, do not forget to see the video on Youtube.