Iceland Adventures – Spring Break 2017

We were looking for a Spring Break adventure for our last spring living on the East Coast.  After looking at several options, we’ found two free tickets, and one cheap mileage ticket on Iceland Air through their partnership with Alaska Airlines.  It was less expensive than going back to New Mexico!  We got recommendations from Jessica, played with different options (road warrior tour around ring road / the whole island?) – we decided to explore the area around Reykjavik and keep our plans loose.  We had a hotel reservation in Reykjavik the first night, a rental car reserved, but otherwise used airBnB and followed our nose (and the Lonely Planet guidebook).  We had a fantastic visit!  First, here’s a map showing some of the spots we visited.  We want to get back to explore more, but again – it was a perfect (first) visit.


We had a direct flight from Dulles (~8pm) to Keflavik (~7am).  We picked up bags, cleared customs, picked up the rental car, and hit the road – first to breakfast in Keflavik.  Then we drove around the Southwest corner of Iceland, went by the Blue Lagoon briefly (but it was booked solid), explored the geology, and then went to Hafnarfjordur for lunch (at the Bike Cave) and then to the public pool for a soak – this was perfect!

One fun stop was at Midlina, where the North American and European techtonic plates meet – we enjoyed a quick hike and exploration there:

We went over and met Tolly for dinner – it was a fantastic reunion with a friend from Fairbanks / grad school!  It was so good to catch up, and over a delicious, home cooked salmon dinner!!!

What a fantastic first day!

On day two, we ran a few errands (car snacks, warm rain gear for the kids, …) and saw a few highlights of Reykjavik-the Saga Museum was a great history and we enjoyed dressing up:

We loved visiting The Living Art Museum in the Marshall House.

From Reykjavik we went East – our first stop was at Laugarvatn Fontana – an amazing resort hot springs on the side of the lake.  We all enjoyed the soak and the meal.  Aven & Matt jumped in (and quickly got out of!) the lake.


Next, we went to the AirBnB provided house – with a perfect cubby/attic/bed for the kids.  It was so comfortable to explore the farms in the area, Geysir, and more hot springs.


We fell in love with the Efstidalur farm – fresh ice cream, lots of animals, friendly people, fun pets (parrots!) – we visited several times!!  I’m a little surprised that Aven isn’t still there at the farm!


We went out to Geysir (the one from which all others are named?) – it was a fun visit and Aven and Matt walked around so they got drenched – it was one of many fun moments!  We continued our tour of rivers, waterfalls (both Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss), more hot springs (Secret Lagoon hot spring in Flúðir), and our final evening was at an (airBnB) farm stay with a horse ride!  

We visited Sólheimajökull which really reminded us of Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau – ah, fond memories.

We went to Vik and as soon as we turned the corner we were in a blizzard and a taste of winter weather.  We stopped for lunch and turned around.

We had so much fun getting a small taste of Iceland.  We definitely want to go back for more!!