With so much to share, I've split our trip into two parts. Here's part one which includes travel, our itinerary, what to pack, and our first four days.
A couple weeks ago, five girlfriends and I experienced the trip of a lifetime road-tripping through the ragged terrain of Iceland and exploring every nook + cranny of the island we could manage. I urge you to purchase a flight as soon as you're done reading this!
Last year, my girl Kelsey (at Kelsey Rae Designs) noticed a new airlines, WOW Air, offering round-trip flights to Iceland for $650. We immediatley booked it and within a few short months, we had four other girls booking their flight with us. And because we're super awesome millennials, we coined ourselves the #sixchicksiniceland.
While we were there, we shot for Krochet Kids, an inspiring company that employs individuals in Uganda + Peru at fair wages to crochet scarves + beanies. Their pieces are so cute and they kept us insanely warm in the bitter cold.
I've received so many questions from friends headed to Iceland soon so I thought I'd put together a recap of our trip including photo, tips and logistics. Here we go!
**There are some iPhone photos mixed in for when the big camera wasn't around. The snorkeling photos at the Silfra Fissure were taken by our awesome tour guide, Astrid.**
After hearing mixed reviews, we nervously booked our flights through WOW Air from Los Angeles to Reykjavik for the first week of March. We were drawn to the cheap flights they offered, though it simultaneously made us nervous that it meant we'd experience cancelled/delayed flights or poor service.
You guys! We had such a great experience with WOW! Our flights were on time, the staff was incredibly friendly, and we got the same amount of leg room as any other flight I've taken. With the airfare being so low, they do charge you for everything. You can bring one personal item on the flight for free (i.e. a purse or small backpack), but they charge for a carry-on and any checked bags. They're also pretty strict on their size and weight limits of bags. They don't offer any complimentary snacks or drinks including water. We knew all of this going into it and even with the $3 waters on the flight, we still paid much less than other airlines.
We rented cars through SAD Cars (what a name...). They picked us up from the airport and took us to their garage just a few miles from the airport. They had great service and we survived, though we did wonder if our little old cars would survive each day. They had nearly 500,000 miles on them so we gambled + said a little prayer every morning we started them.
what to pack
Since we went in the winter and snow was abundant, we packed warm.
It certainly helped having Kelsey, a professional planner, coordinate our entire trip. I wouldn't have changed a single part of our itinerary! I felt it provided plenty of structure for our trip to maximize what we saw each day, while providing enough wiggle room for spontaneous stops - usually to pet the Icelanidc horses, heh. We stayed in Reykjavik for four nights, then stayed in Vík for the last three nights. If we had stayed longer to see the north part of the island, I would've probably stay in Vík for 2 nights and then moved to a more northern town for the rest of the trip. I'm so happy with the way we split up our Airbnbs! Reykjavik is an excellent basecamp for the Golden Circle so it worked out perfectly to stay there as long as we did.
- Landed at 4am, grabbed our rental car.
- Explored downtown Reykjavik + Hallgrímskirkja Church.
- Checked into our Airbnb in Reykjavik.
Since we couldn't check into our Airbnb until 3pm, we explored Reykjavik until we were delirious (we were running on nearly 30 hours of no sleep!). We loved seeing the gorgeous Hallgrímskirkja Church whose architecture is mirrored after the basalt columns found on the southern coast of Iceland (photos of it are in part 2 of the trip).