36 Hours in Iceland

-8:00 a.m.: Arrive at Reykjavik and rent a car.

-9:00 a.m.: Visit Café Loki, which is rumored to be the best and most authentic Icelandic cuisine. Treat yourself to a “Viking” breakfast: Mashed fish, trout, beans salad and sheep’s brain on rye bread. Alongside with fermented shark and dried fish with butter, with Icelandic birch tea. They are also well known for their rye bread ice cream, and offer more traditional breakfast options, such as pancakes.

-10:00 a.m.: Hallgrimskirkja, a Lutheran parish church. This is the largest church and one of the tallest structures in Iceland. For a small fee, you can climb up the stairs to the top of the building and see a breathtaking 360°view of Reykjavik.

-11:00 a.m.: Harpa Islenska Operan- Iceland’s Opera House. The concert hall features a distinctive colored glass façade, which was inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. Around the corner is the famous Baejarins Beztu Pylsur,” which is Icelandic translation for “the best hot dogs in town.” The pylsur (hotdog) is typically topped off with sweet brown mustard called pylsusinnep, and remoulade, a sauce made with mayo, capers, mustard and herbs. What makes these hotdogs even more special is that more lamb meat is added over the beef and pork. Famous visitors include Bill Clinton and Metallica.

-1:00 p.m.: Thingvellir National Park. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage sight in 2004. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) judge sites that are important to the collective interests in humanity and deems them to be protected by international treaties. This is Iceland’s first national park. The park lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the mid-Atlantic ridge and the boundary between the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian.

-3:00 p.m.: The Great Geysir. Is the first known geyser in recorded history, and the English word geyser is derived from Geysir. Geysir is from the Icelandic verb geysa, “to gush.”

-4:00 p.m.: If there is still light out, visit the volcanic crater lake, Kerid Crater. It is one of three most recognizable volcanic craters because it’s approximately 3,000 years old, which is half the age of the others. Along the drive to Hella, make sure to stop by the Icelandic horses that are on the side of the main road. The fuzzy and friendly horses love to be pet and enjoy apples!

-6:00 p.m.: Check-in at Hotel Ranga in Hella, a luxury resort and dining. And hope that the Northern Lights come out that night!

-8:00 p.m.: Dine at the hotel’s Ranga Restaurant. The restaurant is one of Iceland’s leading gourmet destinations. The restaurant is known for their modern Nordic cuisine, such as the smoked puffin, reindeer, lamb, plaice (a flatfish). The restaurant overlooks one of Iceland’s finest salmon rivers.

-7:00 a.m.: Breakfast at the Ranga Restaurant.

-9:00 a.m.: Hike on Solheimajokull Glacier! The glacier is rapidly receding due to climate change, it might not be around for long. The hike can only be done with a professional glacier hiker, crampons and pick axes were provided by our guide. This was my absolute most favorite part of the trip and cannot describe the feelings I had on this 3-hour trek. Ascending to the top of the glacier to only go into the glacier itself was beyond spectacular. There are spots to refill your water bottle and drink straight from a glacial source.


-1:00 p.m.: Lunch as Black Beach Restaurant. Casual dining that offers bigger portions, perfect amount of food after a long and breathtaking hike. The restaurant offers sandwiches, burgers, seafood and steaks. The restaurant has large open windows to view the black beach outside.

-2:00 p.m.: Take a walk on the Black Beach, which is right outside of the restaurant. It is obviously famous for its black sands but also for the basalt sea stacks.

-5:00 p.m.: Blue Lagoon. A geothermal spa, located on a lava field. Located nearby is the Geothermal Power Station, that supplies most of southwestern Iceland. The geothermal waters will wash away the physical but worthwhile stresses from the past day and a half. The timing couldn’t be any more perfect, as the sun sets.

-7:00 p.m.: Dinner at Lava Restaurant. After getting your body fully relaxed, enjoy fine Scandinavian and seafood dining at the Blue Lagoon. No need to travel far to enjoy a delectable Icelandic meal before returning home.

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