I entered Iceland somewhat blind. Aware of the grandeur of it's geography, yet underestimating it's capacity to take my breath away. Few things are able to humble us the way nature does. To take us back to a childlike sensibility of excitement, wonder, and give us the gentlest reminder of how small we really are in one fell swoop.
Serving up all the Khaleesi vibes in House Of Sunny Boxy Sweater at Reynisfjara Beach, in Vík.
Reynisfjara Beach, Vík & Jökulsárlón.
Where to Eat/Drink:
FOSSHOTEL GLACIER LAGOON
If you happen to travel the 5 some odd hours to Jökulsárlón rest assured knowing the Fosshotel is only a matter of minutes away once you venture back towards Reykjavik. Everything from the architecture down to the menus are modern and well thought out. The ambiance combined with the incredible meal we had makes me feel confident in saying that this was the best dining experience I had in my entire stay in Iceland.
BRAUÐ & CO.
A cozy little bakery that is not to be missed. If the scent of warm sugar and cinnamon buns baking isn't enough to sway you, pick up a vanilla bun and rest assured you've made a good call. I picked up an assortment of pastries the few times I stopped into Brauð for the long car rides we'd have to go sightseeing.
A few steps from Brauð you'll find the quaintest little coffee shop that actually roasts its beans on site. Of the two locations, the one closest to Brauð was my favorite. With its warm atmosphere and interesting vinyl selection, I was always tempted to linger just a little longer.
Honorable mentions: Burro, Pablo Discobar, Kaffi Vínyl, Bergsson Mathus
Seljavallalaug (Skogar, Iceland)
What to Do:
Possibly the oldest swimming pool in all of Iceland, the facilities have been in use since the early 20th century. This little-known gem can be found off the beaten path just before you reach Skógafoss. Wedged between a mountainside, the pool was originally created for locals as a place to learn how to swim. The now abandoned geothermal pool is looked after on a volunteer basis and is open to anyone up for the adventure of seeking it out.
Though this destination is quite a ways from Reykjavik, it was well worth the drive just to catch the most incredible sunset I've ever seen. As the sun sets, the once blue-hued icebergs start to turn the most incredible shades of purple. Be sure to keep an eye out for seals swimming around, or even hanging out on top of the icebergs, as they float in the lagoon.
Honorable mentions: Reynisfjara Beach, Skógafoss, Golfoss, Kex Hostel