I had the terrific fortune of traveling with my husband and two sons to Iceland. Our older son had just completed his freshman year at college, and our younger son was about to begin his senior year in high school, so we wanted to take a bit of a celebratory holiday. It was a fun week full of adventure, delicious food, lots of laughs, and new experiences.
Whilst we were there in July, the sun didn't really set. It was the time of the "Midnight Sun", and that saying is spot on! My younger son, Ben, and I stayed up to see what the Midnight Sun looked like, and it pretty much looked just like the image above. Maybe a little less bright, but in general the sky was never dark, even at 3 am. That took a little getting use to, to be honest. And there's so much activity going on at all hours, that it really is easy to accidentally stay up until 3 am. There is certainly a lot of partying happening within the city of Reykjavik!
We stayed just a few blocks down from Iceland's largest church, Hallgrímskirkja. It was designed to mimic the rock formations on the black sand beach. It's absolutely a sight to behold.
Not far outside the city limits of Reykjavik we hiked a gorgeous mountain. There were four different options for hiking difficulties and length of hike, and we opted for the 4-6 hour hike with medium difficulty. It was beautiful, but more difficult toward the top of the hike, than I'd expected. I was actually proud of myself for completing it. The views were breathtaking! And the fresh, glacial water that came out of the ground was the most delicious water I've ever tasted. We were told by a local hiker, and I'd also read several travel posts stating the same, that the natural spring water was not only safe to drink, it would be some of the most delicious water tasted. It was 100% true!
We spent one day traveling via a bus tour, booked through Extreme Iceland Tours. We saw the varied landscapes, the black sand beach, the natural rock formations, and of course waterfalls and glaciers! The weather in Iceland in July, is actually quite pleasant. Yes, there was some cloud coverage and a few sprinkles, but there was also beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Temperatures ranged from mid 50s - mid to high 60s. Quite nice for hiking and general sightseeing.
The Blue Lagoon: Yes. We did the most touristy things, including whale watching and enjoying the Blue Lagoon. How often does one get to travel to Iceland? You might as well do as much as possible! I loved almost every moment. The Blue Lagoon was SO fun to experience with my family. The whale watching was exciting, as we got to witness several whales, but I was sea-sick most of the time (even after taking dramamine before boarding). I really wish I wasn't prone to sea-sickness. I do really love being on the water, otherwise. We also took a few hours to stroll through the Botanic Garden of Reykjavik. It's lovely, and holds much inspiration for rock gardens and cutting gardens for cooler climates.
I will be sharing the food we enjoyed on this trip, but that's for another day. I will say that the cafe Te & Kaffi has THE most delicious cappuccinos and vegan (and non-vegan) treats! I'm fairly certain we stopped in at least once per day... maybe twice.
Let me know if you've been to Iceland, or if you're planning on visiting! I could see returning and visiting the less populated areas on that trip. It's fun experiencing new places, don't you think?