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I was given the opportunity to visit Reykjavik, Iceland during my time in the military. Iceland is now on my Top 5 Favorite Destinations I've had the pleasure of visiting ( if you'd like me to do a blog post with my top 5, comment below). I was there for 5 days and during that time I was able to see such beautiful views, try some interesting Icelandic cuisine and participate in several amazing activities. I had such an amazing experience that I thought that I would share the Top 8 things you must do when visiting Iceland!
1. Bathe in a Geothermal Hot Spring
If you were not aware, Iceland is known for its natural hot springs. They are called Mývatn Nature which is an incredibly cozy geothermal hot spring. The water is clean and clear but gives off a strange smell due to the sulfur in the water. It is completely bearable and worth it, especially in the colder months. I went with friends and stayed in for almost 2 hours!
2. Watch the Northern Lights
An aurora, typically referred to as The Northern Lights or what I like to call a "night rainbow" are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by the solar wind. If you are ever so lucky to catch this amazing view... take it in because this planet it truly outstanding! Several tours will take you to the perfect area to view the Northern Lights in their entirety! Outside of Reykjavik, Iceland is where you will catch the best view but, keep in mind that the typical Northern Lights season is from late August to mid-April. An absolute must-see!
3. Trek the Gullfoss Waterfall
We signed up for a tour through Get Your Guide that took us to the Gullfoss Falls Waterfall and several other amazing places. Definitely one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've seen in my entire life. It was around October when we visited so, it was really cold but absolutely worth it. You could walk down to the rocks and stand in front the falls to take photos if you are so daring! It's slippery so please proceed at your own risk.
4. Wander through the Icelandic Phallological Museum
I had to convince a friend to come with me to this particular museum. I was a museum that displayed male genitalia of different kinds of arctic animals that ranged from massive whales to tiny little mice. It was quite interesting, to say the least, and if you are into weird shit like this... it's something I recommend checking out. It's not necessarily somewhere I would visit for a second time but it was cool to be able to say that I've gone.
5. Snack on a Fresh Cinnamon Roll
I had some of the freshest bread and cinnamon rolls while visiting Iceland. The corner shop that we had landed in had such unique flavors of cinnamon rolls. My friend got a rhubarb crumb cake that I wasn't exactly to my liking but he loved it. I had a vanilla bean and licorice-flavored roll that was delicious! If you have a sweet tooth...any of the local bakeries will have what every you are craving.
6. Visit the Hallgrímskirkja Church
This church is the main landmark in Iceland's capitol Reykjavík. When I arrived at the church is was much bigger than I had anticipated from the pictures I had seen on the internet! The church of Reykjavík was stunning! Very abstract and different from most of the churches I've seen around the world. Unfortunately, the church was not open for tourism at the time but, it was still really awesome to photograph in front of.
7. Wait for a Geysir to erupt
In addition to the waterfall and hot springs, the tour I booked took us to see a geysir erupt. I remember learning about geysirs when I was in school so ,it was crazy to be able to witness in real life. I won't lie, there was a lot of standing around waiting for it to erupt because it happens every 10 minutes or so. My tip would just be to have your camera ready!
8. Eat Fermented Shark
Lastly, something I determined to try while visiting this amazing country was the Icelandic delicacy; fermented shark. I will warn you that it's not for everyone. I had a small chunk so I could quickly spit it out if I didn't like it. It had a gummy texture, rotten/sour in smell and tasted like death. But... don't take my word for it, give it a try! You might end up liking it!
I hope this post gave you some insight into my experience in Reykjavik, Iceland and gets you motivated to get out and see the world! I have photos from the rest of my trip below.
Please be sure to like, subscribe and share this post if you thought it was interesting or could be helpful to someone! I would love to see all of your travel photos so use the hashtag #seworldwide so I can follow along with your trip. Thanks for taking the time to read.