the wonders of iceland in three and a half days on #igtravelthursday

We heart icelandHappy #IGTravelThursday again. You might have noticed from my Instagram feed that we’ve been to Iceland – a long weekend of family adventures exploring that lonely, mysterious Atlantic island of fire and ice. Iceland has been on my bucket list for years and might still be, if it wasn’t for one on the spur of the moment day when I came across some amazing northern lights images by @theauroraphotoguide on Instagram that I finally booked those flights for all of us. Catholic church ReykjavikSInce our visit fell into winter time and I didn’t fancy doing all the driving myself (my Spanish husband wasn’t too keen on driving in deep snow and dark, icy roads) we broke our “explore ourselves” pattern and joined on three tours with one of the largest tour organisers – Reykjavik Excursions.

Many tour operators can be found online – which makes the comparison easy – and after a lot of reading and reviews I decided that RE had both the best value for money and the most interesting packages to choose from for families (there are lots of tour options and so little time! If we’d been travelling without children some ice caving, dos sledding, snowmobiles or similar action would have been on my list, but this was a family trip, so another time…). Tapas husid As the daylight hours in wintertime are very limited (in December roughly 4 hours a day) the activity options are somewhat limited – dining, spa and Northern light tours being the obvious after-dark activities. Therefore on the first evening we tried the locally recommended Tapas places called Tapas House, or Tapas Husid in Icelandic. The atmosphere is lovely and a visit there is a great opportunity to try local specialties such as puffin and whale in a special 7-course Icelandic menu! Selfoss waterfall from Golden circle On our first full day we did the “must-see” classic tourist route called the Golden Circle – but with a lovely addition of stopping in the Fontana Wellness spa. It was a relaxing moment after a day of touring – and we got to see how rye bread was dug out of the steaming ground and people were boiling eggs in boiling water! The Golden Circle includes the famous Geysir geothermal area, Selfoss (the golden waterfall) and picturesque Thingvellir National Park – plus a stop to a local artisan outlet. Fontana wellness On the way back we stopped to admire some beautiful green northern lights that were moving around the sky! The second day we spent walking around Reykjavik. We were lucky to have a crisp, sunny day and with fresh snow everywhere it was absolutely beautiful. The highlight for the children was a walk on the frozen sea – something that they had never experienced before despite being born with a Finnish passport…aurora borealis iceland The evening of the day two we spent on a Glacier and Monster Truck tour to view northern lights. It was a full moon which gave the snow-covered grounds an eerie glow and really made it feel like you were on the moon. We didn’t see the Northern Lights, but did a lot of stargazing while sipping hot chocolate and eating crepes in -15c (5F) weather (yep, frozen toes…). On the way there we stopped for a dinner in a farm hotel – the children loved watching cows dining through the glass wall while eating themselves (another pretty unique experience there!). Iceland hot springs Out third day was definitely the most interesting one: we joined in The Wonders of Reykjanes and Blue Lagoon -tour. It was less driving and more stops: breathtaking landscapes of lava fields, lakes, hot springs, cod drying (on the way to Nigeria), lobster soup on the local diner- it was a lot of fun! And to finish a day of touring in the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa was just the perfect finishing touch for our little vacation! Lake Krysivuk Iceland So did we like Iceland? We didn’t just like it – we absolutely loved it – and want to explore the country on our own in the summertime (with a sidestep to Greenland would be the perfect itinerary). I know that we were very lucky with the weather – but that was the case in Sri Lanka, Philippines, Spain, Wales and Scotland too this year for most of the days, so I think we just might be really lucky when we travel, which leaves us wanting to explore more and create new memories for years to come…

Arriving to Iceland

I hope you liked my little Iceland with a family in three days (in winter) overview – detailed stories with videos of the geyser and hot springs to follow after the holidays! Meanwhile, you can enjoy below more my Instagram photos from Iceland: Do you have a great Instagram travel story to share? Read the linky rules below and join us this week. You can also join as a host and get the linky code to your site here: {The Code Page}. Note that this time the linky code is up for two weeks as we have the year-end holiday period.

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Disclosure: We joined the Golden Circle and Fontana Spa tour free of charge with Reykjavik Excursions and paid for the other two tours. All opinions, as always, are my own.

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