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Winter In Iceland

With Inspired By Iceland


In December 2019, I was fortunate enough to visit Reykjavík, Iceland, the country's capital and largest city with Inspired by Iceland and I was in awe of the country. The land of Fire and Ice was nothing short of spectacular. Before visiting, I didn't know about much about Iceland besides that it's known for its raw beauty. I was excited to dive into the culture and learn as much as I could during my three days there. In case you are asking yourself if three days is enough time to experience Iceland, the answer is No. The country is quite large, diverse and full of extreme geological contrasts. Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe and it's home to some of the world's most active volcanoes.There is a lot to see and do and one may easily suggest spending a couple weeks to fully explore the different regions of Iceland. Originally, our plan was to spend time in the capital, and then fly up North to Húsavík where we were going to spend time learning about the GeoSea and other geothermal locations but unfortunately we were unable to visit due to a winter storm. On the upside, we were able to spend our time in Reykjavík which was such a warm, welcome and entertaining city! We also explored tons of the Reykjanes Peninsula which was a beautiful and undiscovered area located in Southwest Iceland.

Reykjavík is the perfect start to your trip in Iceland as it boasts with life and vibrancy. The city is rich in history and holds a strong art scene. The city of Reykjavík has a small town feel and from the moment you enter you sense a welcoming energy. Every person I met had a smile on their face and in the evenings the restaurants and restopubs were filled with people delighted to be around their peers. One of the things that I loved most, was that there weren't many chains and each restaurant we dined at was unique and cooked what tasted like, home cooked meals! Two thirds of the population live in this laid back capital and the city is very safe. No need to worry if you are a solo traveler :) Another thing that I loved was that you can walk and see the entire city by foot if weather permitted. In my opinion, there is no better way to see a city and Reykjavík is laid out perfectly for this and also offers plenty of public transportation.


Season of Creativity

During the winter months in Iceland, the days are shorter and darker. The Icelandic people take this opportunity to focus on their renowned creativity. The Icelandic innovators find their creativity from within applying creativity in their everyday life and being inspired by all that surrounds them. The country houses many iconic pioneers in various fields including architecture, art, culinary, music and design to name a few. We had the pleasure of meeting one, Hrólfur Karl Cela a Icelandic designer who welcomed us into his home and shared his love for design and creating. He breaks away from the "burdens of classical traditions, leaving space to develop a very local kind of creativity which everyone is exposed to." His work was raw and inspirational and he was a very welcoming host treating us with delcious local morsels.


Iceland has a thriving art and cultural scene that has drawn the attention of many. There is art splashed all over the streets of Reykjavík and prestigious galleries throughout the land of fire and ice. One of the coolest and unique buildings in the city goes to Harpa, a concert hall that is located by the harbor and stands out with its beaming glass facade. The look of Harpa is inspired by Iceland's diverse and dramatic nature.


Another impressive landmark is Hallgrimskirkja, a evangelical Lutheran Church that is one of the tallest building in Reykjavík. It is the most visited spot in the city and once you see it in person you will understand why! Beautiful from the outside and in, every detail of this striking building is laid to perfection. It is also inspired by Iceland's nature, specifically lava as it cools on basalt rocks.



One of my favorite things to do when I visit a destination for the first time or any time is to EAT! Food has always had a special place in my heart because I always find there is so much love that goes into cooking. Iceland's is no exception and it is so good! Every meal that I enjoyed tasted like it had been home cooked with so much love. The cuisine has such a a long history and you can really taste it in the countries favorite dishes: skyr, hangikjöt, kleinur, laufabrauô and bollur. I always believe that food has a way of bringing people together and in Iceland this was no exception. One of my favorite meals I had was in a local fishermen's town, Grindavík located on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The restaurant's name is Bryggjan and it is a perfectly quaint spot near the harbor serving the most delicious soup that I still dream about! It was a seafood soup that salty, piping hot and in my eyes perfection. The restaurant also has a large upstairs area which was perfect for parties and large get togethers!

Another spot I really enjoyed was this food spot called Hlemmur Mathöll, with so many different vendors that all have mouth watering food! Here you can try all of the best Iceland has to offer! Make sure to try Tilsjávar & Tilsveita as they serve traditional Icelandic food from the land and sea.


Geothermal Energy:

One of the most magical natural wonders is their geothermal warm or hot water. These spa-like attractions are modern-day inventions and are very dear to Iceland's culture. Icelandic people use this water to not only frolic around in but the geothermal water can also warm their homes and can be used as bathing water as well! The water in these geothermic pools are known to be filled with natural healing properties and include elements such as Silica, Algae, and Mineral Salt. Silica The natural water is said to help with various medical conditions such as psoriasis, pain, rheumatoid arthritis and circulation to name a few! People from all around the world travel to Iceland so that they are able to dip into the miracle water and I can totally see why. 

The Blue Lagoon is the most favored attraction in Iceland and the hype is well beyond worth it!  The Blue Lagoon is located about 30 minutes from Keflavík International Airport. Conveniently, you can take a shuttle which will bring you to the lagoon and either back to the airport or to downtown Reykjavík. I did just that as I was the first to arrive from my group. I arrived at the lagoon as it was opening and was so fortunate to have it almost to myself for a short little while. The water is 98-104 degrees degrees F and can fluctuate depending on weather and variables

but for the most part remain warm and pleasurable. The cost to get in for me was 85 euros and after showering, I entered the lagoon in awe. It was warm, inviting and absolutely stunning. The color of the water was a beautiful milky blue color that I couldn't get enough of! People go for various reasons and I saw many people enjoying their time relaxing with masks on their face and I saw others with drinks, laughing the day away with friends. Once you've entered the lagoon, you are free to stay as long as you want and the facility has everything you may need. In my perspective you only need a couple hours at this location.


On one of the days we had explored the Reykjanes Peninsula which is very close to the city center and makes for a perfect day trip as there is so much to see and do! The area is a UNESCO Global Geopark and is a very diverse area that is filled with geothermal activity of different forms and volcanic activity. This area is located in Southwest Iceland and absolutely stunning! It felt really untouched, raw and whimsical in it's own way. The best way to see this area is by renting a van for the day, driving around and making plenty of stops along the way. Each and every destination is unique and impressive. I have highlighted my top favorite 5 spots!

1) Aurora Base Camp is an amazing and educational observatory where you can learn everything there is to know about the Northern Lights and hopefully see them for yourself. The weather conditions sadly wasn't on our side during our stay but we were lucky to witness an indoor simulation of the Northern Lights at this spot!

2) Lake Kleifarvatn it is the largest lake in the peninsula and it is breathtaking! The area is surrounded by volcanic surroundings making it the perfect place to stop visit a black beach and take some incredible photos.

3) Krysuvik is a geothermal area that is a popular spot and many people visit to explore the hiking trails. This geothermal spot has bubbling mud pools and various colorful hot springs!

4) Brimketill is a naturally carved pool by marine erosion that has a beautiful viewing platform of the pool as well as the ocean! This area is known to have roaring waves and just a warning, you can get wet taking in all the surroundings!

5) Gunnuhver is located near the Reykjavík lighthouse and there you can see mud pools and steam that stems for the boiling geothermal reservoir. The place is a little spooky and has a story behind it. Over 400 years ago, a priest trapped a women in this spot causing her to fall in the springs and now is said to haunt the place!


Takeaway. I absolutely loved Iceland. It was a beautiful, diverse and welcoming country. I saw a very small part of the country but from the little bits and pieces I saw and from what I heard, the country gets better and better the more you explore it. The people were kind, the scenery was unlike any I have ever seen before and the food was always warm and delicious! Iceland is beautiful anytime of the year and winter is no exception, in fact a little more magical in my eyes. I highly recommend that if you do visit you stay for a couple weeks to see the country in its entirety. If you decide to see any of the spots that I visited please let know and I would love to hear your experience.

Hope you enjoyed my review and my highlights :)


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