A very special place to take my 3 adult kids.
4 nights, 3 days. Just enough time to see most things of interest. We stayed at the Hilton Nordica. It’s about a 15 minute walk into the Centre, taxis were a fortune, around £15 for an 8 minute trip. There’s a Hop on Hop off bus with a stop right outside the hotel, perfect for us as my then 17 year old son decided he didn’t need to bring a jacket?! This was a good and cheaper way to get around Reykjavik and the cold didn’t seem to be an issue as they were all prepared. Obviously there wasn’t an open top at this time of year. The hotel was also a great location as all the bus tours (Grayline being the main one) stop there to collect and drop off. Pre-arrange your transfer to and from the airport as that can also work out very costly.
The Blue Lagoon is definitely a must. Beware buying anything at the Blue Lagoon (over £100 for a sandwich and snack lunch for 4!) its the most expensive place of them all. The basic package is absolutely fine, enter communal changing rooms, get your lockers, go out, swim in the lagoon and back in to change. Or if it’s a special occasion you can book their executive package, this is a private changing room, a beautiful indoor area with a view over the lagoon, and a private entrance from there in and out to the lagoon, with champagne and cosy seats for after. I’ve done both. Executive with my partner and basic with my kids.
A great tip for a reasonable and delicious meal to warm you up, try to find the Grull Svarta Kaffid restaurant on the main shopping street for soup in a bread roll. Reindeer or vegetable. Don’t think there was anything else on the menu. It was just delicious! Also HAMBORGAFABRIKKAN; http://fabrikkan.is/en/english/
We did the Golden Circle express tour. 6 hours, 3 stops, that was enough for us we used Viator who I always recommend when travelling. We didn’t feel we missed out not stopping at the other places on offer for the tours, we still passed them and learnt about them. The people are just lovely and go out of their way to help you. Queue at the hotdog stand behind the Radisson Blu, absolutely worth the wait and if it’s your main meal then buy two! Lovely places there to just eat and walk around. September to March is the best time to go there especially if you want to spot the Northern Lights. Other activities are dog sledding, snowmobiling or a 4×4 jeep tour. We did manage to see the lights, and although it wasn’t the amazing light show we expected it was still special to watch and we stood for over an hour just watching the green glow move and change. Only 3 hours of daylight this time of year which is hard on the eyes! It wasn’t that cold really. Got to -7 at the waterfalls and geysers but as long as you’re wrapped up warm it’s fine. Overall a different but special holiday destination that has to be done.