Hey there, Globetrotter! Before I get into the nitty gritty of our Icelandic adventures I have one serious question: where does the time go? Seriously? This blog post has been sitting in my unpublished folder for 18 months! Eighteen months! If you follow along with Kindred Home on Instagram you know that a lot has happened in that time. I've told myself I'd come back to this post countless times but it always got pushed further down my to-do list, and I honestly don't know what inspired me to finally hit publish. I hope you enjoy the tips and come back if you're ever planning your own Icelandic adventure! And let me know if you do...
Maybe the delay in hitting publish was because I wasn't exactly sure where to begin. Is it enough to tell you that Iceland is pure magic and leave it at that?
If you know about the inspirations behind Kindred Home you know that I draw product inspiration from nature and travel. Leaving my cozy corner of the world to see and experience other cultures has always inspired what we create as a business. Traveling fills my soul and renews my creativity yet I also love running my business, and that often keeps me from traveling. It's hard to leave town when you're fostering the growth of a new business. It's a catch 22. In fact, if memory serves me correctly (we'll have to ask Mike), it was a pretty stressful drive to the airport because my team was putting the finishing touches on four pallets of candles. The freight truck didn't arrive until super late in the evening (which is a bit unusual but that's a different story for another time), and the pallets weren't loaded on to the truck until 30 minutes before we boarded. Oy vey! Kindred Home was really, really busy in 2017, so much so that I didn't have a day off for more than five months. After all that busyness, taking a break (in December!) seemed crazy but it was also really critical for my mental health. While I love to work and take pride in my business I'm not a believer in the theory that being busy is a badge of honor, so we set off on our trip...
As you likely know, Iceland is definitely a popular destination right now. One of our tour guides told us that the population of Iceland is roughly 335,000 people and they receive more than 2,000,000 tourists annually! That's SIX times the population of the entire county. It's no surprise though, Of Monsters and Men, Game of Thrones, mountains, calderas, ponies, hot springs, there are so many things to love about Iceland! I'm guessing that's why so many people have been asking what we did, where we stayed, and what we'd recommend.
Travel note: many travel bloggers recommend renting a car or camper to tour Iceland at your own pace. However, for our first visit to Iceland we opted to make Reykjavik our home base and book day trips to-and-from the city. We have talked about returning during the spring/summer months and renting a camper for our next visit but we don't regret staying in Reykjavik one bit. We feel that we got to see so many fantastic highlights by day and we got to enjoy great food and evening strolls in the capital city.
Where we stayed: 41 - A Townhouse Hotel a magnificent local hotel in the best location. The rooms are fantastic but there aren't many on-site amenities. It's situated right on the popular Laugavegur street, and it's right across from the best bakery in all of Reykjavik (where we had breakfast every day - listed below).
How we got around: while there are countless companies that organize day trips we booked all of our tours through Get Your Guide. The pick-up and drop-off was convenient to our hotel, the guides were friendly and knowledgeable, the tours ran on time (there's a little waiting but nothing outrageous), we always felt safe, and it took all the hassle of navigation entirely off our plate. It was fullkomið (perfect)!
Where we ate: we ate some fantastic food while we were in Iceland. Eating out in Iceland can be quite expensive but the food is delicious. Here's a quick list of where we had the best meals (in no particular order):
- Ristorante Caruso
- Svarta Kaffid
- The Sandholt Reykjavik
Day 1: Exploring Reykjavik
Day 2: The Blue Lagoon
Day 3: Touring The South Coast
Day 4: Harpa Concert Hall | How To Be Icelandic In Sixty Minutes
Day 5: The Golden Circle