In the first part of my 4 Nights in Reykjavik – Iceland : A Beginners Guide we looked at how we got to Reykjavik, where we stayed, and some of the awesome places we ate. This final part looks at some of the activities we took part in. There are LOADS of things to do, and various activity and travel companies you can use. If you’re off on excursions from Reykjavik most of the Buses / Mini Buses set off from various numbered bus stops around the city centre. The bus stops do get very busy at times, so keep an eye out for your travel company’s logo. Make sure you’re there in good time too – they are very prompt!
Our first excursion set off from just outside the Harpa Concert Hall and it was…
Reykjavik Duck Tours
I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t keen on the idea of a Duck Tour. Ones I’ve seen before are on slightly rickety ex-army vehicles, and were a bit rough around the edges. My fears were quickly alleviated as we approached the Reykjavik Duck Tours bus – it looked brand new. Inside was spotless too, it meets all passenger vehicle and vessel requirements which the Icelandic Transport Authority (ICETRA) enforces, so you know it’s very safe. The tour starts off by taking you around Reykjavik on the roads around the city. The enthusiastic ‘Deckhand’ gives you a running commentary as you go. The commentary is very good, packed with information but not too full on. You spend around an hour on land and about 20 minutes in the sea.
The ‘sea’ aspect of the tour was very enjoyable, it was very smooth. I did feel a little queasy near the end, but I’m never great on boats. It was good to see Reykjavik from a completely different perspective. It was just us and another family on the tour too, our guide didn’t natter the whole time so it was good to just enjoy the scenery. I really enjoyed the Reykjavik Duck Tour and would recommend them without question.
Golden Circle – Classic Minibus Tour
The Golden Circle tour is one of the must do tours if you’re heading to Iceland. We opted for the Golden Circle Complete – Classic Minibus Tour from Extreme Iceland which lasts around 9 hours. I wasn’t keen on spending 9 hours on a minibus to be honest – it was amazing though. I’m really glad we opted for a minibus tour because, as we discovered as we went round, it was hard enough for a minibus full of people to get back within the time limit. You see because there are so many stops, time is pretty limited at each site. If you have a few stragglers at each site, it really does hold you up, multiply that by a coach-load, you will have even less time!
The Golden Circle tour takes you to several waterfalls, the geothermal Power Plant, an Icelandic Farm, a giant volcanic crater and several other places. I’m not overly keen on touristy stuff, but it was a fantastic way to see a lot of Iceland in a day. As we travelled between sites our guide told us about Icelandic culture and history, as well as plenty of information on the places we were heading to. We got some incredible photos and videos throughout the day, there are some really breathtaking views, and so much information to take in. The Golden Circle tour is brilliant, and Extreme Iceland are cracking tour operators.
Super Jeep Northern Lights Hunt
We were desperate to see the Northern Lights in Iceland, it was something both of us wanted to experience. The thing is, it’s not guaranteed that you will – you’re more likely to during November – March. We went out for our Super Jeep Northern Lights Hunt on our second evening, and didn’t see a thing. The tours can be cancelled if the weather conditions suggest that they won’t be visible but if you don’t see them then a lot of tour operators will give you a free second attempt. After our first failure we re-booked for our fourth night, and we saw them!
There are lots of coach trips out to see the Northern Lights, however we opted for a Super Jeep because they are a little fancier than a coach. Also, they can take you off the beaten track and places in the arse end of nowhere that are DARK. Also included are ‘free photos’ of you under the Northern Lights, you can of course take your own pictures (and the guides can help you set up your camera), however we got some nice pictures of the two of us included in the price. They also serve hot chocolate and biscuits (and a shot of alcohol if you wish) to fend off the cold.
The Super Jeep Northern Lights Hunt was a bit more expensive than a regular coach tour, but it was worth the money. It was so plush and comfy in the Super Jeep, and it felt a bit more of an adventure cruising off road and bumping around into the back of beyond. The only other people that were out with us were another Super Jeep from Extreme Iceland – so us and about another 20 people, rather than several coach loads!
What about the Blue Lagoon?
The Blue Lagoon is another massive tourist spot in Iceland. Vicki isn’t overly keen on going in the water, and I didn’t really fancy it on my own, so we left it. I’m sure it’s great, and lots of people enjoy it, but – meh!
So there we go, that completes my 4 Nights in Reykjavik – Iceland : A Beginners Guide! Have you been to Reykjavik? Would you like to go? Drop a comment!