Iceland. It is a magical place that is just a short plane ride from the east coast. Instantly surrounded by mountains and lava fields, stepping off the plane into Iceland feels like taking a step into a different planet. I had wanted to visit Iceland for YEARS. Way before it became a popular tourist destination. I wasn’t sure when or if it would happen, but thankfully last year IT DID!
I’m beginning this blog with images from my favorite place in Iceland. The West Fjords. If you ever go to Iceland and visit the West Fjords, make sure to drive a 4×4 car and get gravel insurance! Trust me. We took a 2WD and I’m honestly surprised we survived. Haha. It wasn’t THAT bad, but the roads are totally gravel and you drive up and down ginormous mountains that do not have guard rails. Luckily, we had amazing weather which made the drive a little easier.
This lighthouse below holds such a special place in my heart. My favorite air bnb was located a few miles from this lighthouse. This particular airbnb was overlooking the fjords and mountains. You could find horses, seals and even 2 artic foxes here! It was amazing to say the least. My favorite part about this particular airbnb was the host and the people we met. Tyler and I ended up meeting two awesome people from Long Island who took the hike with us to the little orange lighthouse below. It rained pretty heavily the entire hike, but once we arrived at the lighthouse, we were met with a breathtaking view. We were even able to go inside the lighthouse and write in a book that was inside! It is memories like this that remind me why I love traveling so much. Of course I love to see all of God’s beautiful creation, but I LOVE meeting new people!
Okay, on to the photos! You’ll see a ton of photos below that highlight the memorizing beauty that Iceland is. Along the way, I’m going to give you some tips for if you plan a trip to Iceland!
Tip #1: Do not buy bottle water there. Bring a bottle and fill it up with tap! The host from my favorite air bnb told me that water bottle factories just opened up when tourism started getting crazy! He even said he had never had a bottle of water in Iceland in his life! He joked that Americans must like ‘the taste of plastic’ in the bottles haha! The tap water is 100% safe to drink!
These horses were so sweet! They loved to cuddle!
Tip #2: Unless you’re planning to stay on Road 1 and on paved roads only, get a 4×4 car! We got a 2WD and while we survived, we could have covered more ground more easily if we had a 4×4.
This water may look super cool and refreshing, but if you stick your hand in, it will burn off. Its SUPER hot!
Tip #3: Unless you’re super into doing tons of touristy things, do not do the Blue Lagoon. Yes, I know its a Iceland staple, but there are plenty of natural hot springs in Iceland that are FREE to visit and lounge in! To me, natural and free trump man-made and costly!
Tip #5: If you visit places like The Black Sand Beach (do it) and you see a caution sign about ‘sneaker’ waves. Read them and obey the signs! Sneaker waves can be dangerous and deadly, so please obey the signs!
There are SO many waterfalls in Iceland. They are everywhere!! And they are amazing!! If you see one, do not stop in the middle of the road to take a photo. Find a good place to pull over for one! Its easy want to stop every few feet for photos, but safety first!
Tip #6: Bring some food to make in your car. Food in Iceland is very expensive. When we went, we went to Bonus and bought groceries and things to make sandwiches in the car. It saved us so much money and we were able to splurge eating at Tjoruhusid in Isafjordur in the West Fjords! I recommend eating there if you make it out that far! It is SO amazing. It is a sea-to-table restaurant!
There are sheep EVERYWHERE! Most of them will run from you! I was lucky enough to get close enough to one to get a great photo!
This is the cutest fisherman town called Stykkisholmur! Its so quaint and SO colorful
Tip #7: Fill up on gas whenever you see a station because gas stations are far and few between! Also, most car rental places will give you a discount fab for fuel too! Our discount fab gave us a free coffee at the station too!
Tip #8: Bring gloves, scarf and hat even if you go in summer! I was there in August, and while we had amazing weather, it still got pretty cold! You can definitely buy those things in Iceland, but be prepared to pay quite a bit!
Tip #9: Only spend 1 day in downtown Reykjavik! Most of what you want to see will be outside of the city….trust me! The city is nice, but the real beauty is outside of it! The downtown area does have some cute shops, so definitely wander around for a bit at least!
Tip #10: We rented a little wifi device from Tep Wireless!
This device gave us wifi in places we probably wouldn’t have had it! Its nice, because internet speed is not the fastest in Iceland, but the good thing is most airbnbs do have wifi! But, ultimately I suggest spending time enjoying Iceland, but I understand the need for wifi 🙂
This stunning lady is Jess! She stayed at my favorite airbnb I talked about at the start of this blog! She agreed to put this outfit on and let me take a few photos of her! How gorgeous is she! Want to know whats even cooler?! She is now engaged and I’m photographing her wedding next year!! How amazing!!!
All in all, I 100% suggest visiting Iceland!! Its an amazing and stunning place that will forever hold a special place in my heart! I love looking over these photos and reliving every moment of this trip! It was a life changing experience and I cannot wait to go back!
Thank you, Photovision for these amazing film scans!
Beautiful place, beautifully captured!