Iceland Summer self-drive tour, reviewed by Laura, June 2018
"We just got back from our Iceland trip and visit to Ireland. We absolutely loved our Iceland holiday! Everything was well planned and the choices were fantastic. Here are some of the things we liked best so you can pass them on to other travelers. I would tell travelers to bring or buy a water bottle. We heard so much about Iceland water and reusable bottles are both part of the culture and helpful on all the hikes etc.
Location of Kvosin Downtown Hotel was ideal. We enjoyed the bar for a end of day drink and they did a nice job recommending restaurants for dinner.
We got a very good overview of the history of Iceland as well as interesting food on our food tour. The only thing was the guide was not told I was gluten free which upset her since so many items were beer related or had bread items. I was fine with it but that kind of detail is important.
Inside the Volcano Tour was absolutely amazing! It is a long walk, almost an hour each way but totally worth it.
The Hotel Husafell was very nice but it was their restaurant that was the best surprise. It is expensive (all food in Iceland is) but we had two of the best meals we have every had there and the service was perfect - friendly and attentive. The 5 course tasting menu meal we had one night was in our top 5 ever! I think 2 nights in Reykjavik was
enough and am very glad we added this to the trip.
We took the short cut straight south to go see the national park where the two tectonic plates are separating and that was very nice. It’s a dirt road for part of the way but not bad and so much more fun than taking the highway back south. Herb did the snorkeling and I hiked to the top for spectacular views. I would highly recommend it as a good day stop.
The front desk at the next hotel had two very nice area recommendations we would have skipped: the Volcano Museum and the Historic Iceland Museum which also has a technology and car area. Both were very well done, modern and had nice cafeterias.
Just west of Black Beach is a path that goes up to the lighthouse and cliffs overlooking Black Beach. Those were the best views we had on the trip. Can’t say enough good things about the Glacier Lagoon trip. So glad we did the Zodiac boat because it goes 8 km out in the lagoon and we saw an iceberg break in half right in front of us! I would recommend people get there a bit in advance to just enjoy the lagoon ad take photos. The cafe there is very limited so plan on brining snacks.
And finally, the Blue Lagoon. I was so hesitant because people kept saying it was touristy which has a negative connotation. BUT as with everything in Iceland they do it so well! The facilities are modern and clean, they are organized. The Silica Hotel (loved!!) recommended we have dinner at the Lava Restaurant there then go to the lagoon later. I think going there in the evening after all the tour buses left made a big difference. They are open until 11 and we stayed until 10. Fabulous experience, relaxing after many days of hiking everywhere.
Thank you for all your help.