For the solo traveler, or even those traveling with a few friends, looking to make a transatlantic journey, why not consider Icelandair’s ‘Stopover’ program?
Layovers suck, but for the budget-minded traveler, they are often a necessity. Why not try a layover designed to not suck. Taking a flight with a layover can save you hundreds of dollars but adds hours of doing nothing but killing time in an airport. If your goal is to add as many of those little flags as possible to your IG page then you need to take advantage of this program! Take a day, two, or maybe more, to explore Iceland.
Iceland has much to offer as one of the most scenic and naturally stunning countries on earth. Enjoy the seaside city of Reykjavík or escape into nature, with fjord lands, stunning beaches, wildlife, and even the northern lights, an extended stop in Iceland would be impossible to regret.
Explore Reykjavík, a Small Fishing City with Much to Discover
Reykjavík is a small city by the standards of most, though it is clear that this city has much to offer by the number of ex-pats and tourists that flock to its streets. The city is walkable with much of the downtown is accessible by foot in just a day. The city is home to many museums and relics of its Viking past. The city is also home to geothermal hot springs and, being a fishing town, you can be sure it will satisfy the gastro tourist as well.
Museums and Historical Locations
On the eastern side of Tjörnin Lake, you can find the town hall. Here you can find the tourist office useful information and the occasional performance from local artists. On the western side of the lake, you will find the National Museum of Iceland which details the history of settlements, Viking ships and even drinking horns.
the Lutheran church Hallgrímskirkja is another must-see location. Its dramatic architecture is stunning and you go to the top for a scenic view of the surrounding city.
Geothermal Hot Springs
Blue Lagoon is a world-famous geothermal lagoon, a short trip south and west of Reykjavík. It is one of the closest geothermal pools to the city of Reykjavík, but that also leads to it being one of the most popular. However, this also means it is one of the better-catered ones as you can acquire yourself an alcoholic beverage without even exiting the pool.
- Blue Lagoon - 49.2 km from Reykjavík
- Sky Lagoon - 7.5 km from Reykjavík
- Secret Lagoon - 106 km from Reykjavík
- Reykjadalur Steam Valley - 59.9 km from Reykjavík
Food! For the Gastrotourist!
Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, there is a variety of food options available in Reykjavík. For those who may not want to go too crazy, they may want to consider the famous Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand. There are a variety of food trucks around the town square that you can choose from assorted goodies such as chocolate-coated waffles!
101 Reykjavik Street Food offers a local variety from finger-licking fish and chips to soups and stews. Kröns is another restaurant that comes heavily recommended with a variety of bold flavors to choose from.
- Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand - Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
- 101 Reykjavik Street Food - Skólavörðustígur 8, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
- Kröns - Lækjargata 8, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Get Out of the City and Enjoy the Last True Wilderness in Europe
Now, you may only have a day or two in Iceland depending on the length of layover you chose, but if you get the opportunity to get out of the city it is recommended that you take advantage of it. Bus tours are reasonably priced, as long as you have the time then it is recommended that you take advantage of them.
- Affordable Short Tour Options - Golden Circle Tours
- Better Value for A Longer Tours - Guide to Iceland
In the northwest of the Island is Hornstrandir, a claw-like jut of land with glorious fjords and views of both the sea, cliffs, and snow-capped hills. A hike in the glorious region is recommended, but the climate is not what would be described as hospitable, so do prepare properly.
Hálendið or ‘Highlands’
The climate here has assured that it remains an untouched wilderness. It is often referred to as, “Europe’s last true wilderness” and it earns the title. It is home to spectacular views of glacial rivers, ice caps, volcanoes, lava fields, and jagged mountains.
Geysir, the One from which All Others Are Named
This is where you will go if you wish to see the geyser, Strokkur, erupt. You can see the stream of water rise into the air from kilometers off. Though the precise location of the geyser may have shifted due to tectonics, it has remained active for over a thousand years.
The Northern Lights
If you have never seen the Aurora Borealis then why not take advantage of being in Iceland to go catch a glimpse. The best time to see it is between October and March and you can take a boat out from Reykjavík harbor for the best views. Now, you will need to hope that the weather cooperates. But, if you find yourself near Reykjavík harbor on a clear night, don’t miss the chance.
How to Book
As long as you are booking through Icelandair, it is easy to do from their website. You will be given the option to add a ‘stopover’ and you will also be able to select the number of days you wish your ‘stopover’ to last. Transatlantic flights with Icelandair that involve layovers can save you about 400 USD and possibly more when compared to direct flights. So, why wouldn’t you ‘stopover’ in Iceland?