Honeymoonin’ in Iceland

Our honeymoon in Iceland could not have been more perfect. Perfect to us meant we were freezing cold one moment, caught in a downpour the next, and ending each cold, wet day at our hotel’s happy hour. I guess Iceland in winter (or just Iceland in general) isn’t the most typical honeymoon spot!

I stumbled upon a travel agency that planned self driving tours through Iceland. The company would book our hotels along the drive, our rental car, any extra activities, and provided us with an itinerary and map. It was so easy. We didn’t have anything to worry about except actually getting ourselves to Iceland! After planning an entire wedding, it was exactly what I wanted.

We spent 7 days and 6 nights road-tripping the southern coast of Iceland. We saw a lot of things (specifically a sh*t ton of waterfalls) and took a lot of pictures. In hopes to not overwhelm you with words that neither you nor I can pronounce, I’ll leave you with this. Þ or ð sounds like “th.” Good Luck!

If reading isn’t your jam, then you’re in luck. Filmed by my husband and edited by my sister-in-law, Avery!

Day 1: Reykjavík, Sun Voyager (boat statue), Tjörnin (park), Hallgrímskirkja (church), Laugavegur (shopping street), Þjóðminjasafn (Museum of Iceland)

Spencer’s best man, Taylor, gifted us dinner at a Michelin star restaurant called Vox for our first night! Everything was so delicious. Spencer had one of Iceland’s delicacies, lamb, and our dessert was white chocolate ice cream and caramel mouse with warm white chocolate sauce poured over. (My mouth just watered a bit too.) They served butter on a lava rock and we spent the remainder of the trip looking for a good “butter rock” to take home. The funniest part though was when I accidentally ordered liver as an appetizer. I guess our palates aren’t fancy enough for liver because we both couldn’t eat more than a couple bites.

Hallgrímskirkja and Leifur Eirkíksson

Day 2: Þinvellir National Park, Bruarfoss (waterfall), Strokkur geyser, Gullfoss (waterfall), Kerið (crater lake)

On day two, we set off on the famous “golden circle” drive. It seemed like everyone else had this plan too. Most of our first stops in the national park were flooded with other tourists and huge tour buses. So we skipped over them, googled “off the beaten path Iceland,” and found Bruarfoss! (The ending -foss means waterfall.) It wasn’t a long or difficult hike to this waterfall, but luckily for us there were less than 15 people there. Plus, it was gorgeous! The water was the craziest shade of blue and there were snow capped mountains in the distance. The weather was even nice enough to fly the drone.

Bruarfoss

Gullfoss

Kerið

Day 3: Seljalandsfoss (waterfall), Gljúfrabúi (hidden waterfall), Seljavallalaug (hot spring pool), Skógafoss (waterfall)

Everything we saw on our third day was beautiful. If you have limited time in Iceland, skip the golden circle and head straight towards this area. That being said, it was pouring rain when we went. Meaning the crowds weren’t as high.

Somehow we ended up soaking wet two times that day and had to change in the backseat of the car. The first time happened because of a small hidden waterfall called Gljúfrabúi. It’s a gorgeous waterfall surrounded by moss covered walls and it’s only a short walk from the more popular Seljalandsfoss. The only catch is you have to walk through a river to get there. By the time we got back to our car, we were soaked. The second time happened because I couldn’t talk Spencer out of going to the hot spring pool, Seljavallalaug. Neither could another couple passing by who told us that the river was too high to cross and that we should probably go back. Of course, we didn’t listen. We quickly found ourselves crossing a river that was too high, in soaking wet clothes, and puddles in our shoes. Spencer got into the pool first and to our surprise (because we’re idiots) the pool wasn’t very warm! Maybe it was because of all the rain water? I stuck my legs in and couldn’t get in any further. Wet jeans are my new nightmare.

Gljúfrabúi

Gljúfrabúi  

Seljalandsfoss

Seljavallalaug

Skógafoss 

Day 4: Svínafellsjökull (glacier), Jökulsárlón (glacier lagoon), Dverghamrar (basalt columns)

Most of our fourth day in Iceland was spent on a glacier. (How freaking cool was that statement?) We went with a small guided group. It was exactly my speed, although Spencer wished it was a bit more difficult with some climbing involved. We both had a great time though! The ice was so pure that it was a brilliant shade of blue. We drank water straight from a small stream on the glacier. I can’t emphasize how amazing the water was in Iceland and drinking straight from the source was something I’ll never forget.

Svínafellsjökull

Jökulsárlón

Dverghamrar

Day 5: Kirkjugólf (basalt columns), Fjaðrárgljúfur (canyon), Laufskálavarða (man made rock formations), Hjörleifshöfði Cave, Reynisfjara (black sand beach), Dyrhólaey (lighthouse)

We spent day five catching up on other sights that we missed out on and listening to the soundtrack from Lord of the Rings. We found a cave on the beach that we could drive to. The cave wasn’t much to see, but we had the entire black sand beach to ourselves. The best memory though was going to a small brewery in Vík called Smiðjan Brugghús. We got a little tipsy, bought a t-shirt, shared a $23 burger (food is expensive in Iceland), and talked about how much happiness we’ve been able to bask in this month.

Dyrhólaey

Fjaðrárgljúfur  

Hjörleifshöfði

Day 6: Sólheimasandur (plane crash), Saga center at Hvolsvöllur, Blue Lagoon, Leif the Lucky Bridge (bridge between continents)

I can’t talk about the Blue Lagoon until I mention that you should probably skip the plane crash at the black sand beach. It’s not worth the time it takes to get there. The “hike” is just an hour long walk on a straight path. There isn’t even anything cool to look at along the walk! If we had skipped it, then we might have had time to eat in a realistic viking hall at the saga center.

The Blue Lagoon is what everyone thinks of when you talk about Iceland. It’s close enough to Reykjavík that most people go on their stopovers. It lives up to it’s hype! The landscape around the spa is all lava rock and makes you feel like you’re on a different planet. The water is strangely milky blue and so perfectly warm against the cold terrain. We were even caught in a hail storm while in the pool and no one made their way out. We all just sat in the warmth while being pelted with hail.

Icelandic horses are the fluffiest things in the world.

Day 7: Reykjavík, Icelandic Phallological Museum, Harpa Concert Hall, Old Harbour

The phallological museum was weird, but is definitely something you can’t miss out on. It houses 280 “specimens.”

Could you pronounce any of the Icelandic words?

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12 Comments

  1. Denise Habada
    November 2, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    I’m so glad you’re able to see and treasure our great earth! I wish I would have done it when I was young, these old legs couldn’t make the hikes now!
    The picture of Spencer with the climbing pick reminds me of “Yukon Corneilios” in that old Christmas cartoon.
    Everything is so beautiful!
    Love you tons Coleman’s, Aunt Deni

    • saraleppala
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:11 pm

      Someone in our group called him Yukon Cornelius too! How funny.

  2. Vanessa Alejandro
    November 2, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    Wow!! Beautiful photos! Great post!

    • saraleppala
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Thank you Vanessa!

  3. Michelle
    November 2, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    What amazing photos!!

    • saraleppala
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Thank you! Most are from our phones because we thought our camera lens was shattered the first half of our trip. Turns out it was just the lens filter that broke!

  4. Sheree
    November 2, 2018 / 9:52 pm

    This is an amazing read. I hope you put this in a coffee table type book. Avery did such a great job, I felt like I was watching the trailer to Lord of The Rings.
    What a beautiful honeymoon! I’m so happy for you both.
    Beautiful pictures!

    • saraleppala
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 2:35 am

      Thank you so much. I love the video Avery edited!! It was so good and I’m glad I could share it!

  5. Mom
    November 2, 2018 / 10:38 pm

    Every picture is better than the first. Love that it looks like you guys were all alone on a beautiful deserted glacier. ????

    • saraleppala
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 2:34 am

      Thank you momma!

  6. ðelma
    November 3, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing your honeymoon story and pictures with us. It looks like such a great adventure!

    • saraleppala
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 2:34 am

      I love how you spelled your name!!

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