What To do when you have a long layover in Iceland

I’m writing this post because I feel like Iceland is a common layover spot when you’re on your way from the states to Europe, or vice versa.  There’s not a lot of planes coming in and out (compared to most airports) so the layovers can be longer, like this one was for Rudy and I. Since our trip was so last minute we had to grab one of the cheapest flights available, and that was with WOW air, stopping in Iceland for almost a full day. At first I was a little hesitant booking a flight with WOW air… just the name itself sounded unprofessional to me haha (I’m scared of flying so I’m weird about everything having to do with flights, down to the airline name lol). Besides that I guessed there would be a bunch of hidden fees that we would have to pay since the ticket was so much cheaper than all of the others.  But we said F it, and went for it.  

I want to tell you guys the way we booked everything, just in case you find yourself in a similar situation on your travels stopping in Iceland, because we think we did it perfectly. Everything was so easy!

Here’s what we did:

First we booked our seats with XL leg room.  The leg room was great, and if I’m remembering correctly it was just $30 extra per seat.  But the real reason we booked the XL leg room seats is because it came with a small purse or backpack, carry on, AND a checked bag all included in the price. Given that the price of bringing a carry on is close to $80 if you pay at the airport, this was a huge money saver! I think this is the deal available for flights over 8+ hours, because I kept seeing that everywhere on my confirmation ticket.

Next, we booked a cheap-ish hotel.  We stayed at Berga’s Guesthouse right near Keflavík airport, and it was clean, spacious, and very conveniently located.  And it beats sleeping on the airport floor obviously.

The other thing we did, that I only recommend if you want to explore a bit of Iceland, is rent a car. Taxis are outrageously expensive, and the public transportation system is not great (according to online reviews and locals).  We rented a car for $90 and that included insurance.  We got ourselves to and from the airport and hotel very easily, we got to drive around and stop for photos, and visit the Blue Lagoon, all in the most cost-effective way. (The shuttle from the airport to the blue lagoon is $25 per person, so for two people that’s $100 total for both ways, and that’s not including transportation from hotel, restaurants, etc., and that’s already more expensive than a car rental!) We rented our car with SIXT.

The Blue Lagoon was truly an amazing experience. Rudy and I bought the premium tickets ($90 per person) online beforehand, which let us skip the line, get two complimentary drinks, a robe, sandals, and a towel, reserve a table at LAVA restaurant (best food), and get green algae masks. We had lunch first and it was phenomenal. I ate my whole dish clean! I had the fresh cod and Rudy had lamb. Our table overlooked the lagoon and it was so romantic. In fact the whole thing was romantic! We had the best time together 🙂 We stayed for about 4 hours.

Side note: there is a loooot of silica in the water, which makes your hair very dry if you go under, or even from the steam if you leave it just about the water (thanks to one of you lovely readers I was already prepared for that 😉 ).  They recommended to shower first, load up my hair with conditioner, and put it in a bun.  So that’s what I did! I only took it out of the bun for photos when I was on shallow ground.

Now I’m sitting on the plane on our way to Sweden! We’re hopping right into midsummer celebrations so I’m trying to get as much rest as I can before the big party. Glad Midsommar my Swedes! 

xx

Hanna

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