Over the past couple of years, Reykjavik has seen numbers of visitors soar. It’s majestic and mysterious landscapes have captured people’s imagination and I can now say for myself that it is truly one of the most awe-inspiring countries I have ever visited.
My trip started in Manchester. Check in was early on a Sunday morning and was a breeze. I dropped my bag off with EasyJet and was on my way to security within minutes.
Once through security I booked myself in to the Aspire Lounge in Terminal 1, which looks right over the runway. Since it was my 30th Birthday, I thought I deserved a little extra luxury at the airport! There was plenty of hot and cold food to keep you going, plus an abundance of drinks to suit everyone. I opted for a lovely cup of tea to get me going.
I was called for boarding which was fast and efficient on to our EasyJet aircraft which was an Airbus 320. Shortly after, we were up and away soaring over a cloudy Manchester airport heading to towards Reykjavik.
Two hours and 20 minutes later we were touching down in Keflavik airport in the middle of a snow storm.
Touch down in Reykjavik
Once I had collected my luggage I headed for the Flybus coach which would take me into Reykjavik and transfer onto a smaller bus which took me to my hotel. The big coaches are not allowed down the narrow streets of Reykjavik.
I stayed at the Centerhotel Arnarhvoll which was right on the harbour front looking out to sea and opposite the Harpa Concert Hall. I had booked a lovely sea view room which had under floor heating, a king size bed, shower and a beautiful en suite bathroom. There was the added bonus of a kettle as well for making tea and coffee. What more could you ask for?
This hotel is also home to the Sky Lounge which is situated on the 8th floor. With stunning views over the Harbour, it felt like such a treat to take in the views whilst tucking into delicious food! After dinner I relaxed in the Sky Lounge hoping that I would spot the magical Aurora Borealis.
Chasing the Northern Lights
It has been a dream of mine since a child to see the majestic Northern Lights. As soon as I could, I booked myself onto a tour. Due to the bad snow storms Iceland were experiencing, it was cancelled the first two nights but luckily, on my last night the snow clouds disappeared and I had a good chance of seeing them.
I got my thermals on ready for the night ahead. Picked up at 8pm sharp by my guide who was driving a super jeep! Honestly, the biggest jeep I have ever seen in my life!
I was searching with a group of 10 jeeps up and down country roads, pulling over where the stars shone the brightest. Eventually at 11:15 pm we spotted them and they were so beautiful, dancing across the starlit sky, that was a tick off my bucket list… dreams can come true!
I would highly recommend the super jeep tour because the jeeps can get to places the big coaches can’t. There are at least 150-200 people on the coach groups so this experience felt so much more personal. There was only approx. 50 of us on the jeep tour. We were also treated to a lovely hot chocolate afterwards to warm ourselves back up.
Reykjavik: the small, big city
Reykjavik itself is quite compact with lots of eateries of all cuisines. A meal can cost from £12 upwards depending on where you pick, however, alcoholic drinks are very expensive. Expect to pay roughly £35 for a small G&T!
Reykjavik is filled with lovely little arty boutiques where you could very easily spend a pretty penny for a keepsake of your trip.
The Cathedral is well worth a visit for the stunning architecture alone. Guided tours of the Cathedral are available, tickets can be purchased at the door. There is also a lovely pond near the City Hall with swans, geese and ducks. You can find the live webcam there so that you can wave to family and friends back home!
There are so many trips to go on whilst you are there, such as whale and puffin watching, The Blue lagoon, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysers. Plus ice caves- if you’re feeling brave! All pre-bookable before you go. You’re literally spoilt for choice.
Hard to say goodbye…
I had such a wonderful time exploring Reykjavik & all it had to offer. The people I met were so welcoming and lovely. I’m still pinching myself after being able to experience the Aurora Borealis and making one of my biggest dreams come true.
Discover Reykjavik for yourself
With regular flights from Manchester the majestic country of Iceland is only just over a two-hour flight away.
The city is ideal for couples or small groups wanting to spend a long weekend away.
City Breaks are something that we pride ourselves in, we can locate your perfect hotel,
organise private airport transfers, seamless airport packages and much more.
Here at TravelWise we’re here to help you make those travel dreams become a reality.
Why not come into store and we can help you plan your next perfect city break.