EXPLORING ICELAND WITH A 16 HOUR LAYOVER

Enjoy our creative travel video using “THE CLAW” to take us around Iceland for our layover

July 2017

WOW AIRLINE AND AN ICELAND LAYOVER

On route to Dublin, Ireland, Villn (my man) and I were blessed with a 16 hour Iceland layover. We decided to make the most of our layover, which included exploring the city of Reykjavik, searching for vegan food and of course the infamous Blue Lagoon.

Wow Air heading to iceland

Wow airline is only 6 years old and it serves 33 destinations across Europe, North America and Asia.

Wow airlines offer round-trip, affordable, nonstop flights to Iceland from many cities. These include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C, Toronto (Canada) and Montreal (Canada). If you are headed to another city in Europe using Wow airlines, you will most likely have an Iceland layover.

CHEAP BUT AT WHAT PRICE?

Yes I enjoyed the view

This airline offers low fare affordable ticket prices but the catch is you can carry only one small personal belonging onto the plane for free (backpack, laptop bag etc.). Any extra carry on and you must pay a fee. Depending on where you are flying from the rates may differ; CLICK HERE for more info on Wow airline baggage fees.

SIZE MATTERS

Inside Wow airplane

If you plan on taking an extra carry on with the paid fee, make sure your luggage fits the size chart. CLICK HERE for more info. They actually check to make sure it fits into a mock luggage holder before boarding the plane. If it passes the test they will tag your bag, and if not, you have to pay an extra fee to check it in. So remember, size does matter.

NO FREE DRINK OR SNACK

Unless you purchase it, sucks, yea I know.

no complimentary food or snack

Another way they get you is on beverages and snacks/food. Unlike some other airlines, there are NO complimentary beverages or snacks. I suggest bringing your own snacks or getting something at the airport prior to your flight.

However, even with all the extra fees I feel it’s still worth it to have a nonstop flight to Iceland.

ARRIVING TO THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

We arrived into Keflavik airport at 1:35pm. Everything reminded me of IKEA. The wooden floors, the ambiance, the food, pretty much everything lol.

CAR RENTAL

We wanted to maximize our layover so prior to our trip we reserved a car from rentalcars.com.

I would suggest booking the car in advance especially with the tight schedule, and to double check if the car you selected is manual or automatic. Heads up, automatics are more expensive.

Our rental car for our iceland layover

Get full coverage (insurance); you never know what might happen so its better to be safe than sorry. Also, in Europe you need a credit card to rent a car (a debit card does not work).

ROAD TRIP FROM KEFLAVIK TO REYKJAVIK

Headed to Reykjavik, Iceland

From Keflavik airport to the main city Reykjavik is about a 40 minute car drive. Our first destination was to grab some food! We were hungry!

roadtrip scenery on route to Reykjavik, Iceland

Using my Happy Cow app we found a place called Kaffi Vinyl that serves vegan food! Woo hoo! (All smiles)

We parked our car on the side of the street and paid meter parking. We had no idea how much it was because it was in Icelandic, so we just used my debit card and hoped it worked and it did! LOL

FIRST STOP KAFFI VINYL

Kaffi Vinyl Vegan Cafe

Kaffi Vinyl was a dope spot! It’s the first vegan kitchen in Reykjavik and has a live DJ and good vibes.

Inside Kaffi Vinyl

I ended up ordering the lasagna, which came with garlic bread and a side salad.

Vegan Lasagna

Villn got the Tama Thai noodles made with peanuts and cashew nuts. SO DELICIOUS!

Tama Thai Noodles

We also ordered a Macchiato and a latte.

Our yummy coffees

Total bill for this was $55. OMG, Iceland you are so freakin expensive!

*Click for more on my Iceland vegan food experience

NEXT STOP: EXPLORING THE ICELANDIC COAST

After our vegan lunch we decided to take a walk and explore things randomly. The Icelandic coast lured us in.

Icelandic Coast

We came across a sculpture that was along the north coast shore and contemplated on what it was.

Maybe a Viking ship? Or maybe bones of a whale? We had no idea but continued to take pictures with it HAHA.

It wasn’t until I wrote this post that I began to research it and this is what I found…

“Sólfarið, or The Sun Voyager, is an iconic statue along the seaside of Reykjavík unveiled to mark the 200th birthday of the city of Reykjavík on August 18, 1990. Designed by artist Jón Gunnar, the statue is built of stainless steel and is the artist’s interpretation of a dreamboat and ode to the sun. Jón’s intention was to give the city something that inspired dreams and imagination and symbolizes light and hope. It is not, as some think, a Viking ship. “

Not a Viking Ship

So it wasn’t a Viking ship or whale bones. Still, pretty cool to check out. The cold Icelandic breeze made my nose numb, totally snuggle weather.

STREET ART OF REYKJAVIK

We had some time to kill before our appointment at the Blue lagoon, so we explored the streets and shops of Reykjavik.

Colorful building in Reykjavik

There was street art on almost every wall we passed. Bright and colorful, it really caught our eyes.

Street Art of Reykjavik, Iceland

We had more fun admiring the street art than checking out the shops lol.

Chillin with the Vikings

Aren’t these vikings the cutest?

Villa's spirit animal

Villn exchanging energy with his spirit animal.

werewolf street art

The street art in Iceland is amazing!

cute panda covering construction

The wall art to help distract from the ugly constructions haha.

Building covered with art

This building was one of Villn’s favs.

Gorilla with googly eyes love it!

 

This gorilla was dope since he has googly eyes! Must be an OT thing LOL, it makes everything more alive. Can you spot them?

RESERVATIONS FOR BLUE LAGOON

Helpful Hint: Pre-booking is required if you plan on visiting the Blue Lagoon. CLICK HERE for the Blue Lagoon website.

Four different packages are available, from Standard to Luxury. Villn and I got the most basic one which is Standard and includes entrance fee and Silica mud mask. Price for one adult is 6100 ISK or $58. Towels are not included in this price.

Blue Lagoon sign at entrance

Our scheduled time was 10 pm, which was nice because visiting the Blue Lagoon later in the day = less people. Due to the overcast and midnight sun (during summer time the sun doesn’t set) it didn’t start getting dark until well after 11pm. Maybe without the overcast we’d be able to see the sun.

Upon arrival they give you a bracelet that locks and unlocks your locker. Men and women are in separate locker rooms.

You must take off your shoes before entering the locker room and leave it amidst all the other piles of shoes (don’t forget to pick your shoes back up when you leave, I totally forgot HAHA).

SHOWER NAKED

Before entering the lagoon you must shower completely naked (this is the same for all other geothermal pools in Iceland), there are private stalls with shampoo and conditioner. They also suggest putting conditioner in your hair to keep it from getting super salty from the lagoon.

BLUE LAGOON TIME!!

AHHHH!! I couldn’t believe we were here! The contrast in temperature from the outside air makes you want to just scurry to the lagoon and jump right in.

The difference in temperature was pretty drastic considering it was “summer”. This was a perfect example of Ice (the air) and fire (the lagoon).

SIGHTS, SOUNDS & SCENTS

I could see the steam rising above the still lagoon water and into the air that created a dream-like atmosphere. I watched as other visitors took selfie’s with their group and even enjoyed a drink.

From the looks on everyone’s faces I could tell they were just as happy to be at the Blue Lagoon as I was.

The  light chatter of personal conversations filled the air.

There was a sense of light-heartedness, the energy was both of excitement and relaxation.

 

Blue Lagoon at 10pm

The sulphur smell wasn’t bad at all; I’ve smelled worse lol. I would describe the smell as a mixture of fart and eggs but on the tamer side HAHA. The surrounding area of the Blue Lagoon smelled way worse than actually being in the lagoon.

Healing water of the Blue Lagoon

The warm blue green healing water kissed my skin as I found a comfy spot along the rocks to sit and soak in. My muscles relaxed as did my mind. It was as if all the travel planning curveballs I’ve experienced prior to this trip just didn’t matter anymore.

Is this a dream?

The faint memory of all the stress and anxiety melted away just like that. The serene water was healing my mind and body instantly; so grateful to experience this moment.

OUR LOVE FOR HOT WATER

Villn and I LOVE LOVE LOVE hot springs, jacuzzi’s, hot hot showers and geothermal pools, so we were basically in hot heaven. Nature’s jacuzzi’s are thee best. (Having Blue Lagoon withdrawals as I typed this right now).

Villn and Val Pal in the Blue Lagoon

The lagoon was a lot bigger than I originally thought. There were areas that led to smaller private areas and areas that opened up after walking under a bridge.

Some spots were cooler and others hotter. As soon as we felt the hotter water touch our legs we gravitated toward it. We coined the hot spots as our favorite spots.

The water surrounding this box is the HOT spots

HINT: The hot areas are around these wooden boxes (I think they help pump out the hot water).

ICELANDIC DRINKING WATER

The fountain under a bridge offered fresh Icelandic drinking water, which was cold, crisp and refreshing!

SILICA MUD MASK

The silica mud mask was surprisingly white. The benefits of this mask is said to have curative and skin healing properties.

Apparently, when the geothermal seawater cools, it becomes supersaturated with silicon and long chains of silicon molecules are formed that eventually precipitates out of the water and form the white mud.

making scary faces with the mud mask

We lathered it all over our face, made scary faces at each other and kept it on for about 10 minutes. We chilled in the lagoon looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost, then washed it off.

BOO! Villn getting scary in his mud mask

It did make my skin feel soft right after rinsing it off, but then the salty lagoon water began to make my skin feel dry. I guess that’s why they recommend getting the algae facemask as well which is an extra cost. (No thanks, I’ll save that for my food =P)

We enjoyed the lagoon until closing time, which was 12:30am. The lockers close at 1 am.

Amazing iceland layover

I got to shower and use the Icelandic shampoo and conditioner, which was awesome considering they sell that stuff in their store. Then I got to head back to the airport so fresh and squeaky clean.

Overall, this layover is by far the most eventful, relaxing and memorable layover I have ever had. Having the opportunity to explore a bit of the city of Reykjavik, get a taste of their vegan food and soak in the Blue Lagoon was definitely a teaser!

I will be back for you one day, Iceland, and when I do I will explore your beautiful waterfalls, icebergs, geysers and landscapes in a camper!

Thank you for reading and please comment below with any comments or questions  – VAL PAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments


  1. Warning: printf(): Too few arguments in /home1/valpal/public_html/wp-content/themes/solstice/inc/template-tags.php on line 239

    I love your blog! That lagoon water looked amazing! I can’t wait to read more of your content 🙂

    So far where would you say has been your favourite place to visit?

    • Thank you so much Megan! As of right now I really fell in love with Thailand especially Maya Bay, the moonshine night was so magical. I wrote a blog entry on it in case you want to check it out. Also how do you like living in Florida now? So awesome how you moved from England! 💓

  2. Jez

    I love this!! Thank you for sharing your quick Iceland adventure 😉 you guys always find the random things or random things find you guys haha.

    Ps. I’m gonna try a layover adventure too at Seoul on our way back from Manila. We shall see!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.