Iceland has rightfully garnered attention from visitors wanting to get a glimpse of its otherworldly landscape. When “otherworldly” is just a hop, skip, & a jump away from both Europe and North America, well… you go!
With a four-day holiday weekend fast approaching, I played my own version of Spin the (Travel) Bottle, and cheap airfares determined that I would be getting cozy with Iceland.
The most popular way to experience the beauty of Iceland is via road trip- most notably by way of the Ring Road that encircles the country. Because my long weekend visit didn’t allow for a complete Tour de Iceland, I chose to focus on the southern part of the country.
Happily, there’s a mini “highlights of Iceland” circuit for visitors who, similarly, do not have a week to languish in far-off lands. Iceland’s Golden Circle is perfectly made for stunning natural scenery jam-packed into an extended weekend.
Stop #1: A Day in Reykjavik
Nearly all Iceland expeditions begin and end in Reykjavik. As the most compact European capital, I was still surprised to find that Reykjavik is “do-able” even in a single day! Especially during the months of June through August, when the famous Midnight Sun lights the sky till the wee hours of the morning. Speaking of which- remember to bring a sleeping mask if you’re a light sleeper. It’s decidedly odd trying to fall asleep at 11pm… in broad daylight.
Pay a visit to the iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church, stroll the shopping streets of Laugavegur, munch on a kleina pastry at a café in Austurvollur square. Reykjavik is a fun and satisfying city to just be, without feeling the need to check a bunch of touristy schtuff off your list.