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We flew Iceland Air through Boston overnight and It was a very pleasant flight with roomy seats even in coach. We landed around 6:30 AM and had a quick shuttle via the Gray Line bus company to our Hotel, Hotel Borg, which is an absolute beautiful place. They were extremely accommodating and had our room ready for us even though we were quite early. I had called ahead and they had wine, cake and flowers ready to surprise my wife as it was her birthday. The cake was from the restaurant in the adjoining Hotel, Apotek, and was absolutely delicious.
Our first day in Reykjavik was an unplanned restful free day of exploring the city. This was a great way to start the trip given our overnight flight as without structured activities we were able to go at our own pace and take a quick nap. The city is a great mix of classic European styling with more modern things sprinkled in. I must say that for a rather large city is has a small town feel with beautiful streets that seem to be immaculately cleaned all the time and extremely safe. Our first night we took another bus to the Blue Lagoon to eat at their Lava restaurant for my wife’s birthday. They had some amazing dishes that had some local flavor. The fish was amazing and we shared a reindeer charcuterie plate for an appetizer. The Borg Brewery Icelandic ale is now one of my favorite beers.
The second day was our most adventurous day. We had chosen to book the Super Jeep Golden Circle tour with Glacier snowmobiling. This is an absolute must. The raw beauty of the lava field landscape as it abuts up to the snow caps is absolutely breathtaking. IT transports you directly back to the age of the Vikings as it is only a 20 minute ride out of the city before you are in a whole new world reminiscent of something out of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. The local tour group that we were set up with, especially the driver guide Omar, was the best. He made us feel like family and went above and beyond to make this experience great. We witnessed the Geysir and golden waterfall which were amazing; however my wife’s favorite part was when Omar stopped on the side of the road to fill a water bottle from stream water that tasted amazing. The scene from the top of the mountain and base of the glacier was breathtaking. If you are going all the way to Iceland you MUST do the snowmobiling. It was a once in a lifetime experience. That night, at Omar’s recommendation, we ate at the Apotek. IT was on the pricier side, however I have never had a steak melt in my mouth the way this one did. I would definitely recommend to anyone that is a foodie.
Our third day started out with a slight sputter as given the time of year and being in the Arctic circle the wind had brought in a storm and we were unable to go on our horseback tour of the Lava fields. Nordic Destinations was amazing in their quick response to this and offered to either reschedule or refund the price. Given our short visit we had to cancel and refund, but even this was painless and arrived in our bank account before we returned. We spent the morning again exploring the city, and even in adverse weather the beauty holds up. That afternoon we were able to still go on our Lava caving experience, which is not for the claustrophobic at all. It is true cave spelunking with areas where one must crawl or slide on their bottoms to make it through. I would recommend waterproof pants and gloves. It was again a once in a lifetime experience as when we made it to the deepest portion we all turned off our helmet lights and where bathed in total darkness. It was amazing. That night we were on the tired side so we stopped in at a small Nepalese restaurant close to the hotel, and once again where amazed by the quality of the food.
Day four was the “main event” of our entire trip, as it was for my wife’s birthday, and we spent it at the Blue Lagoon Spa. At the recommendation of Nordic Destinations, we opted for a private changing area, which was much more than a simple private room to change; it included our own private indoor access to the spa, a private sitting room and attendant, and one free drink. We also had 60 minute in water massages that were great. I have never felt so relaxed. It was a great way to end the trip. That night we ate at a local seafood restaurant recommended by Nordic that was delicious.
Day 5 was our travel day back to the states which was spent packing and thinking we should stay longer.
Overall this was the best trip I have ever taken. From start to finish it was stress free and just breathtaking and would not have been the same without Nordic Destinations. I cannot thank you all enough and have recommended you to anyone thinking of a European vacation. - Jarrod S.