The last three days of our Iceland trip were filled with a bunch more adventure – more waterfalls, more ice cream, the famous blue lagoon, black sand beaches, and the best part: the Northern Lights! As a wrap up of our trip I wanted to share the above highlight video of our trip! Last year for our anniversary I had our amazing talented friends at ToneMedia create this adventure film using a bunch of the footage we took during our trip! Thank you Steph and Justin!! This is such a fun way to relive this trip rather than looking through a thousand individual photo/video files sitting on my phone. Oh and you’re going to want to watch all the way til the end, because I think the bloopers might be my favorite part haha!
Ok! Let’s dive into the last couple days of our trip!
After an intense day of hiking, the relaxing spa day at Blue Lagoon was soooo nice. Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in Reykjanes peninsula, not far from the airport. Because the geothermal seawater is rich in silica, algae, and mineral salt, it’s amazing for your skin and leaves it feeling hydrated and smooth and healthy! It’s not great for your hair though, so before entering when you change in the locker room they recommend you put their conditioner in your hair, and I kept my hair tied up to be safe!
You need to pre-book your tickets for Blue Lagoon, so we scheduled ourself in the morning. We kept it simple and did the basic “Comfort” package which includes admission, a towel, silica mud mask, and a free 1st drink of our choice. We went for a blueberry smoothie, and it was delicious!
The silica mud masks are amazing! It felt so good on the skin and left my face feeling so refreshed and soft!
They also had a water fountain in the pool for drinking from that was glacier water. I’m telling you we’ve never had water that tasted so good.
We spent a couple hours hanging out and relaxing here, before heading back home, but it was well worth the trip!
I knew I wanted to be able to take pictures at Blue Lagoon, but knowing the risk of damaging & losing your phone, I wanted to be extra careful. So I got a waterproof phone pouch with a strap I could wrap around my wrist. That way it was protected from water damage, and losing it in the bottom of the pool since you really can’t see anything in the opaque blue water!
We kept this day low key, headed home, took a nap, and then went back to Reykjavik city at night to check out a slightly different scene, and of course get some ice cream. 🙂 We took a long walk to this place called Skubb, and it had such a cool vibe, and delicious flavors.
Our last full day in Iceland we spent seeing a whole bunch of things! We started off our roadtrip towards Vik, making some stops along the way! First on our list was Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
This particular waterfall was something I wanted to see because you get to walk behind it! How cool is that? Oh and remember that plastic phone case I told you about? That came in handy for this too! As did our rain ponchos…without them you’d get SOAKED.
Next we made a quick stop to see a glacier! (For real this time!) We stopped by a little road stop with some information and a viewing area for Eyjafjallajokull (that’s a mouth full haha).
See that snow capped looking mountain back there? That’s it!
Skogafoss Waterfall was next on our list! 🙂
See that super long staircase winding up to the top of the waterfall? We climbed all the way up to catch a view of the waterfall from the top, and it pretty much immediately started pouring rain haha. (Remember those extra clothes I talked about bringing? Yep, came in handy again here!
There are so many different waterfalls in Iceland, and honestly, it never gets old. They’re mesmerizing! And how quickly the weather changes is amazing. On our way to Vik we wanted to make one more stop to see the famous plane wreck.
I had seen lots of pictures of the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck, and really wanted to see it in person. We didn’t realize quick how long of a walk it was to get there from the parking lot haha, but it was one of those things where we were already committed so we stuck out the walk all the way there. The walk feels long I think because the view is pretty much unchanged the whole trek. It’s just one sandy/rocky path straight there.
Because of the off and on rain/sunshine, there was a pretty incredible rainbow that popped up and I took probably 400 photos of. When we finally got to where we could see the plane it was really neat and surreal to see up close!
Not gonna lie, the whole walk back to the car we just talked about what we’d order to eat from Wawa and the good stuff we’d have when we got home to NJ – lol we were starving.
When we arrived in Vik, a small fishing village, we scoped out an iconic local church, and of course the nearby Icelandic horses. 😉
Then we made it down to Reynisfjara (the black sand beach) in time for sunset, and it was GORGEOUS! The sand is black here because it’s made from eroding volcanic rock. Here in NJ where we’re used to seeing a white sand, the black sand is so striking.
The waves at this beach are incredibly powerful, which can make them dangerous if you were to get too close, but it really amazing to watch.
Another iconic feature of this beach is the rock structures! The basalt column rock structures were naturally formed, but look so surreal! How cool are these?
Watching the sunset here was unreal, and I’d highly recommend timing your visit to this area so you can watch a sunset on this beach!
I’d say that was a pretty unreal trip right? Well it’s not quite over yet…just wait for the grand finale. 🙂
After doing some research, the best place to view Northern Lights, is really anywhere with the least amount of light pollution. A few different nights during our trip we set out for a nighttime drive away from the city to see if we could see any Northern Lights. We struck out a couple times. On our last night in Iceland on our way home from Vik, we found a really rural spot where we could pull off the side of the road. We decided to give it a go, wait until dark, and see what we could see!
We set our expectations low, knowing that the chance of seeing Northern Lights weren’t too high for that night, so we were just hoping for some good stargazing since the sky was clear of clouds. We used this aurora forecast site to monitor our chances each night, and the forecast was at a 4.
We waited a few hours until around 9pm when it was really dark, and we got out of the car to look at the sky. We did see a million stars, and could even see the milky way! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many stars before! It was beautiful!
We weren’t sure if the Northern Lights were subtle, would we even know it was the Northern Lights? Around 10:30pm we started to see something that might be Northern Lights, but we’d been tricked by some light pollution/clouds before. Since neither of us had seen it we couldn’t be sure what we were looking for. To test it, I used my camera & tripod and aimed it in the area that was suspicious and took a picture. This was a 30 second exposure (so a pretty long time) and we could make out that it really did look like the Northern Lights.
We lost our minds we were so excited! We kept taking more photos, and just staring at the sky in awe. And it just kept getting better and better, and the lights were getting stronger and stronger. As they got more distinct in these photos they were getting more distinct to the naked eye!
How cool was that? The red on the ground is from the tail lights of a car driving past us on the road.
What did it look like in person? It looked like colored light dancing across the sky. It was moving like a wave and was so captivating I literally couldn’t take my eyes or camera off it. This was a lifetime bucket list moment for me and it was surreal. After about an hour of watching, around 11:30 pm the lights started to slowly get less and less.
I was thrilled with the light show, but if you know me, I’m not gonna cut it short. Ryan was freezing, and his hands were numb lol, so he decided to sit in the car. I wanted to keep watching and taking pictures, and since I’d already taken a bunch, I wanted to try a creative shot with the last bits of the light show. I wanted to capture a shot of us in the car with the lights happening outside. It was really hard and I never actually quite nailed it like my vision but it was a fun thing to attempt!
I would set the timer on the camera on the tripod, run, get in the car, and use our phones to light our faces while the 30 second exposure was happening. I kept hopping in and out to check & reset the camera. When the lights were just about over right before midnight…THIS HAPPENED…
We jumped out of the car lol and started losing our minds!! If you thought the previous pictures looked cool – this was INSANE! The WHOLE sky was lighting up and dancing in greens and pinks.
There was so much light from the Northern Lights you can even see the snow capped mountain back there!
This awesome shot of us with the Northern Lights was a crazy capture. We timed it by seeing a car coming down the road, we knew the headlights would illuminate us, so for a 30 second exposure, we stood super still, and at the last second the car drove by, lit us up, and got us this awesome photo of us with the Northern Lights! We tried 2 or 3 times, and got it perfectly on the last try. 🙂
So for a night that was only predicted to be a 4 on a scale of 1 to 9 for likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights we got THIS. We later read online that there ended up being a solar storm that night, which is why we got this amazing light show. It was the most magical thing I’ve seen in my life and was the perfect cherry on top of the most incredible adventure.
We didn’t get home until almost 2am but we were so amped up from this experience it didn’t even matter. What a perfect last night in Iceland.
The next morning we headed to the airport, got one more of the famous hotdogs (I personally wasn’t a big fan, but Ryan was into it haha).
Thank you Iceland for an amazing adventure! We can’t wait to come back! 🙂