Iceland holds the distinction as the favorite place that I've traveled thus far. My first trip only lasted for a weekend so it was only fitting that my second trip was longer.
Here's what I did with a week in Iceland:
A great place to start on any trip to Iceland is the Golden Circle. Heading east from Reykjavik, the first stop is Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir was the home of the Icelandic parliament from 930 to 1798 before its move to Reykjavik. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to Oxararfoss, Silfra Snorkeling, and Almannagja.
The following stop on the Golden Circle is Geysir. After experiencing one of the fascinations of mother nature, stop at the Geysir shops to purchase food, treats, and souvenirs. Gullfoss, one of the larger waterfalls in Iceland is a short drive away.
The next location is not normally a part of most tours but it's a great farm-to-table restaurant experience. Fridheimar is a tomato farm that uses its products in its restaurant. The restaurant offers tomato-infused dishes, such as; water, soup, and beer. There is also a horse stable nearby that has some of the most beautiful Icelandic horses that I’ve ever seen.
A short drive away is Gamla Laugin, which is also known as the Secret Lagoon. The cost is less than the Blue Lagoon but gives a similar geothermal experience without the crowd. If you're without a towel and swimsuit, they are available to rent as well.
Kerid Crater was my last stop on the Golden Circle. It’s a volcanic crater lake in the south of Iceland. It’s a great way to unwind and just enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds it.
The day ended at the Ion Adventure hotel. This has long been on my bucket list. The hotel experience was amazing! From the complimentary glass champagne upon check-in to the Icelandic themed decorations throughout the hotel. There is an outdoor geothermal pool that makes for an exceptional place to view the northern lights. The hotel is secluded with no surrounding shops. All meals were served at the Silfra Restaurant at the hotel.
The next day, a hearty breakfast was needed as I attempted one of the many hiking trails on Mount Hengill. While on the trail, I used it as a great opportunity to test my new DJI drone. I more than anyone appreciates a good hike, my legs, however, aren’t always my biggest fans afterward.