Wow, that’s a tough one…hmm…why would I want to go to Iceland? Let’s see, VOLCANOES + WATERFALLS + BLACK SAND BEACHES (& so much more). Man, I hope these questions don’t get more difficult.
RKV – Reykjavík Airport
Rental Car – Though I wish we’d have gotten one of those crazy 4×4 vehicles with giant tires, we got a small car which was perfectly fine for how short of a time we were there. If you’re planning more than a couple days or are visiting during bad weather, please be sure to get a proper vehicle that can navigate the crazy landscape that is Iceland.
Hotel Ranga – oh. my. swoon. Talk about really feeling like a part of Iceland. This hotel has an outdoorsy vibe, I’m talking log cabin, but with a ton of class & a whole lot of Northern Lights viewing. The panoramic view in the restaurant complimented my welcome glass of wine rather nicely. I hear that the waters that flow directly behind the hotel have some of the best inland fishing in the entire country, I wish we had spent more time here & had a chance to experience this! Oh yeah, let’s not forget the hot tubs set away from the hotel to offer better views of the Aurora Borealis & some pretty swoonworthy stargazing. Did I mention some of the prime sightseeing is literally down the road in either direction? Can you say, “Skógafoss” (no seriously, can you? I struggle with that one…) It doesn’t get much better than this in terms of location. My favorite part? Snagging a cheese plate to-go from the restaurant & enjoying it in the bath with a glass of wine & my book. <<< This is vacation.
For the outdoors & a classy dinner! – With some of the best sightseeing in every direction, you have to come prepared for the weather. The views are all outdoors, so you can’t walk around in just anything! However, the restaurant at Hotel Ranga offers you a perfect opportunity to wear something a bit more chic so be sure to pack versatile pieces!
Uridafoss – We were the only ones here! Google brought up a few reviews, but no one had even attached any photos. This waterfall is magnificent. The waterflow here is so insane that they are going to harness it for a power plant (if they haven’t already, I’ve read conflicting information). Definitely stop here & if you have the chance bring a few picnic items as there is an available table and the view is well worth it.
Seljalandsfoss – There are so many different things to view in this general area that I can’t even begin to touch on. Seriously, block off the day for the area closest to Hotel Ranga because you could honestly explore this area for the entire weekend retreat. Seljalandsfoss is the main attraction, though! I joked on my Instagram that it would take 34 of me to reach the top of this thing – it’s 197′ tall! INSANE! You can walk behind this waterfall, but be sure to bring your rain jacket, it’s moist (sorry if you hate the word “moist” bahaha) back there!
Skógafoss – Did I say Seljanlandsfoss is the main attraction? Ugh, it’s probably actually a tie with Skógafoss. This water fall is also out of this world. You can’t walk behind it, but you can pretty much walk straight up to it. The power of the water hitting the ground will keep you far enough away, well, that or the insane fog of mist it produces. Be careful with your cameras folks!
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck – A little further down the road & a hike will get you to this plane wreck. I was so disappointed we couldn’t make it here, but they have blocked off the road due to tourists not respecting the (private) land. That makes it still accessible, but a bit of a hike. We were unfortunately on a time crunch, but from what I’ve heard it’s worth the hike.
Reynisfjara Beach – This is the famous black sand beach & my biggest regret of the trip. We couldn’t make it here due to inclimate weather & our flight times. I guess we have a reason to come back! Give this beach a Google & you’ll be just as sad for me as I am.
FOOD & LIBATIONS
The Hotel Restaurant – Did I mention the panoramic view? Take the time to have a meal here & do the full-course dinner. The chef at this restaurant knows what’s up! Everything I tasted, I remember vividly & I do not have a good memory. Plus, the staff are so genuine – something that I value a LOT.
Pylsuvagninn – Iceland is known for it’s hot dog. Not to mention this is the most affordable local food offering I found. Hit up this little drive-thru on your way to Hotel Ranga, it’s not terribly far from the airport & it’s on the way. Don’t shy from trying something new, tell them you want all the toppings. Mine came loaded with a garlic remoulade and topped with paprika & honestly, it was the best hot dog I’ve EVER had.
I mentioned it above, but the hotel is the place to relax. Be sure to enjoy the stargazing & I’ll cross my fingers that you get to see the Aurora Borealis! This hotel is built for comfort & to make you feel at home, so let it. A friend once described my style as “cozy & welcoming” so I’d say I’m pretty in love with Hotel Ranga & what it had to offer, it was right up my alley.