Top Ten Iceland (Reykjavik): Top Ten Things to Do and See in Iceland.

Top Ten Iceland (Reykjavik): Top Ten Things to Do and See in Iceland.

Iceland Top Ten

1. Take a Walking Tour of Reykjavic.  A great way to start out you trip to any new city is with a walking tour.  It’s a great way to get acquainted with the city and your guide will likely make suggestions of unique things to see or restaurants to try.  Blogger Audur, who runs the popular blog I Heart Reykjavik recently started giving tours.  There are also various tip based tours available.

2. Search for the Elusive Northern Lights.  There are numerous tours available to try and find the Northern Lights in Iceland but none can promise you will actually see the lights.  The most popular tours involve a tour bus taking viewers outside the city to get away from light pollution and standing in a field, hoping to catch a glimpse.  You may want to consider choosing a tour that combines viewing the lights with another activity, such as a glacier walk or a boat tour, that way if you don’t see the lights you still did something else worthwhile.  Alternatively, you could rent a room in the countryside and try to view the lights from the comfort of your room.

3. Check out the Golden Circle.  One of the most popular day tours from Reykjavik is the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a loop around some of Iceland’s famous sights including geysers, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingveiller National Park.  Most tours also include a few more stops and last about half a day.  They are all pretty much identical, though one company offers a noon start time instead of the 9:00 a.m. start that most companies offer, which reduced the crowds at each attraction for us.

4. Watch some Whales. Iceland is one of the best places in Europe to whale watch.  Catch a tour and view some of the giants in their natural habitat.

5. Dine at Grillmarkaðinn (Grill Market).  One of the best restaurants I’ve dined at across the globe.  Everything we had was incredibly fresh and full of flavor.  A meal here isn’t cheap, but it’s worth the splurge for a special meal out. You won’t regret it.

6. Catch the View from Hallsgrimska.  Ride to the top of the iconic Hallsgrimska church for great views of the city.

7. Snack on the Famous Icelandic Hot Dogs.  The unofficial national food and the most popular restaurant in the country, is a hot dog stand.  The surprisingly delicious dog is made mostly from lamb and is a unique twist from the American version.  Getting a hot dog with everything is a must when you are in Reykjavik.

8. Tour the Countryside. Iceland’s greatest treasure is its natural scenery.  From glaciers to volcanoes, if you love the outdoors Iceland is your place.  A tour to the South Coast, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, or any other part of the country is definitely worth looking into for your trip.

9. Visit the Iceland Phallological Museum.  Reykjavik is home to the world’s largest display of penises and penile parts.  If you want a unique experience, this one is for you.

10. Experience an Icelandic Geothermal Pool.  Going to the pool is a huge part of Icelandic culture and something you should experience if you want an authentic experience.  The pools are most famous for their shower requirements (where all pool attendees must shower naked before putting on their swimsuits), but don’t let that scare you off.

5 South American Locations Perfect for Escaping Winter

This Winter you may be longing for the warm days of Summer to come back.  Luckily, our neighbor south of the Equator offers the temperatures of Summer this time of year.  Here are 5 locations perfect to swap the cold and snow for some warm summer nights.

1) Punta del Esta, Uruguay.

Uruguay is commonly referred to as the “Switzerland of South America” for it high class and European feel.  CNN named Uruguay one of the “World’s Top Destinations for 2012″.  If Uruguay was New York City, Punta del Esta would be the Hamptons.  For locals, keeping a summer house in Punta del Esta is ideal for its resort feel and rich atmosphere.


2) San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Situated between the Andes mountains and Nahuel Huapi Lake, Bariloche is a nature lover’s dream.  The city itself is styled after German and Swiss architecture, and is known for its jaw-dropping scenery and top-notch cuisine.  A huge ski town in the Winter (Summer for the Northern hemisphere), the region is perfect for boating, hiking, scuba diving, and similar activities in the Summer months.


3) Manaus, Brazil

Manaus is literally surrounded by the Amazon Rainforest and is one of the cities with the easiest access to the jungle.  Your best bet for a trip to the Amazon would be December or early January, if you go too late you will be arriving in the wet season.  Manaus offers a city feel in the middle of the jungle.


4) Santiago, Chile

A large modern metropolis, Santiago can offer a tourist just about everything.  With a Mediterranean climate similar to California, Chile has perfect Winter weather.  You can hike in the mountains in the morning and be on the beach by the afternoon.



5) Belize

Okay, so technically speaking Belize is not in South America, but it was too good to leave off our list.  Just off the coast of Belize you can find the cleverly named, Great Blue Hole; A UNESCO World Heritage Site.  With Caribbean culture and temperatures; Belize City is a calm, fun-loving city perfect for relaxing, snorkeling  or scuba diving on the coast.



Have another favorite Winter getaway? Let us know!