It’s often advised that a visit to Iceland is best experienced by car. This Nordic island is only small and so it’s feasible to hire a car (get gravel insurance) and move at your own pace. Since the surrounds are so picturesque, prompting lengthy gaze sessions out the car window, travelling by car means that you have the freedom to soak it all in. You don’t want to be rushed, after all, Iceland is reported to be one of the most peaceful places in the world. Join in that peace and allow yourself the opportunity to experience not just the places you have your heart set on seeing, but all the other spontaneous and memorable sights you’ll see on the road.
The Golden Circle is a renown route for travellers who wish to experience as many natural wonders as they can squeeze in one trip. The entire journey can be accomplished in as little one full day and typically includes three stops at three magnificent Icelandic locations – Thingvellir National Park, Haukadalur, and the Gullfoss waterfall. Thingvellir National Park is renown for it’s phenomenal location. As such it is the only UNESCO Heritage listed spot on the island – nowhere else in the world can you walk between two continents! Iceland is uniquely divided by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, meaning that the island exists across both the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Despite the ethereal glaciers and eery cliff faces that feel like something from Game Of Thrones, Thingvellir National Park is home to a number of breath-taking ravines, the most notable being Silfra. Here the waters are crystal clear and provide a glimpse into the underwater ecosystems, with visibility extending for over 100 metres below surface. Honeymoon travellers can snorkel and scuba dive, provided they meet the requirements, for a romantic experience not just with their other half but with nature herself. The Haukadalur Valley is a geothermal area with two geysers that often display some visually spectacular volcanic activity. The Strokkur geysers erupts frequently – reportedly every ten minutes – making it a worthy site to see on your honeymoon journey. The Gullfoss Waterfall nearby is not to be missed, especialy if you’re keen on having a little adventure. With water rafting and hiking trails available, it’s a great location to get up close and personal with the vibrant environment.
But don’t just stick to the trail, find those secret spots and romantic gems that only the well-seasoned travellers know of. Iceland is peppered with thermal springs and secluded baths, some more hidden than others. Either way, make sure that you’ve packed a plethora of swimmers in your luggage because you’ll be wanting to have a dip (or twenty) as you journey across the country. The Blue Lagoon has become one of the most notable ‘hot-spots’ in Iceland, no pun intended. The thermal pools are a beacon of sheer relaxation, as the pure waters caress your body beaconing you to remain submerged for as long as you please. Here the fresh and salt waters meet at extreme temperatures giving the lagoon its iconic and luxurious milky appearance. The mudding stations are a treat and help to replenish your skin with much needed vitamins and minerals. And of course the hydraulic massage waterfall is not to be missed either. But beyond the Blue Lagoon, there are plenty of secluded swimming pools and springs that present the perfect opportunity to seize some alone time with your husband or wife. The Secret Lagoon is just that – a hidden gem and a worthy detour on your trip around the Golden Circle. The Seljavallalaug Pool is another secluded option boasting stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape. Once you’ve spent enough time in the pools and your skin has gone all prune-y, head to the volcanic beaches to experience the visual effects of Iceland’s unique physical properties. The aptly named Black Beach has dramatic black, pebble-like sand that appears otherworldly against the backdrop of the basalt columns and the ocean’s thrashing waves.
Iceland is an incredibly romantic location because, as a traveller, you feel as though you are enveloped by an intimate and unfolding love story between the natural elements. There are spectacular views at almost every corner of the island, and the experiences to be shared are equally as vast. The natural environment steals the focus and a sense of luxury is refined by an awareness and appreciation of the land itself. The options of accommodation reflect this reality, and are designed to simply fit in with the natural surrounds. This brings the opportunity for honeymooners to seize time exploring the land and basking in the midnight sun, taking full advantage of all that Iceland has to offer. Cottages, cabins and guest-houses are common forms of accommodation in Iceland with a quality of stillness and privacy that mirrors the peaceful countryside. The Minna-Mosfell Guesthouse in Mosfellsbaer is prime place to stay on your travels along the Golden Circle route. Just twenty minutes from Reykjavík, the central city, this guesthouse is ideally situated to have a late night swim in the thermal tub and watch the Northern Lights fill the skies above. The Frost and Fire Hotel is another option just out of town and offers a number of independent rooms that overlook the River Varmá. If you’re looking for a spot of fine dining, the Hotel Búdir is an elegant option, boasting picturesque views of the iconic black church. Pause your journey along the Golden Circle at the Thingvellir region and stay for a night or two at the luxurious ION Adventure Hotel. Despite the breathtaking surroundings, the ION Adventure Hotel is an architectural hotspot in itself and is designed to provide secluded platforms and pools where honeymooners can relax and enjoy their time away. The ION Hotels group also have another luxurious hotel option for those travellers staying in the city. For your time in Reykjavik, the Apotek Hotel is centrally located with easy access to nearby entertainment, food and cultural precincts. When you pick up and continue your drive after staying in the city, The Hotel Skaftafell is a relaxed option in the south-east region of Iceland and is a great, cosy stay for your visit to the nearby glaciers.
It’s not all that hard to find romantic and secluded places to spend your time honeymooning in the mesmerising playground of natural beauty that is, Iceland. If you’re travelling by car across the country in a DIY fashion then it’s not a bad idea to get some local insight from the people you encounter along the way. There are several great accommodation options on Airbnb where you may be able to secure an entire home to yourself in a variety of stunning locations. Hosts are often willing to share tips with you on where to go and what routes to take, particularly if you have rented a car and are not familiar with the terrain (and the language!) This charming cabin is remotely located on a mountain in Kolsstaðir that overlooks the valleys and the ocean. An option that’s affordable and intimate to say the least, this Fossatun Pod is a more comfortable and unique alternative to camping in the Icelandic countryside.
- Langjökull Glacier
- Goðafoss Waterfall
- Grjótagjá Lava Cave
- Sólheimajökulll Glacier
- Snaefellsnes National Park
- Langjökull Glacier Ice Cave
- Solheimasandur Plane Wreck