I first heard of a couple who went on their honeymoon in Iceland a few years ago. At the time, I hadn’t visited Iceland and found it strange. Honeymoon in Iceland? Aren’t you supposed to go somewhere warm and all-inclusive?
Four trips later, I’m totally in love with Iceland and on every trip meet at least one couple who are honeymooning. And I totally get it. Where better to snuggle up and relax after stressful wedding planning?
I’ve helped a couple of brides with their honeymoon planning (wedding photographer AND travel agent!) so I put together this list of romantic and fun ideas for those thinking of planning a honeymoon in Iceland.
Full disclosure: I’m not married and never have been. I’m actually not even dating anyone. So I’ve never been on a honeymoon and I promise these ideas apply to those who are traveling by themselves or with friends and family just as well!
- Soak in a hot tub. Yes, you can do this anywhere, but I promise it’ll feel extra good after a day of hiking. Besides, you just planned a wedding and you deserve to relax! Icelanders love hot tubs and pools, so it should be fairly easy to stay at a place that has a hot tub. Just be sure to ask when you book!
- Beer bath! What? Yes, I did this on my most recent trip to Iceland. It’s exactly what it sounds like: you soak in a tub of beer. There’s a tap right next to the tub, so you drink beer as well. Prior to your beer bath, you can enjoy the brewery’s hot tubs (and beer!). The bath is in a private room, so if you wanted to cuddle up while you soak (in beer), no one would mind! This beer spa is located in Árskógssandur near Akureyri so it’s in the north of Iceland.
- Stay at Hotel Rangá. It’s South Iceland’s fanciest resort so this isn’t for every budget. I stayed there on my first trip several years ago when the rates weren’t quite as rich as they are now. But if you have the funds, this is a wonderful, serene and romantic place. They were even offering a bottle of champagne as a welcome gift when I clicked on their website just now. Soak in their hot tubs, watch the northern lights and drink champagne … yes, please!
- Ice skate on the lake. Tjörnin is the lake near Reykjavik’s city center. It’s so shallow that it completely freezes over during the winter months. When I was there over New Year’s, people were setting off fireworks ON THE FROZEN LAKE so it’s clearly quite safe. They don’t rent skates there so you have to bring your own. I didn’t have skates and just shuffled around on the ice for awhile. It’s quite beautiful. If you’re there in December and want to actually ice skate, there is a rink at Ingólfstorg Square where admission is free! (but you have to rent skates).
- Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths I am not a huge Blue Lagoon fan: it’s crowded and takes quite a bit of time just to get through the showers and into the lagoon. But I thoroughly enjoyed these geothermal baths. They’re right in the middle of the Golden Circle. Considering book a bath as an end to a day of touring around!
- Jon and Ygritte’s love cave! Alright, this only makes sense to you if you’re a Game of Thrones fan. But even if you’re not, this is a beautiful spot. Grjótagjá is a cave near Lake Mývatn in the north of Iceland. Though it was used for bathing by Icelanders historically, it’s now too hot (thanks lava!) for that to be advisable. But it’s gorgeous, and well worth a peak.
- Lunch, or coffee, or tea, at Cafe Babalú. I just love this place. The first time we visited after walking around Reykjavik (in November) and I have a distinct memory of a delicious grilled cheese and tomato soup. I go here whenever I’m in Reykjavik, and highly recommend the chai tea. It’s a cute, cosy place just down the road from Hallgrímskirkja (the giant church).
- I happen to think that Kirkjufell is one of the most romantic-looking places I’ve ever seen (it was also used in Game of Thrones! (a theme seems to be emerging …). I was there to photograph the falls and mountain at sunset, and let me tell you, a picnic there with someone I was in love with would be very romantic indeed.
- Snorkel! (Hey, it’s kind of like that all-inclusive tropical honeymoon after all!) This is the only thing on the list I haven’t done, but I know a couple who did and they loved it. You actually dive between two continents at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thingvellir National Park.
- Have pictures made! OK, this one is a little self-serving (yes, I do travel for sessions!) but I honestly believe that photographs make the best souvenirs. Iceland has a lot of talented photographers and some of the most gorgeous scenery on the planet. You’ll want to come home with more than just selfies.
Have any questions about things to do in Iceland? That’s one of my favorite topics so let’s chat!