Honeymooning In Iceland

Honeymooning in Iceland: Everything you need to know to create magical memories

The best honeymoon experiences are so memorable that couples will want to revisit them for anniversaries to come. The right destination plays a significant role in making it special. Adventurous newlyweds who want to go off the beaten track might want to consider honeymooning in Iceland.

This secluded Nordic jewel remained off-the-radar until recently, when it’s become one of the most popular global destinations to visit.

With its mystical landscapes of ice fields, snow-covered volcanoes, black lava beaches, jagged fjords and hot springs, honeymooners in Iceland can expect to share experiences and activities that are nothing short of magical.

Aside from its spectacular scenery, the destination is home to many unique luxury hotels and sights where you’ll be embraced by the hospitality of the friendly and welcoming locals.

Our guide will show the many ways to spend your honeymoon in Iceland, including the best sights, tours, and accommodations. With this information at your fingertips, you’ll be all set for your romantic escapade to the land of fire and ice.

Top things to know when honeymooning in Iceland

Before you jet off on your journey, it’s well worth learning about the unconventional romantic destination that is Iceland so that you and your partner can make the most of your time there.

Honeymooning In Iceland

General information about Iceland

Icelandic geology and nature

Iceland has one of the most active volcanic areas on the planet — you’ll find landscapes carved by the processes of volcanism such as hot springs, geysers, columnar basalt formations, rhyolite mountains, lava fields, lunar-like craters and rift valets.

The table mountains in northern and southern Iceland were created by subglacial volcanism. The bustling geothermal activity is attributed to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge activity and the Iceland plume hotspot.

Besides the fiery terrains, you’ll also find tumbling waterfalls, lakes, fjords, glaciers and highland plains that offer enchanting places for sightseeing and activities.

Icelandic wildlife

The wildlife in Iceland is as rich and diverse as its landscapes and is home to a variety of wild mammals, birdlife and marine animals. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise boasting dozens of species of birds that can be primarily seen in the summer nesting seasons.

Expect to see plenty of seabirds, including the skuas, kittiwakes and the famous puffins nesting on sea cliffs.

Iceland is also considered one of the world’s best whale-watching destinations and for observing other marine creatures like seals, dolphins and over three hundred kinds of fish.

On the mainland, you’ll spot Icelandic horses and sheep grazing. In some regions, you’ll see Arctic Foxes, minks, rabbits, reindeer and polar bears.

Culture and arts

There is far more to Iceland than its natural wonders. Iceland’s majestic vistas are wreathed in ancient Norse sagas and tales of their Viking predecessors. Be sure to visit the museums and churches dedicated to Viking traditions, heritage, folklore, history, and traces of Celtic culture around Iceland.

You’ll also take delight in the regional folklore and myths centered on mythical creatures like elves and trolls in the Icelandic countryside.

Modern Icelanders also take pride in the vibrant and eclectic mix of creative, progressive, and cosmopolitan vibes found in their cities. Many art galleries, theaters, and avant-garde music scenes offer various genres, from punk to hip-hop, that will satisfy your appetite for culture.

It also has an outstanding literary scene, with more books produced per capita than any other country in the world.

Language

Icelandic is the official language, but because English is taught as a second language, approximately 98% of Icelanders speak English fluently. Most Icelanders can converse in other languages, including French, Spanish, German and Danish, and are open to practicing their language skills.

Cities and towns

Reykjavik

Iceland’s capital city features plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. You’ll also be able to able to experience a vibrant art and music scene here.

Akureyri

Named the capital of the North, this town is full of art, history and delicious cuisine, including their famous Brynja ice cream. In the winter, you can go skiing on the snowy slopes of Hlíðarfjall.

Hafnarfjörður

Commonly called the town of elves, lava and Vikings, this lively place has a city center filled with shops, cafés, and restaurants. It’s also home to Iceland’s Viking festival that’s held in mid-June every year.

Reykjanesbær

This town is filled with interesting museums like The Viking World Museum, The History Museum, the Museum of Rock and Roll, The Maritime Centre, and the Duushus Café and Art Museum. In September, you can experience the Light Festival, a music and arts festival. 

Kópavogur

Located next to Reykjavik, this place is known for its scenic bay and calm family town vibe, which earned its name ‘Baby Seal Bay’. Some of the sights include Kópavogur Art Museum, the Smáralind and Gerðarsafn mall.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Practical information about Iceland

Best times to go

Iceland is not as cold as its name suggests. Due to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream, Iceland winters are relatively mild and temperate, with an average temperature of -0.2 °C or 32 °F.

Winter is a good time to visit if you want to catch the Northern Lights, which illuminate the skies during September through March but be prepared for only a few hours of daylight.

In the summer, the weather is temperate with more sunny days and offers more sightseeing opportunities. If you plan to go at this time, be sure to bring a sleeping mask — at the peak of summer, you’ll experience the effects of the midnight sun, where it sets for only 3-4 hours.

Getting there

As removed from the rest of the world, as Iceland seems, it’s easier to get to than you think. Around 20 airlines, including Icelandair, have regular direct flights to Keflavik airport, Reykjavík from North American and Europe.

It’s a five-hour flight from New York City, making it one of the closer destinations for a European honeymoon.

Getting around

Renting a car is one of the best ways to explore Iceland. If you plan to do so, prepare in advance by taking a GPS with you and downloading a 4G mobile hotspot to stay connected.

On arrival, get a map from your tour desk and ensure that you’re aware of the safety and regulations for driving on Icelandic roads.

If you prefer not to drive, you can use Iceland’s public transportation. Iceland has a good network of bus routes and tickets that are relatively inexpensive. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hop on a boat or a plane to get around.

If you want to get closer to nature, you can hike around the trails in various parts of the country.

What to pack

Because of the sheer variation in landscapes and natural phenomena, you’ll need to come prepared for all types of weather. Whether you’ll be in the city or the remote countryside, packing smart will ensure that you stay warm, dry and comfortable during your honeymoon in Iceland.

Layering is the name of the game so carry plenty of lightweight sweaters, jackets, rainproof outwear, gloves, scarfs, hats and other clothing items that will leave you feeling warm and cozy.

In the summer, you’ll need eyeshades, sunglasses and sunscreen to deal with the midnight sun. You’ll need insulated jackets and thermal wear during the colder months to protect yourself from the cold northerly winds.

Carry shoes with ice grips and anti-slip soles as the sidewalks can get slippery and icy.

If you want to buy your winter wear once you get there, you’ll find plenty of shops that sell them, like 66 North located in Kringlan mall in Reykjavík, which features durable outdoor wear.

Most importantly, don’t forget to pack your photography gear to capture those precious moments.

Honeymoon sightseeing in Iceland

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to romantic experiences in Iceland. This roundup describes the various sights, accommodations and activities that you can consider for your honeymoon.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Go on a leisurely drive around The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is the nation’s biggest and most visited natural attraction, and for a good reason. While driving around the 300-kilometer ring road, you can see stunning vistas of spouting geysers, grand waterfalls and dramatic cliffs.

Some famous sights include the Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir National Park, and the geysers Geysir and Strokkur.

While meandering between the surreal landscapes, you’ll spot grazing Icelandic horses, Lutheran churches and restaurants serving authentic Icelandic cuisine.

Where to stay:

Buubble Hotel: A unique sleeping experience where you and your partner sleep will stay in a transparent bubble tent in the countryside near the Golden Circle. It includes a small modern hut that has kitchens and bathrooms. In the summer you can watch the midnight sun, and in the winter you can marvel at the Northern Lights.

Tours & activities:

Buubble overnight guided tour: The tour picks you up at noon from Reykjavik and takes you around the main sights of The Golden Circle before dropping you to your Bubble to spend the night. You check out the following day at 8.30 am and arrive back in Reykjavik at 10:30 am.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Take a stroll on the black beaches and climb glaciers

Iceland’s black beaches offer an unconventional beach experience. The black beach is a product of all the volcanic activity in the region. Step into the dark sands in Reynisfjara on the South Coast of Iceland, just near the small fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can drive to Jökulsárlón, Europes biggest glacier that rests on the lagoons still surface. If climbing a glacier is too much, you can hire a boat to take you through the luminescent ice maze.

Where to stay:

Fosshotel Vatnajökull: This small Icelandic hotel chain offers all the amenities you need for a relaxing overnight stopover. Nestled in a secluded area in the countryside, it offers panoramic of the Vatnajökull glacier.

Tours & activities:

Get Your Guide south Iceland glaciers, waterfalls and black sand beach day tour: This full-day tour takes you through lava fields, icebergs, and glacier lakes where you can observe the Mýrdalsjökull and Sólheimajökull glaciers. Towards the end, you’ll have a chance to walk on the black-sand beaches of Vik and view the Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Cozy up at spa retreat in the Blue Lagoon

Your honeymoon would not be complete without stepping into the serene and relaxing waters of the Blue Lagoon. This exquisite Geothermal spa has warm blue waters with temperatures around 98° to 104° F that you can soak in.

After all the walking you do while sightseeing, its healing waters could be just what the doctor ordered.

Where to stay:

The Retreat Hotel: Get the celebrity treatment at this 62-suite luxury hotel that features the Retreat Lagoon, a private waterscape that’s away from the tourists in the public section of the Blue Lagoon.

The hotel also has a subterranean spa and a restaurant serving Icelandic cuisine. Enjoy a glass of wine in a float-up bar while soaking in the warm waters.

Tours & activities:

The Retreat Spa: Let you and your partner get spoilt at this unique spa, built on an 800-year-old lava flow, with treatments based on the revitalizing powers of geothermal seawater.

Enjoy treatments like an in-water massage where a masseuse eases your muscles while you lay atop a floating mattress.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Have a wildlife adventure

Iceland has an abundance of marine creatures, birds and mammals scattered around the country. See some humpback whales and blue whales in Skjálfandi Bay, an area considered the whale-watching capital of Iceland.

You can view pods of Orcas chasing herrings in West Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula. You’ll have luck spotting puffins and other sea birds at Látrabjarg Peninsula in the Westfjords, one of Europe’s largest bird cliffs.

See Arctic Foxes in the Arctic Fox Center in Súðavík, where they raise orphaned cubs.

Where to stay:

Hotel Rangá: Stay in the heart of Fjallabak Nature Reserve, a mountainous area covered by sand, lava, lakes and reserve. Bask in the tranquility of desolate wilderness in a hotel that features rooms decorated with unique art, comfy furnishings, gourmet dining offered in classic Icelandic hospitality.

Tours & activities:

Elding whale watching tours from Reykjavik: Board a whale-watching boat for a cruise on Faxafloi bay, with trained guides, to enjoy a day of watching marine life. During your ride, you’ll go deep into the natural habitat of the dolphins and whales without disturbing the animals.

The most common species that you’ll see are humpback whales, harbor porpoises, minke whales and white-beaked dolphins, and if you’re lucky, blue whales.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Enjoy a date night in Reykjavik

Soak in the exciting city vibes of Reykjavík — the northernmost capital in the world. From a thriving nightlife to countless acclaimed restaurants, you and your partner will have plenty to do.

You can enjoy meals in the lively atmosphere of upscale restaurants that serve Icelandic cuisine with live music or a pianist playing in the background. Many resorts and hotels offer special honeymoon suites with beautiful décor to set just the right mood for the occasion.

Where to stay:

Hotel Borg: This boutique hotel is located in one of the most scenic landscaped squares in the heart of Reykjavik’s city center. Originally built in 1930, it’s had several refurbishments that have preserved its original Art Deco ambiance.

All 99 suites have sophisticated, custom-made furnishings, parquet flooring carved from high-grade wood, leather armchairs, spanning armoires and Hasten beds. Cozy up in your room as you behold the panoramic views and unwind at the luxurious spa.

Tours & activities:

Magic Ice Reykjavik: Step into an enchanted bar where everything is made of ice. The room features ice sculptures, and art of Viking lit with colorful LED lighting. You’ll learn about an important historical event in Iceland’s history when Norwegian Vikings sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Reykjavik.

Soothing music playing in the background combined with the romantic glow of candlelight will surely make this a night to remember.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Marvel at romantic waterfalls and ice caves

Iceland is home to numerous exquisite waterfalls. Witness landmarks like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss in the South Coast that drop 60 meters over a sea cliff.

Another well-known waterfall called Dettifoss located in Northeast Iceland has one of the most powerful flow rates in Iceland, creating an ethereal plume of white mist at the bottom of its 44-meter drop.

Ever wondered what it feels like to be surrounded by thick walls of ice? Step into one of Iceland’s sparkling, subterranean glaciers and experience the magic. Winter is the best time to visit the caves as most of them thaw in the summer.

Where to stay:

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon: This hotel is situated right under Hvannadalshnúkur between Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, two of Iceland’s most picturesque natural attractions.

The hotel boasts 104 rooms, including a restaurant that serves creative and high-quality Icelandic cuisine.

Tours & activities:

Crystal Cave of Svmnafellsjvkull: Located within the Svmnafellsjvkull Glacier, the intense blue reflection of these crystal caves is a sight to behold. This surreal masterpiece created by the Vatnajökull ice cap radiates like a gemstone on sunny days.

These century-old caves are only accessible during the colder season when cool temperatures keep the ice solid and intact.

Honeymooning In Iceland
Credit: Moyan Brenn

Go stargazing under the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, tops many a bucket list. Watching nature’s light show create a dazzling spectacle of green, pinks, purples and yellow beams wavering in the sky while sitting beside your partner will be a truly magical experience.

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are only visible to the naked eye during the winter months from late September to early April and under specific conditions like lack of clouds, little light pollution and high solar activity.

There are plenty of organised trips you can book to help you see the Northern Lights

Where to stay:

Hotel Búðir: This charming, family-owned hotel is located in one of Iceland’s most beautiful spots where you can view the sea, glaciers, mountains and a lava field from your room.

Located just a couple of hours’ drive from Reykjavik, it has all the amenities you need, including a restaurant that’s considered one of Iceland’s best. Its location away from the city makes it a great place to view the Northern Lights during the winter months.

Tours & activities:

Northern Lights snowmobiling experience on Langjökull Glacier: Realize your dreams of witnessing the Northern lights when you hop on a snowmobile to drive beneath a starry sky. You’ll also be able to experience the dramatic beauty of the Langjökull glacier, Iceland’s second-largest glacier.

You and your partner can explore the area together before picking a viewing spot where you can both gaze at the luminescent skies and behold this wondrous natural phenomenon.

Honeymooning In Iceland

Take a helicopter ride over a volcano

Daring couples will want to consider a once-in-a-lifetime flight over the fiery fountains of a live volcano and its molten rivers, as part of their honeymoon in Iceland.

You’ll take a private helicopter over Fagradalsfjall volcano, where you’ll get a glimpse into the inner working of the Earth and all the tectonic action. The birds-eye view offers an intimate encounter with the beauty and violence of a live volcano.

Beholding the glowing lava field and the red rivers from the fissures will create unforgettable memories and Instagram-worthy shots.

If the helicopter sounds too daring, you can take a trip on the ground too.

Where to stay:

Northern Light Inn: This quaint hotel offers spectacular views over the Reykjanes Penisula’s moss-covered lava fields, which can be observed from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the hotel’s restaurants.

This quaint hotel features modern décor, wooden furnishings and down comforters for a comfortable stay. They offer several facilities, including a fitness center, a spa and a fireplace lounge with panoramic views.

Tours & activities:

Fagradalsfjall volcano helicopter tour: Experience an aerial adventure where you’ll witness the eerily spectacular eruptions of Fagradalsfjall Volcano. You’ll be seated in a sleek, modern four-seater helicopter that departs from Reykjavik’s domestic airport.

Before reaching the volcano, you’ll circle Reykjanes Peninsula and see sights such as Mount Esja and the sparkling Faxafloi Bay.

No matter how you choose to spend your time, honeymooning in Iceland will undoubtedly provide you and your partner with post-nuptial experiences that will last a lifetime.

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