April's Clients of the Month are Kristina and Sean G. Kristina and Sean are both very successful and busy professionals. Kristina commutes into New York City for her work and Sean is a sales manager for a Fortune 500 company. They came to me for help in planning their honeymoon. Kristina and Sean weren't looking for the typical relaxing beach honeymoon though - they wanted adventure, they wanted amazing scenery, in a word, they wanted Iceland!
Iceland is definitely not an obvious choice for a honeymoon. Why did you choose it?
We have been to many tropical destinations and wanted to do something truly unique for our honeymoon. Iceland was a short flight away but completely different from anywhere we have ever been! We were excited for outdoor adventures and to take in the breathtaking landscapes.
What was your favorite day of your honeymoon?
It's hard to pick! Sean's favorite day was the first day in Hveragerdi. We took a 45 minute hike past several small hot springs to a geothermic heated river. We relaxed in the river while locals and tourists picnicked in the grass. Kristina's favorite day was in Vik. She had seen beautiful pictures of the black beaches, rock formations and basalt columns and couldn't wait to see them for herself. The wind was whipping us around like crazy but we had a blast walking around and exploring.
How was the food? Did you have a favorite meal or restaurant?
My favorite dish was lamb stew which is sold at most pubs and restaurants. I'm not usually a big fan of lamb, but it's delicious and fresh in Iceland. We also went on an awesome food tour in Reykjavik. I had rye bread ice cream at the famous Cafe Loki across from Hallgrimskirkja Church.
What was the biggest surprise?
The 100 mile per hour winds in the Snaefelles peninsula. We had to stay away from the cliff edges and hold onto railings!
What was your least favorite thing about the trip?
The cost of food. Food is very expensive! There aren't places to grab a quick breakfast or sandwich outside the major cities. To stay on budget, load up at local grocery stores where you can buy snacks and supplies to make your own breakfast and lunch. We did eat out for dinner every night for hot meals.
What advice do you have for people traveling there?
Leave ample time in your itinerary for stopping (safely) along the road while you travel from destination to destination. Half the fun is being surprised by waterfalls, Icelandic ponies, rock formations, and little villages. You'll want pictures of everything! Also, make sure you bring proper clothes for outdoor activities and diverse weather. Water resistant hiking boots (not sneakers) are best, not just for hiking up mountains but climbing on and around rocks at the bottom of waterfalls. Bring a raincoat shell AND a towel to wipe down after you get soaked from rain or waterfalls.
What was your most memorable experience?
It's hard to pick! We took a private jeep tour up to the top of the Eyjafjallakokull volcano that was really special. It was over a mile to the top and when we got there we saw the place of eruption. Above the clouds it was clear and silent -it looked like we were standing on a giant fluffy pillow! Even our tour guide who had been up the mountain hundreds of times, was impressed by the view of the clouds.
Anything else that you would like to add?
Everyone will tell you that while traveling in Iceland you'll feel like you are on a different planet. It's true! The landscape feels almost lunar and changes drastically as you drive through different areas. It really is a special place.