They say inspiration can come from anywhere, but we always seem to find it in spades during our trips to Iceland. In June, when travel restrictions finally began to loosen, we returned to the magical Land of Fire and Ice and took away these 5 inspirations.
1. Food is Some of the Freshest in the World
If you're looking for some of the world's finest food with the freshest ingredients possible, Reykjavik should be on your list. We always start the day with a trip to our favorite coffee shop, Reykjavik Roasters. Iceland has some of the freshest water on the planet which translates perfectly to a cup of coffee and freshly baked goods. For a quick lunch, the best meal we had this trip was a newly opened ramen joint called Hi Noodle. The spicy miso broth was some of the best I've ever had. Their noodles are freshly made in London and flown in every week. For dinner, our go to spot is always a restaurant called Sushi Social. Unassumingly located on a small side street near Reykjavik’s shopping district, the food and atmosphere of this place could rival any 5 star restaurant in the world. With fish being the largest export from Iceland, getting some fresh sushi and sashimi is a must. Iceland is a culinary powerhouse, and even though the prices can get a little high, you always get what you pay for.
2. Craft Cocktail Central
Iceland is a paradise for craft cocktail fans, with every restaurant, club, or hotel having its own unique twist to the classics we all love. One of our favorites is probably the best night club in town, boasting the coolest name you'll ever find: Pablo Discobar. The chic modern feel of this place, coupled with some of the best South American style cocktails I've ever had, places it at the top of the list. They are also known to do pop ups in NYC over the summer, which I'm dying to go to. Some of our other favorites are Apotek and the Kvosin. If you're looking for either wine or cocktails in an upscale but cozy environment in downtown Reykjavik, make sure to check these places out.
3. Scandinavian Boutiques
If you're into clothes, you know that Scandinavia has always been a major player in the fashion industry. In downtown Reykjavik, it's impossible not to stumble into a boutique offering the latest European trends. More importantly, the Icelandic maker community is massive and most stores are locally-owned and produced. Our favorites among these stores are Reykjavik Raincoats and Gjoska. We offer both companies items for sale in our boutique located in Richmond, VA.
4. Stunning Landscape
Most vacations to Iceland are centered around the beautiful landscape and it's no surprise why. For this trip, our mission was to see the ongoing eruption of the Fagradalsfjall Volcano located in Grindavik, about an hour south west of Reykjavik. Upon arriving at the volcano on our third day, the weather turned on a dime and the conditions became miserable. Blankets of rain were coming down in sheets through 50 mph winds, not very fun for a 7 mile round trip hike straight up the side of an erupting volcano. We made quick work of some photography upon arriving to the top and immediately came back down as the weather was getting worse. The following day we went to Thingvellir National Park to get some drone footage of Oxararfoss. This was the first place I visited on my first trip to Iceland, so it's super special to me. It's where you are between the North American and European tectonic plates, as well as where Iceland's first Parliament was established in the year 930, pretty crazy stuff.
5. Nightlife Scene
Last but not least on this list, the party scene in Reykjavik is unreal. After a day full of hiking, exploring, and taking beautiful photos, it's hard not to find yourself out and about having a few drinks. We always find ourselves doing one of two things: Either a night of craft cocktails and hitting nicer clubs like the aforementioned Pablo Discobar or enjoying draft beers and shots of Brennivin at one of the many local pubs located downtown. Whatever way you decide to spend your late night hours in the land of the midnight sun it will assuredly be one of your favorite nights ever.