Iceland may not be at the top of your list when you think of romantic destinations, but let me paint you a picture. It’s a grey, drizzly day outside and you have abandoned your hopes for a picnic near the local hot springs. Instead, you make a roaring fire in the fireplace and sink into the plush sofa with your partner. The softest fur blankets caress your skin and the sound of hauntingly beautiful Icelandic musicians comes through the sound system. A little while later, you crack open a bottle of local schnapps or even some Icelandic wine, spread some local cheeses, cured meats, and more on a platter, and enjoy dinner whilst lounging in your private cabin while early snow falls outside.
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Romantic? Of course. Adventurous and thrilling? Yes.
While there are no Caribbean beaches to sun on, Iceland ranks high on the list of places couples prefer to visit. There is just something about bundling up and snowmobiling across a barren landscape, or sinking into the luxury of the Blue Lagoon, or horseback riding across the moors. If you travel in the winter, you have a great chance at seeing the Northern Lights, while in the summer, the midnight sun means that you can spend a lot of time exploring outside. Visiting Iceland with your partner? What should you do there? Here are several ideas of romantic activities in Iceland.
Check out some great hotels for the Northern Lights.
Another great idea is to explore Iceland’s Southern coast with the incredible waterfalls.
Romantic Activities for Couples in Iceland
The Blue Lagoon
While most visitors to Iceland will stop at the Blue Lagoon on their way to or from the airport (or even on a stopover with Icelandair), couples in search of romance here can indulge in a half day spa, sauna, and lounge experience. It is one of Iceland’s most famous tourist spots. Created by accident in 1976 by the nearby power plant, it soon became well known for its chalk white water, healing properties, and skincare line.
There are multiple packages available at the Blue Lagoon. These range from the standard package to the luxury package. The majority of visitors book the comfort package, as it is the first package that includes a towel. However, it is the luxury package that will appeal to many couples seeking a private and exclusive experience. The luxury package, at a base price of 53000 ISK (at current August 2017 exchange rate that’s $502 USD/€427 EUR) for two people, gets you access to a private changing room and lounge, a towel, algae mask, silica mud mask, spa products, and a reservation at the restaurant plus wine while you are there. There will never be more than 12 people in the exclusive lounge, which means it’s quiet and private – perfect for couples on a romantic holiday.
Once in the pool, leave the crowds behind at the swim up bar and head for the quieter lagoons under the bridge. In the winter, the chilly air and the hot water create hazy steam that makes it hard to see others from a distance. In the mornings and late evenings, when the day trippers have departed, the pools can be so deserted that you will feel like you have a private lagoon.
Afterwards, enjoy dinner at the LAVA restaurant or head into Reykjavik to one of the many romantic restaurants in town.
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A Northern Lights Tour
What could be more romantic than a Nothern lights tour in Iceland? Imagine bundling up late at night to watch the incredible northern lights with your partner. That’s definitely a romantic thing to do in Iceland. The best places to see the northern lights are remote cabins, outdoor hot pools, and the black sand beaches, all of which can be reached on one of the many northern lights tours. If you are staying in Reykjavik and can only go for a night, there are tour companies that offer 3-5 hour tours. These will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation.
The tour operators have a good sense of when the lights will occur and where the best places to see them are. If you have multiple days, an overnight tour into the remote regions of Iceland, or even a two or three night trip, will mean more chances to see the northern lights before you leave.
The northern lights – a result of solar flares – are elusive but impressive. Sightings are not guaranteed, though most tours will offer a second tour free of charge if you do not see them. The best time to see the northern lights is between September and April when Iceland has fully dark nights.
For adventurous couples, there is nothing more thrilling than a horseback ride across the barren Icelandic moors or black sand beaches. There are various tour companies across Iceland that offer horseback riding alone, or tour companies that can arrange a package of different activities, that includes horseback riding, during your time here.
Choosing a destination within Iceland needs to be determined by the length of time you are spending in the country. For couples who are only stopping over on a flight between the US and Europe, a half day trek in the Golden Circle area is ideal. If you have more time and would like to get out of the Reykjavik area, heading north to the Akureyri area might be more thrilling.
Depending on which tour company creates your custom itinerary, horseback riding may be included with your Golden Circle tour or Ring Road tour. If not, expect to pay anywhere from 8000 ISK to 19300 ISK for a half day tour. If you and your partner are horseback riding enthusiasts, there are companies that offer multi-day tours. These include meals and accommodation, although some may be more basic than others.
Glacier Walk and Ice Cave Tour
One of the more adrenaline rushing activities in Iceland, perfect for couples, is the ice caving and glacier walk tours. This half day or full day tours get you and your partner out onto Iceland’s famous Jokulsarlon Glacier, or into the Vatnajokull caves. These otherworldly places are ideal for couples who seek a unique experience. The bright blue of the caves is a striking contrast to the lush moss green and black of the outside world.
Touring Iceland with your partner is a unique and off the beaten track. There are plenty of romantic things to do in Iceland. The chilly nights, the dancing lights, otherworldly nature, and the romantic restaurants in Reykjavik, they all add up to one unforgettable time.
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