The Ultimate Guide to an Icelandic Honeymoon

April 13, 2023
The Ultimate Guide to an Icelandic Honeymoon

Featured Photographer: Alison Heffington Photography

Myth: an Icelandic honeymoon can’t be relaxing.  While Iceland is known for its incredible display of unique terrain, it’s not *just* a great destination for intense hikers, divers, and adventurers.  On top of all of the magical exploring available, Iceland is an island full of beauty that can be enjoyed with a book on the beach, from the balcony of a 5 star restaurant, or with a glass of wine in a natural hot tub.  We’ve put together the ultimate guide for a honeymoon in Iceland with must-see destinations, eats, and activities all around the country for every type of couple to enjoy.  After your big day, you can sit back and relax and then maybe climb a volcano, too, in this paradise (that feels like another planet)!

Alison Heffington Photography

The Capital – Reykjavik

If you’re honeymooning in Iceland, then you’re flying into the small island’s one International airport.  Keflavik Airport is located about 15 minutes from the country’s capital and largest city – Reykjavik.  This is the perfect starting and ending spot for the ultimate Iceland honeymoon – so we recommend staying a couple of days here to shop, eat good food, and visit some waterfalls and canyons nearby.

**Fun Fact: “vik” in Icelandic means “city”, so you’ll see that suffix throughout this blog many times.  The famous black sand beaches (featured in Game of Thrones) are located IN Vik, the southern city that’s literally just named “City”.

Reykjavik Hotels

While hostels in Iceland are great, it may not be the most romantic option for a honeymoon.  There are plenty of cute and charming Airbnbs around the city (and around the island as a whole), but here are a couple of hotels in the capital that are fit for celebrating you as a couple!

Reykjavik Lights

According to their website,Reykjavik Lights sits just above the parks and gardens of the city’s historic ‘hot spring valley’, Laugardalur. It was once Reykjavik’s main source of hot water, where locals would gather to do their laundry the geothermal way. Now it’s a leisure-seeker’s wonderland, home to the Botanic Garden, the Family Park and Zoo, and the city’s largest swimming pool.”  Every room is unique, with details from ancient Icelandic culture throughout.  The hotel has an unbeatable view of the city and the bay, so weather you’re in town to see the midnight sun or the northern lights, this hotel is going to be a good one to wake up in next to your love!

Hotel Holt

Hotel Holt is known as “the art hotel” and for good reason.  The boutique hotel has 42 well-furnished hotel rooms of which many are facing the must-see Hallgrímskirkja church in downtown Reykjavik.  Inside the hotel you’ll find part of the largest private collection of Icelandic art, with around 460 works on display.  This stay is perfect for the art loving couple, especially since you can stroll over to the National Museum of Iceland, which is about a 12 minute walk from the hotel!

The Reykjavik EDITION

A five star hotel by Marriot, EDITION is going to have all of the luxury you need for a Scandinavian honeymoon. The hotel’s spa is described as a “sanctuary” complete with a thermal plunge pool.  If you stay here, you may never want to leave, so this is the ideal hotel for the honeymooners who want to only stay in Iceland’s capital and be pampered all week. 

Reykjavik Restaurants

Tides Restaurant

Located inside the above mentioned EDITION hotel, Tides Restaurant is run by Iceland’s celebrated first Michelen-star chef, Gunnar Karl Gíslason.  Tides utilizes fresh, sustainable produce from local suppliers to create modern Icelandic cuisine.

Hofnin

Eat like a local and stop by the harbor at this family run restaurant, where you can sit by the window and enjoy views of the bay.  Hofnin serves traditional Icelandic food & fresh seafood – we recommend trying their award winning fish soup!

Apotek

Apotek is located on one of the most beautiful corners of downtown Reykjavik, with a menu that is “a fun mix of Icelandic and European cuisine with a smoking hot Argentinean grill”. Dishes are designed to share and enjoy together, so come share some bites and try some of Apotek’s award-winning cocktails for a fun couples’ night out on your honeymoon!

Reykjavik Roasters

Every honeymooner needs a little pick me up during the trip!  Stop by Reykjavik Roasters for delicious coffee and modern cafe ambiance.  Their iconic coffee flavor chart on the wall is available for purchase as a print, so you can get some artwork for your home to remember the trip by, too!

Braud & Co.

Braud & Co. opened up in 2016 and became so popular amongst locals that the bakery had to open up 5 more shops in this small city. The bakery decided to offer only freshly baked sourdough bread and other baked goods made from specially selected organically grown high-quality ingredients, so they consider themselves an “honest” artisanal bakery.  You can see the difference in design at different locations in the photos below, so you may even want to visit more than one store (maybe one at the beginning of your trip for fuel on your road trip, and one at the end to grab some bread to bring home)!

 

Golden Circle

A great option for sight-seeing in Iceland without having to rent a car is to book a guided tour around the Golden Circle.  The tour guide for these trips are going to be Icelandic locals who teach you history about the island & its’ culture along the way.  Plus, you get to see, eat, and experience so much that Iceland has to offer in just one day! On this guided trip, you’ll walk between two continents in a seismic rift valley in Thingvellir National Park, you’ll see one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls – Gulfoss, and you’ll visit the highly active Geysir Hot Spring to see exploding geysers and boiling mud baths.  You’ll also get to relax in a natural, geothermal pool, see wild Icelandic horses, and even grab some ice cream at a local dairy farm.  If you are planning on renting a car and driving the island yourselves, then just follow the same route to experience Iceland’s famous Golden Circle.

 

Where to Next?

If you’ve read this far, it means you’re the type of couple that wants to leave the comforts of the city and take your honeymoon mobile throughout Iceland’s natural beauty.  We’re heading north up the famous “ring road” Route 1 on our Icelandic Honeymoon Guide (so, if you’re eager to start at the iconic black sand beaches of Iceland instead, then scroll down and work your way backwards up this article for the perfect guide for you!).  Keep reading to find our favorite honeymoon highlights & hidden gems along the drive during your romantic rendezvous around the island.

 

Snaeffelsness Peninsula

Olafsvik

In the summer months, the quaint town of Olafsvik is filled with incredible wildflowers take in along the countryside.  Olafsvik is a fishing town with just over 1,000 residents, so it’s a quiet, peaceful place where you can spend time by the water or wandering in the flowers with your new spouse.  Check out Sker Restaurant for some delicious fresh catch of the day while you’re in town!

Alison Heffington Photography

Kirkjufell

The must-see (now considered iconic) triangular mountain, Kirkjufell, amazes visitors with its’ distinct shape and beautiful waterfalls nearby.  (We recommend this as more of a leisure activity & photo op, as the hike up the mountain itself is quite advanced & dangerous).  

Alison Heffington Photography

Budir

Hotel Budir is a beautiful boutique stay on the peninsula that overlooks the Snæfellsjökull glacier and the “famous” Budir Church pictured.  Tourists from all over come to admire the beauty of the black painted chapel which stands out as unique amongst churches in general, and stands out physically against the green Icelandic terrain.

Alison Heffington Photography

West Fjords

Dynjandi Waterfall

While this is not necessarily the most convenient drive during a honeymoon stay, the drive to Dynjandi is absolutely worth it for the adventurous couple wanting to see the awe-striking natural beauty that Iceland has to offer. The Icelandic term dynjandi means thunderous or resounding and you’ll understand why if you get close to this “Jewel of the Westfjords” that stretches about 100 feet wide and cascades down over 300 feet.

Puffins at the Látrabjarg Cliff

Latrabjarg Cliff is the biggest sea-cliff in Iceland and is actually the most westernmost point of Europe, far west into the fjords of Iceland, and is a spot famous for bird-lovers being one of the most crowded sea cliffs in the world.  Puffins are Iceland’s __ Bridal,  In the summertime, Látrabjarg comes alive with around one million birds – and – if you’re lucky, you’ll seals can often be seen on nearby rocks and, if you’re lucky, whales as well.

Northern Iceland

Husavik Whale Watching

If you’re going all out on an adventurous Icelandic honeymoon, then chances are high you want to see a whale or two.  Husavik is famous for its’ whale watching tours, so you and your boo should hop on a boat and sail around the island’s coast.  Chances are pretty high that you’ll see some puffins on this tour, too!

*Pro-tip: if you’re prone to sea-sickness we do not recommend doing this on a choppy/windy day.  Wait until the sun is shining and the waters are calm, because this is not going to be a smooth, cute little boat ride!

Geosea

Now, when we think honeymoon, we definitely think “spa”.  We think relaxing in a hot tub with a glass of something sparkling and letting all of your cares wash away.  Geosea is this exact picture, *except* it’s on a cliff overlooking the Skjálfandi Bay and the Arctic Circle.  The pool is known for being a great vantage point to watch northern lights in the winter, and to spot for whales in the summer. Packed with minerals, the geothermal seawater gently caresses and revitalizes the skin.  So take in all the minerals, and take in refreshments at the swim up bar, too!

 

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Hunaver Bed & Breakfast

This stay is truly a gem in the lush countryside of the island.  Hunaver is literally just off a road in the middle of beautiful-nowhere, and if you want to feel like you’ve run away to a little piece of heaven with your Mr. or Mrs., this is the place.  With cozy rooms and traditional Icelandic breakfast in the morning, staying here with your new spouse will be something to cherish.

 

Eastern Iceland

Vok Baths

There’s truly no shortage of geothermal baths along your road trip in Iceland.  Stop by Vok Baths for another soak to keep this adventurous honeymoon feeling relaxing & romantic!

 

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Glacier Lagoon/Diamond Beach

Jökulsárlón (known as Glacier Lagoon) sits at the southernmost part of Europe’s largest glacier and has created a tranquil sight to gaze at in Iceland.  Nearby the lagoon is Diamond Beach, covered in chunks of glacier ice that gleam and glisten against the black sand.  The shore is also home to seals, and you’re guaranteed to see several of them basking on the ice in the summer months!

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

After sightseeing on Iceland’s magical coast, stay at the luxurious four-star Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon and dine at their restaurant under the highest peak in Iceland.

Southern Iceland

Vik/Black Sand Beaches

When you picture Iceland, you probably picture black sand beaches and jagged rocks – most likely thanks to the popular show Game of Thrones, which was filmed here.  The southernmost city Vik is a tourist destination for it’s black sand and abnormal landforms.  As the town has grown from tourism, it’s also become a great spot for foodies – including the delicious Haldorskaffi, which opened up on Icelandic National Day and quickly became a go-to spot for locals and visitors with it’s Hot Lava pizza.

Sólheimasandur Plane

The non-fatal plane wreck left behind an epic tourist destination on the back sand beaches of southern Iceland.  It’s about an hour walk to see the plane up close, so this is a great chance to get your steps in on your trip and see something that couples wouldn’t on their honeymoon!

Alison Heffington Photography

Fjaðrárgljúfur

The green canyons of Iceland used to be one of the country’s best kept secrets, but they’re quickly becoming something visitors have to make the drive around the island for.  You can probably see why – and trust us, the pictures don’t even do it justice.  This landform is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and would make for a truly magical honeymoon stop.

Alison Heffington Photography

Skogafoss

If you haven’t figured it out by know, “foss” in Icelandic means “waterfall”.  Iceland is full of them, but Skogafoss is not one to skip.  It’s one of Iceland’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with an astounding width of  82 feet and drop of 197 feet.  There’s also guaranteed at least one rainbow present at any time due to the spray of the cascade, so this fall is really a bucket list item to end on!

Pro-Tip: While the northern lights probably sound magical and romantic for a honeymoon, winter in Iceland is not for the faint of heart.  During the winter months, the sun is usually only out for about 4 hours a day, wind speeds get up to 70 mph (making it difficult to drive and sleep), and of course – ice poses a problem for road travel as well.  If you plan to spend your honeymoon getting pampered in the capital city and want to take guided trips where you’re personally never attempting to drive, then winter in Iceland with a chance at seeing the aurora borealis would be a great honeymoon for you!  Otherwise, we recommend honeymoons in Iceland for the spring/summer couples for safe driving and the opportunity to see different Icelandic wildlife.  The longest day of the year in Iceland is June 21st – with nearly 24 hours of daylight.  This weather gives plenty of opportunity to explore all over the island, and even the chance to wear a cute little dress if it gets warm enough!  Whatever you do, just be sure your hotel or airbnb has black out curtains so you can sleep when the sun is still up!

Alison Heffington Photography

We hope this guide gives you some helpful ideas on where to go and what to do during your Icelandic Honeymoon.  The  island is full of amazing sights and hidden gems and we only scratched the surface with this guide, so we know you’ll find even more to love about beautiful Iceland!  If you decide after reading this that Iceland might not be the honeymoon vibe for you after all, then check out our Honeymoon Collective to help find the perfect destination for you!

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