Iceland: What to See in Reykjavik for 2 Days

With a week off in February and a dream of seeing the Northern Lights I joined my sister on an adventure to Iceland.

We met Saturday afternoon at JFK airport in New York and had a bite to eat in the newly renovated terminal 4. Our flight left on time at 9:00 pm and we hoped to catch some shut eye on the 5 hour flight. Our pilot was great and got us to Iceland in only 4 hours. With the time change it was now morning and we had one hour before our bus reservation to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal hot spring landmark.

The short drive to the site resembled photos of the moon. As the sun rose on dark lava rocks sprinkled with snow on a treeless landscape we knew we were no longer in the States.

Reykiavik Iceland

We upgraded to the package that included a robe, flip flops, a fancy mask and a drink. We were guided into a changing room and given a special bracelet. You could spend the day in the lagoon drinking cocktails and when you leave your bracelet will let them know your balance.

Four face masks are available as you swim in the Lagoon. The white silica one is complimentary and the other 3, lava, algae and mineral are offered at additional costs. Not sure how effective they are but fun to try.

Reykiavik Iceland

Can anyone identify our Viking photo bomber? Lol

After about 2 hours we were pruny and ready to move onto the next adventure. We showered  and considered going into the restaurant for lunch. 6600 Icelandic krona is $55 so that seemed a bit steep for lunch even considering we were a tad delirious on no sleep. We had a snack and caught the bus that leaves every hour for Reykjavík. The bus driver asked for the name of our hotel, and although we did have to change buses at one point, it was relatively easy to get to our hotel.

We checked in and wanted to make the most of the daylight hours so we took a walk down to the waterfront. We were awestruck by the white landscape across the harbor and just about everything on our walk around town.

Reykiavik Iceland
Reykiavik Iceland
Reykiavik Iceland
Reykiavik Iceland

From all over we could see the peak of the tall church, Hallgrimskirkja.  This beautiful structure was only completed in 1986 and dedicated to the most renowned religious Poet from Iceland.

Reykiavik Iceland

Across from the church is a great little restaurant called Cafe Loki. I tried the Icelandic Plate -Loki. This included rye bread, fish mash, trout, dried fish with butter and a small sample of smelly fermented shark. I tasted it all and was impressed with the texture and flavors. I really liked the bread, butter and trout. The trout is pink like salmon. Rye bread ice cream is a specialty here but I’ll save that for my next trip to Iceland.

Reykiavik Iceland

Exhausted, we walked back to our hotel and fell fast asleep but woke up around 10 pm excited to look out on the roof for the Aurora Borealis. We think we saw some green in the sky but the lights from the city were too bright.

Staying at the centrally located Kea Storm hotel we awoke to a nice breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, bread, hard boiled eggs with cold  ham, cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers. Did I mention the bread and butter is so good here?

With no plan for the day we left to check out some stores on the main road. Around noon we stopped into a tourist office. I thought maybe the on/off double decker bus might be nice for sightseeing. We were advised that we could walk the whole city in 20 minutes so the bus was not really necessary.

We had seen lots of pictures of horses so we thought horse back riding may be fun. Too late. She suggested whale watching. So we grabbed a to go sandwich at a shop called Sandholt on the Main Street and then headed toward the harbor.

Reykiavik Iceland
Reykiavik Iceland

Surprisingly the boat headed along the harbor first to look for humpbacks. Apparently they come into this area to feed. When we didn’t see any the captain took us into the sea where the waves were bigger and the cold winds were strong. The bright sun made for some great photos but the whales took the day off. We were promised a free trip anytime from tomorrow to 5 years from now to watch again. Just have to tell our names to the office. Ok. Maybe we will.

Reykiavik Iceland
Reykiavik Iceland

After the boat trip we stopped for lobster soup and bread at Seabaron, one of the small establishments in one of the turquoise buildings near the harbor. They also offer fish kabobs which looked interesting.

Reykiavik Iceland

We walked back to the hotel in time to meet up with our guide and tour group for the G Adventures tour the next 4 days. I used G Adventures on my solo trip Solo Day to Thailand in 2016 and had such a great time.

We will be heading out to the country tomorrow morning to hike lava caves, see waterfalls and hopefully the Northern Lights!!!  Keep your fingers crossed.

2 days in Reykjavik Iceland
Guided tour Iceland single women and widows


At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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25 Responses

  1. Your trip looks amazing!!!!

  2. liz says:

    So fun!!! Keep us posted…

  3. mswwrites says:

    Looks amazing and what stunning photos!

  4. Cecelia jamieson says:

    Thank-you 4 girlfriends going In Oct…

  5. Lauren says:

    This is great! I didn’t spend much time in Reykjavik as I was traveling around the island but looks like a wonderful city to explore.

  6. raastha says:

    Your pictures look awesome. Hope you had good time. How was your experience with fermented shark? Lot of people have been talking about it. Nice post.

    • runawaywidow says:

      I wasn’t as offended as the others were. It tasted like a salty small scallop and I chased it down with beer so that was good. thanks for visiting my site.

      • raastha says:

        I really see that you are a very positive person. Very good way of appreciating…things. I got to learn something.

  7. SBRA says:

    Ohhhh feeling coolly , nice post

  8. This looks so so pretty. 😍

  9. Fantastic post and great photos . Iceland is surely not to be missed , check out my posts on Iceland here

  1. February 25, 2019

    […] spent the first 2 days on our own in Reykjavik. It is easy to walk around and fun, especially if you stop at the Blue Lagoon on your way from the […]

  2. August 7, 2019

    […] Around Reykjavík […]

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