When it comes to picking a holiday destinations a lot of the time I lean towards visiting sunny beach locations, but this year I was beyond excited to be ticking Iceland off my list. Iceland has been on my list of countries to visit for a few years now but as mentioned previously I always favour hot weather and a cocktail on the beach but I can honestly say visiting Iceland has defiantly opened my eyes to stepping out my comfort zone and trying something new when it comes to visiting new countries.
Located in the South of Iceland Hotel Ranga is a 4 star resort offering a relaxed countryside stay. Decorated in your typical log-cabin style the hotel offers a warm and inviting feel throughout, think wooden beams, a 10-foot tall polar bear in the lobby, fur blankets and cosy seating areas. Hotel Ranga offers you the perfect combination for a weekend get away.
Before our arrival I was worried that we would get a little bored spending too much time in the countryside with not much surrounding us but the hotel has a lot of facilities and features to keep us entertained when we weren’t out exploring. These facilities include a riverside restaurant for fine dining, a lounge and bar area, a games room completed with board games and a pool table, stargazing experience, massage facilities and three heated outdoor hot tubs which overlook the beloved river.
The rooms are just as inviting as the rest of the hotel, with a selection of 51 rooms to choose from you are truly spoilt for choice but I would suggest staying in one the themed suites as they are truly one of a kind. Each suite is designed and themed after seven continents and offer a unique stay (you can see all 7 suites here). As well as the Suites the hotel also offers Deluxe and standard rooms which all offer a luxury, cosy feel with fantastic views of the grounds of the hotel.
- Friendly and welcoming staff.
- The decor.
- Northern lights wake up call.
- Hot tubs looking over the river.
- Great location if you want a countryside stay.
- Fantastic restaurant.
PLACES TO VISIT
If you are planning a trip to Iceland I would highly recommend booking a tour. You can book any of the tours online or if you are staying in a city any of the tourist offices will offer all the tours. There are quite a few different options so it is good to do your research before hand or to get some recommendations before going ahead and booking a tour.
We were lucky enough to have most of trip and activities arranged for us but beforehand I done a little research myself and I believe Grayline is the largest tour operator in Iceland and they also have a big office in the city but the other tour you will hear a lot about is the Golden Circle tour, which was actually the tour we went on.
I honestly could not recommend it enough, they were so helpful and helped us tick off most of the sights we wanted to see within our first day. We were actually greeted at the airport by a member of staff from the tour who helped us rent a car as there was a slight mix up with ours. Which we couldn’t be more grateful for.
Most tours pick you up from your hotel and take you to a second pick up location where you then get onto a larger coach with a other tourists. We had our own personal tour guide so it was just the three of us on the tour, which in my own personal opinion I prefered. The day is very long and you do a lot of travelling but it is worth it. All the places are so beautiful and are truly a must see when visiting Iceland.
- Hellisheidavirkjun Power Plant
- Thingvellir National Park
- The famous Geysir
- Gullfoss Waterfall
- Kerið Volcanic Crater
- Laugarvatn Geothermal Area
You can also get a tour package which includes the Blue Lagoon but as we had already rented a car we opted to make a day out of it and take a little road trip ourselves. I can honestly say the Blue Lagoon was the best part of my Iceland experience and honestly worth a visit. I have heard the morning time slots are the best time to go as you get to see the sun coming up. We had a 8pm visit and it was just as magical watching the sun go down as well as relaxing in the hot icy blue lagoon at night.
I would also highly recommend taking a trip to Icelandic Horseworld and booking in for a riding tour. We were picked up from our hotel the owner of the farm which gave us the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and hear about the history of the farm. Honestly, I was a bit nervous to take part in an hours horse riding tour, I’ve never ridden before and I’m not the most comfortable out of my comfort zone.
On arrival at the farm we were taken on a tour of the stables and was shown around by the staff. Who made the whole experience extra special as they were so friendly and welcoming. Before heading out on our tour we given a short introduction lesson in the stables and had the chance to get to grips with our horse. Once we were all comfortable enough we headed out to the grounds and were on our way.
The horseback tour is the most unique and special way to explore Iceland. It just goes to show how important it is to step outside your comfort zone!
- Sipping Processo at The Blue Lagoon.
- Taking spontaneous road trips when we can’t sleep at night.
- Horse back riding around Iceland.
- Fine dining at Hotel Ranga.
NEED TO KNOW
- Rent a car – We only decided to rent a car last minute and I’m so grateful we did. It gave us the freedom to explore Iceland on our own terms.
- Wrap up warm – Even though it was not snowing when we were there it was still ice cold and you are outside for the majority of the time so think layers, lots of layers.
- Dress comfortably – You will be doing a lot of exploring and traveling so I would suggest packing loungewear or anything you consider comfortable.
- Plan your trip – I can not stress enough how important it is to plan your trip. There are so many amazing things to see/do in Iceland that they only way you could possibly fit everything in is if you plan your trip and book everything in advance.
If you are visiting Iceland or have any other questions relating to Iceland, please leave them down below or drop me an email and I will get back to you!