Where to send the little sister/new bride in Reykjavik?
October 7, 2009 7:24 AM   Subscribe

My younger sister is getting married. As the older brother/groomsman, I'm looking for something special to do for a wedding present...and they're honeymooning in Reykjavik.

They'll be in Reykjavik in early December for about 6 days, staying at the same hotel the whole time. Rather than getting a nice juicer, I'd like to send them somewhere cool, but I'm having trouble finding interesting stuff that I can book from here (I've never been there). Since it's closing in on the winter solstice, I'm wondering if there are some neat/romantic Northern Lights tours I could send them on, or some sort of sleigh ride dinner, or something in that vein. They're not big wine connoisseurs or foodies, though they'd appreciate good stuff if that was part of it (they're both 23).

Money's not so much of an object (within reason, natch), but I'd like for it to be special, romantic, and (above all) memorable. Thanks!
posted by zap rowsdower to Travel & Transportation around Reykjavik, Iceland (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (I should have noted, I've found stuff on Google, but I'm hoping for personal/anecdotal experience...)
posted by zap rowsdower at 7:31 AM on October 7, 2009

I spent a couple of days at this spa last December, it was reasonably priced and the facilities and treatments were fantastic. Plus the outdoor hot pools are beautiful on a clear night. http://www.laugarspa.is/e_Default.aspx

Snowmobiling on the glaciers, seeing the sunset from there was also very memorable. There are several companies offering snowmobile tours and it's a nice couple-y thing to drive around on.
posted by Cuppatea at 7:34 AM on October 7, 2009

Also: we went for a very odd, but memorable meal at Orange.
posted by Cuppatea at 7:48 AM on October 7, 2009

Here is a link for skidoo and 4WD trips on Europe's biggest glacier, as well as a restaurant out that way.
posted by biffa at 7:52 AM on October 7, 2009

Depending on whether she's into skin care & girly stuff, you could get her a gift certificate for Blue Lagoon cosmetics (which are expensive but reportedly worth it) and/or their entrance fee to the Lagoon itself, which I think is now ludicrously up to around $25 or so per person.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:54 AM on October 7, 2009

Best answer: In true MeFi style, I've ignored the bit about google searches and plowed on anyway...

You could do a nice dinner out. It will be expensive in Iceland, and given that they're in the same hotel all the time should be easy to organise.

For me, anyway, every romantic holiday has always had a highlight meal, as well as the other sightseeing/touristy highlights. There are some recommendations here.

If you don't get the answer you want from here on a specific tour, it might be worth speaking to these guys.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:56 AM on October 7, 2009

The excellent weblog Iceland Weather Report, while recently devoted to documenting the fallout from the kreppa, has descriptions of several wonderful-sounding trips around Iceland, from the perspective of a native. Here's an account of a recent outing to the Landmannalaugar region, which sounds like a spectacular area.
posted by arco at 8:02 AM on October 7, 2009

Best answer: The fanciest place we had dinner in Reykjavik was the Lobster House. Very pricey, but worth it. Austur India was less upscale (more upper-middle), and the food was extremely good. Vid Tjornina was a quirky, wonderful little seafood restaurant with excellent staff.

If they like music, get them a gift certificate to Bad Taste records (Smekkleysa Plottbud) or 12 Tonar (or both!). My music budget for that trip was $200 but I spent it all at Bad Taste and ended up spending $100 more at 12 Tonar. The folks there will be very helpful helping them pick out records if they tell them what they like, plus there are listening stations.

The best place to buy sweaters is the Handknitting Association (http://www.handknit.is/user/home/), and they'll definitely want to get a sweater or two, in addition to hats, scarves, and mittens. If they like quirky fashion, there's a great headgear shop called Happy Smiling Headgear (https://secure.islandia.is/hsh/asp/default.asp) where we got presents for several of our friends.

Your best advice for tour companies will come from the forums at TripAdvisor. We didn't go on any organized tours ourselves, but my impression from the forums is that there's the big companies that have the huge bus, and the smaller boutique companies that have a smaller van and more personalized tours - you want the latter ones.
posted by matildaben at 8:05 AM on October 7, 2009

Landmannalaugar is indeed beautiful, unfortunately it's also closed in midwinter because the roads are inaccessible.
posted by Cuppatea at 8:08 AM on October 7, 2009

There must be some beautiful night skies in Iceland. Get them some stargazing stuff.

A green laser pointer to point out stars/constellations/other stuff in the sky.

Binoculars for space viewing

Handheld "star chart" thingies
posted by MustardTent at 8:48 AM on October 7, 2009

Seconding the Blue Lagoon. It's kind of touristy or whatever, but it was a fantastic way to end our trip in Iceland, by going to the Blue Lagoon on our way to the airport (it's between Reykjavik and the airport), and it is pretty cool to see/experience.
posted by Grither at 9:37 AM on October 7, 2009

Response by poster: I'm sending them on a snorkeling expedition that MuffinMan recommended. The best part is, the water will be cold, so future brother-in-law will like it, but sister will hate it, but will be obligated to do it anyway. Best of both worlds!

Thanks for all the suggestions.
posted by zap rowsdower at 8:18 AM on October 14, 2009

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