We got back from Iceland a few weeks ago and since then you guys have had so many questions about our trip! We traveled to Iceland with Noken and it was LIFE-CHANGING. I typically plan out all of our trips in advance (I’ve never used a travel guide!), and while I do think it’s really fun, it can also be super stressful. Reading hotel reviews, restaurant reviews, the best landmarks to see, the best excursions to go on, the currency exchange in a foreign country, language barriers – all that can be really stressful to figure out. Well, Noken takes ALL the stress out of planning a trip. We didn’t have to worry about any of the travel details, so we could spend more time enjoying the trip and creating content!
Here’s how it works: you sign up with Noken on their website. Then you adapt Noken’s itinerary to your dates, preferences and budget (Noken can accommodate any budget, from backpackers to honeymooners!). You pay before you go, and Noken takes care of EVERYTHING, from hotel and rental car reservations to train tickets and excursions.
I’ve partnered with Noken to bring you a discount code – use code “CAITLIN” at checkout to receive $200 off your Noken trip between now and January 31st, 2019.
I’ll take you loosely through our itinerary so you can get a feel for how it works!
We flew into Reykjavik in the wee hours of the morning. We followed the app’s advice to pick up supplies at the airport (they even recommended some local snacks, like Skyr!) before heading to pick up our rental car. Noken had made the reservations in advance, and our receipt was in the app – all we had to do was show it to the attendant working! Once we got our car, we drove a couple of minutes to a nearby hotel – Noken thought that we might be tired from flying all night and landing at 4 a.m., so we were able to check into a hotel and sleep for a few hours before officially starting our adventure.
Once we woke up from our little nap, we checked out of our hotel and got started on our road trip! Our itinerary for the day was a Southwest coast road trip. The app listed several different scenic places where we might want to stop along the way, including several famous waterfalls and a black sand beach!
I had trouble with my iPhone maps in Iceland, so I mostly relied on the Navigation within the Noken app to guide me to our destinations. It was really helpful for finding Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the only waterfall in Iceland that you can see from behind!
We stopped at a few waterfalls, but after driving for three hours, I was exhausted by the time we got to our next hotel, located in Vik. Again, the reservations had been made in advance and the receipt was already in the app. Thankfully, the Noken app also listed several great restaurants for dinner. My brother and I picked the most casual one, which had Icelandic hearty food and Asian-inspired dishes. With a full belly, we headed back to our hotel to catch some sleep!
On our second day in Iceland, we woke up, checked the app and saw that we were going on a GLACIER HIKE! The Noken app told us to dress warmly – I put on my fleece-lined leggings, sturdiest boots, and three layers of long-sleeve tops. Then we headed out to meet our tour guide. Again, the reservations had already been made, so we were all set!
The glacier hike was actually my very favorite part of Iceland! Our tour guide was hilarious. He gave us ice picks, crampons for our shoes, and we set out to hike a glacier. And when I say hike a glacier: we LEGIT hiked a glacier. It was tough – you’re hiking up a mountain of pure ice! But it was totally worth it: the view from the top was incredible.
On day three, we drove Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. The app had it all planned out for us, so we knew exactly where to go and where to stop! They even recommended several restaurants along the route that we should stop at for lunch. Our favorite stop along the way was Kerid – a volcanic crater (below)!
That night we checked into the CUTEST boutique hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. Although I really loved the natural beauty of Iceland’s countryside, it was nice to be in a city surrounded by people! My brother and I grabbed dinner near our hotel and then stopped by a chocolate shop to purchase some homemade truffles.
We spent our next day in Iceland exploring Reykjavik! I LOVED Reykjavik and would go back in a heartbeat! The entire city was decorated for Christmas, with fairy lights and Christmas trees on every corner. We took the app’s advice and followed their walking tour of the city. We saw the famous church downtown, and even discovered the CUTEST little bookstore! Our entire itinerary that day was all about exploration, so we walked in whatever direction our hearts led us.
Noken also made us dinner reservations that night – and it was the best meal we had all trip!! We stuffed our bellies with lobster, calamari and fried cauliflower. (The seafood is really fresh in Iceland.)
Day five was our last day in Iceland, and Noken had made us reservations at the Blue Lagoon! It was MAGICAL! For those who don’t know, the Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and one of the most famous attractions in Iceland. The water is around 100 degrees (which felt amazing in 32 degree weather, hahah!) and comes from 6,000 feet below ground. The water is also rich in minerals like silica and sulphur, and is supposedly really good for your skin. Although it’s really good for your skin, I did read that it can really dry out your hair! Definitely bring your own clarifying shampoo with you to the Blue Lagoon. They offer free conditioner, but not shampoo, so you will definitely want your own! Another tip is to wet your hair and slather on conditioner before getting in the water. This will SAVE your hair! I did those things and didn’t notice any damage to my hair 🙂
Anyway, it was definitely one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had, getting to swim around the lagoon! They even give you a free silica mud mask, so everyone is swimming around with masks on their faces hahah. There’s also a swim-up bar where you can purchase beer or smoothies!
After our experience at the Blue Lagoon, it was time to head to the airport and check in for our flight home. Hopefully you can get a sense of how easy and stress-free the entire trip was, thanks to Noken! They seriously thought of EVERYTHING beforehand, even giving us tips on how to work the gas pumps in Iceland and whether we would need a card or cash to pay for our meals.
Right now, Noken offers curated trips to three locations: Iceland, Portugal, and Japan (with more coming soon!). You can learn more about Noken here, and once you’re signed up for a trip, it will give you full access to your trip within the Noken app! It was truly one of the most fun and STRESS-FREE trips of my entire life. Don’t forget to use code “CAITLIN” to receive $200 off your trip!
Let me know if you guys have any questions in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them! 🙂 xoxo