We just returned from a truly wonderful 2 week holiday visiting Iceland, Stockholm and Finland. When we heard that the Winnipeg Jets would be playing a couple of games in Helsinki, Finland, we thought it would be a perfect time to also visit some friends that live there. Shauna Cook planned a great itinerary for us!
We started our trip in Iceland, spending 4 nights there at the Icelandair Hotel Marina – delicious breakfast buffet! Our first day was spent roaming around Reykjavík, which we found super cool and also charming. Our hotel was a nice distance away from the hustle and bustle of the city in the Old Harbour area. We found some great restaurants in the area, especially the Grandi Mathöll food hall which we ended up visiting a couple of times.
During our other 3 days in Iceland, Shauna booked us some awesome day tours with Arctic Adventures. We visited beautiful spots in the Golden Circle (Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss), the South Shore (Reynisfjara, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Vík) and the Snaefellsnes region (Kirkjufell, etc.) The sheer beauty of all of these spots is almost indescribable! My very favourite place, however, was Reynisfjara, while my husband loved Djúpalónssandur. The guides – shout out to Norris and Hafsteinn – were really fantastic, and we loved how we had our own time to explore the areas. Each day, we were able to buy lunch at various spots. Be sure to get the fish soup during your tour at Geysir – so tasty!
Shauna booked us airport transfers with Flybus which were clean and efficient. After Iceland, we spent 2 nights in Stockholm at the Scandic No. 53. Albeit it was a bit tough for us to be thrown into a busy city after 3 days of pure nature in Iceland, we quickly settled into the heart of the city. We spent our time in Stockholm just walking and exploring the city on our own, with highlights being the Vasa Museum and Moderna Museet. Gamla Stan (Old Town) was beautiful, with shops slowly putting up decorations for the Christmas season.
After Stockholm, it was on to explore Finland with our friends for a week! We took the ferry (cruise ship!) from Stockholm to Turku, which was quite an experience in itself. Throughout our time in Finland, we also visited Tampere, Jyväskylä, Porvoo and Helsinki. Being with locals, it was great to get a true look at the “real” Finland and not just touristy spots.
We had the best trip, and cannot wait to talk to Shauna again when we’re ready to plan a self drive of Iceland!