The last and final part of our Iceland trip is here (Part 1 & Part 2 here), along with a video of it all at the end! By the time we left, we were already scheming with friends on when to head back- Spring? Summer? Winter, again? We always say that we want to head back somewhere, but I know that we’ll return to Iceland. Plus, the travel time is pretty quick and easy from NYC. Our last few days were spent at our final hotel, Deplar Farm. Getting to Deplar Farm wasn’t the easiest of adventures. As it turns out, the road that provides the quickest route from Akureyri was closed due to the first winter storm that rolled in a day or two before we arrived. The thick snow and the remoteness of the hotel meant that we had to be picked up at the main highway and transported in a larger truck. After 25 minutes of driving in the thick snow through a beautiful valley, we laid our eyes on Deplar Farm.
Thanks to a recommendation from Nine Worlds we found Deplar Farm. A luxury hotel this remote has to be special to convince people to come, and it did not disappoint! From the moment we saw it, we were wowed. While everything was incredible, the spa was unlike anything we’d ever seen and it was the perfect way to thaw out our frozen bodies. The trip up until that point had taken its toll and we were ready for a little relaxation, so we were ready to take full advantage of the indoor/outdoor heated pool, sauna and steam room. I could easily go back and just spend my entire trip in this little slice of heaven. It easily tops the list of our favorite hotels we’ve ever been to and the service, design, food, atmosphere and pretty much everything about it was beyond exceptional.
As I mentioned, the first snowstorm of the year had rolled through earlier that week, and it just kept snowing. In fact, it snowed for almost five straight days. We decided to make use of the fresh snow, so we canceled our plans for the day and decided to stay around the hotel. After a hearty breakfast, we tromped through the snow, throwing snowballs and making snow angels and taking the the 360 degree whiteout. The manager of the hotel mentioned that they had sleds, but they were in storage down the road. As they fetched the sleds for us, Thomas and I couldn’t wait, so he grabbed a snow shovel to improvise. It wasn’t a bad alternative, but as soon as the sleds arrived we were flying down the hill!
The next morning we woke up and unfortunately, had to say goodbye to Deplar. After an incredible brunch of Icelandic pancakes and huevos rancheros, we hopped in the car and headed back to Akureyri where we would be going dogsledding. This was an activity we were so looking forward to. We booked through Inspiration Iceland and had the nicest guide, who we loved. At first, I was a little intimidated by the dogs, as I’ve heard that they can be a little aggressive, but these were the sweetest most loving dogs- a mix of Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies. Our guide was saying how they are all like family and to not be afraid because the dogs love cuddles and especially love running! As they got harnessed up, we could see they were getting antsy to run and get out in the snow. After a brief overview of how to work the sled, we were off!
After dogsledding, we headed to the airport where we had a flight back to Reykjavik for our final evening. We had mentioned to the manager at Deplar that we were bummed we hadn’t seen the Northern Lights on our trip. After a quick weather check, he came over to us and said that the odds might be in our favor for that evening! There were supposed to be clear skies all around Reykjavik. While you can see the lights from within the city, the darker the skies, the more visible they are. We’d considered getting a rental car for just the night (since we had already returned ours), but he insisted that he’d set up someone to take us out. After we checked into our new hotel (Hotel 101) and had dinner (at The Laudromat Cafe) we met up with our guide and drove a little over an hour outside the city. About 20 minutes outside, we pulled over and could start the seem the green swirls in the sky, but as we continued out, it got more intense. It was truly the perfect ending for an incredible and unforgettable trip!