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5 Can’t Miss Adventures Near Lake Tahoe  

Lake Tahoe is truly a not-so-hidden gem of the western United States. As one of the largest alpine lakes in the world, there are plenty of fun things to do in Lake Tahoe, in both winter and summer. Our guide below will help you identify 5 Can’t Miss Adventures Near Lake Tahoe!

 

The expansive shores offer plenty of things to do in Lake Tahoe; from spectacular hiking trails, amazing wineries and breweries, homey bars, to towering casinos, all with views to match. For these reasons it retains its well-earned reputation as the crown jewel of resort towns in the US. So you can imagine that, after 6 days of camping, Kestra and I were very excited to finally be pulling into Stateline (Tahoe’s casino rich South Shore). While we never did make use of the slot machines, we did find ourselves extremely lucky to be enjoying all the other things to do in Lake Tahoe (there’s a lot!). Although we didn’t have very long to explore, we dreamed of coming back on a warmer day. We’d be sure to enjoy the lake’s festivities and startling blue waters when we return, which leads us to our top 5 adventures that you can enjoy on your  trip to Lake Tahoe! Be sure to let us know what you think below in the comments and if you’re feeling extra wicked cool shoot this post a like and a share, as always, enjoy! One last thing before you get to far, remember to…

Pin our picks for the best things to do in Lake Tahoe!

#1) Exploring Sand Harbor and Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park 

These boulders were so much fun! Til I slipped and fell in of course :)
These boulders were so much fun! Til I slipped and fell in of course 🙂

We’ve all seen those amazing pictures of people paddle boarding on crystalline waters, those were all taken RIGHT HERE! At least that’s what we think! It’s $10 per vehicle, or $2 per bike for a pass into the park which is actually a great deal considering all it has to offer. The visitors center contains an amazing museum with all the history on Lake Tahoe, its mysteriously clear waters, and the growth and development of its shoreline. We can’t say enough about its breathtaking waters (ask me, I fell in when it was still freezing out!). Trails lead on and around the different sandy beaches and rocky shores. They even allow you to go out and onto any of the humongous boulders, if you feel brave enough! Sand Harbor is absolutely perfect for a relaxing day on the beach and is shallow enough that the waters warm to bearable temperatures, so remember to pack your suit! They also host the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare festival each fall so be sure to check it out.

#2) Riding the FREE Gondola in Northstar Village 

Free gondola? You read that right! While it isn’t the tallest on the Sierras, the gondola from Northstar Village up to the Ritz-Carlton affords riders the views of the mountains you’d hoped for, as well as the million-dollar homes that line its slopes. To get to the gondola head toward the Village entrance and veer to the right. Follow the path towards the back of Northstar Lodge, where you’ll find the Highlands Gondola. Once at the top you can lounge around the Ritz-Carlton’s deck and enjoy the expansive views surrounding you. After you have your fill of the views at the top, stop back in the village at 3:30 for free s’mores from Northstar’s very own marshmalogist! If you’re looking for free things to do in Lake Tahoe then this is the spot for you!

 

#3) Touring the Thunderbird Lodge

The Thunderbird Lodge is one of Tahoe's most recognizable residences. Tour it yourself on your trip!
The Thunderbird Lodge is one of Tahoe’s most recognizable residences. Tour it yourself on your trip!

Lots of stories surround the owner of this massive lodge on the lake’s northeast shore. From bringing his pet lion to the bar to guarantee himself a seat, to personally causing the stock market crash that lead to the Great Depression, George Whittell Jr.’s estate is one you have to see to believe. Tours are available via reservation online and offer a look into the life of the man credited with preserving Tahoe’s unspoiled beauty along its eastern shoreline. The story goes that after 1929, he pulled his $50,000,000 fortune from the stock market (worth a staggering $60,000,000,000 in 2015) and bought up 27 miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline on the Nevada side. After deciding he didn’t really care for neighbors, he opted to never build the casino and ski resort he had originally planned. After his death the estate was parceled off to various agencies which lead to the developments present today. Schedule your tour to see the remaining estate on foot!

 

#4) Learning about the Lake at Sierra Nevada College

The college is situated on lot full of rugged, old pines, and does a wonderful job of connecting the buildings to the land surrounding them!
The college is situated on lot full of rugged, old pines, and does a wonderful job of connecting the buildings to the land surrounding them!

Sierra Nevada College is a beautiful private, liberal arts university located in Incline Village. The college itself is situated on a cozy campus tucked away in towering trees. The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences is a stunning, award-winning, LEED certified center for scientific research, geared towards the comprehension and preservation of Lake Tahoe. The building also features numerous exhibits explaining how and why Tahoe is unique, information on how science has been used to restore and protect the lake, and videos on the the history of the lake. It also offers several fantastic hands-on science experiments for your little ones (or yourself, because we loved them too!). Check out the hours here to find a time that fits your schedule. There are few things to do in Lake Tahoe that are better for both the kids and adults, check it out!

 

#5) Biking the Flume Trail

The Flume Trail affords all its conquerors the chance to soak in the Lake's beauty from above, pack a camera!
The Flume Trail affords all its conquerors the chance to soak in the Lake’s beauty from above, pack a camera!

The Flume Trail is a point to point trail about 13 miles long that offers unrivaled views and adrenaline rushes. History lesson! Flumes were originally constructed in Tahoe’s logging heyday to quickly transport logs down the mountains to the mills below. Flumes were made of two boards fashioned into a V-shape with water running down them. They would then carry the logs down to the mill for the loggers. Start your ride at Flume Trail Bikes by renting a bike and taking their shuttle to Spooner Lake State Park. From there you have 4 miles of uphill riding, go slow and you’ll be perfectly fine! Following those 4 miles are 9 unrivaled in splendor and grandeur. Those 9 miles follow the peaks along the lake’s eastern shoreline and finally bring you back  to where you started. Pack a lunch to have at Marlette Lake and make a day of it. There are few things to do in Lake Tahoe that offer you the views the Flume Trail does, from towering mountains to crystal clear lakes, it truly is an unforgetttable experience. So there you have it, all of our 5 Can’t Miss Adventures Near Lake Tahoe!

As you can see there are tons of fun things to do in Lake Tahoe. All of which are family and budget friendly! Be sure to let us know below in the comments which adventure sounds the most fun to you. Do you know any we should try next time we are looking for things to do in Lake Tahoe? Please remember to subscribe and share our blog on social media with your friends and family, God Bless!

Photos of Utah – 12 Pics to Inspire Your Next Vacation

Utah is home to five of the most unique National Parks in the United States, it’s an adventurer’s dream. Within a few hundred miles you can see Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion National Park. All this splendor means there are some pretty incredible photos of Utah floating around and we wanted to share them with you!

Sure each park deserves a dozen photos of their own, but ain’t nobody got time for that! So we put together our 12 favorite Photos of Utah’s natural splendor. There are two shots from each National Park in Utah, and a couple bonus ones from Monument Valley. We hope you enjoy our favorite pictures of Utah!

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Photos of Arches National Park

People flock to Arches National Park to soak in a mesmerizing landscape of contrasting colors and rock formations. These stone from through-ways unique to Utah in terms of magnitude and splendor. The park contains hundreds of soaring towers, precariously balanced boulders, and over 2,000 natural stone arches. This wonderland will leave visitors in awe with it’s jaw-dropping views. No wonder these two incredible photos of Utah were taken here!

Photos of Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is home to largest collection of hoodoos in the world, and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. The park contains four main viewpoints all within a few miles of each other. The most famous of these lookouts is Bryce Point, but don’t overlook Inspiration, Sunrise or Sunset Points. Trails traverse down to the floor of the plateau and allow you to wander aimlessly through the valley’s forests. We loved our time in Bryce so much that we named it to our list of Five Family Friendly National Parks!

Photos of Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park protects 337,598 acres of sharply cut canyons, mesas, and piercing spires in southeast Utah’s high desert. Containing four distinct districts, divided by the Green and Colorado rivers, each possesses its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration and adventure. Just be sure to pack lots of water and extra gas, it’s a long way between the four regions!

Photos of Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is actually a hundred mile long wrinkle on earth’s surface. This wrinkle creates a treasure chest of canyons, cliffs, and domes unique only to Capitol Reef. While you’re there be sure to spend a few hours exploring the numerous historic buildings and its beautiful orchards containing cherry, apricot, pear, and apple trees!

Photos of Zion National Park

Towering cliffs explode out of the valley floor with only one way to go… up. Regardless of the hike you choose, you will be doing some climbing. With inspiring views, challenging trails, and incredible diversity Zion National Park is a beautiful embodiment of the state’s diverse and unique landscape. Just be sure to arrive early, Zion fills quickly!

Photos of Monument Valley

While Monument Valley technically isn’t a National Park, it’s still one of our favorite places in Utah. The Najavo Tribal Park features some of the most impressive stone monoliths we’ve ever seen. It’s also exactly what we picture when we think of the Wild West! The park actually spans over 90,000 acres, meaning you’ll never run out of places to explore.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our honest Blue Lagoon Iceland Review for later 🙂

Utah is rugged, beautiful, and worth a spot of every adventurers bucket list. These photos of Utah do a spectacular job of capturing its wild beauty. So good, we believe these 12 pictures of Utah will inspire your next vacation! Enjoy! www.theagapecompany.com #VisitUtah #Utah #TravelUtah #PhotosOfUtah #PicsOfUtah

We hope the 12 amazing photos of Utah have inspired you to visit. Even the limited pictures we chose can’t convey the beauty of the landscape. The best way to experience it is simply to go and see it for yourself. Then share your pictures with us so we can live vicariously through them!

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever visit Utah? What’s your favorite out of the 12 photos of Utah? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

Want to read more about the great outdoors? Check out these posts!

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Verse of the Week: James 1:17

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Something we’re trying to incorporate into everyone of our blogs is a quick devotional. As Christians we believe it is important to spread the good news and take account of all we’ve been blessed with. The ability to worship freely, the gift of traveling the earth, having companionship and good friends to share our joys and concerns with, the list of blessings goes on and on. Most importantly, every single one of these gifts have been given to us by our creator. They won’t be taken away or withheld from us. We were made by a loving God who cares for us and wants to see us prosper. This week, we encourage you to take a look at the gifts you’ve received and remember to thank God for them.

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How Long to Stay in Iceland – Where to Spend Your Time

The Land of Fire and Ice is a traveler’s dream, and it can be tough to decide how long to stay in Iceland for. To help you choose, we’ve put together a spectacular guide for every region of Iceland. It includes exactly how long you should spend in each location. Enjoy!

While planning our trip to Iceland, our main objective was to fit as much stuff in as possible, because we wanted to SEE. IT. ALL. Looking back, we wish we would have better allocated our time. Everywhere we went was spectacular, but we do wish we’d had more time at a few places. We’re going to take a look at a few of our favorites and tell you exactly how long you should stay in Iceland!

In all honestly, you never know how cool a place is until you see it in person. Unless you’re reading this nifty little blog of course! We scheduled short stops to places that ended up  our favorite spots— and it made sticking to our schedule so much tougher. Plan ahead, make time for what you want to see and enjoy!

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Read on to find out exactly where to go, and how long to stay in Iceland for!

How Long to Stay in Reykjavík

Reykjavík

Ideal Time: 2-3 Days. Iceland’s capital city is know around the world for its historical, social, and cultural significance. With plenty of shops, museums, and tour guides calling the city home, it’s a natural stop for travelers. During the day we encourage you to check out all the city has to offer. From Hallgrimskirkja Church (above), to the Perlan Observatory, to the shops on Laugavegur Street, you can always find something to enjoy.

At night the city is far from empty. Being one of the only true cities in Iceland, Reykjavik’s nightlife is revered throughout Europe. If you’re looking to save some money, there are also plenty of Free Things to Do in Reykjavik. Regardless of your budget, be sure to spend a couple of days exploring the vibrant metropolis. After a couple days in the capital we’d encourage you to check out Iceland’s most famous hot spot!

The Blue Lagoon

Ideal Time: 2-4 Hours. We were lucky enough to visit the Blue Lagoon in early May. Lucky, because we visited in the heart of the shoulder season. The smaller crowds meant we were able to enjoy a less crowded version of the lagoon. If you’d like to read more about our experience check out our Honest Blue Lagoon Iceland Review.

If you have an afternoon to spare in Reykjavik, we recommend the lagoon. It’s warm, opaque waters are the perfect way to relax away after a long day. It’s also only a quick drive from Reykjavik so you can be there and back easily. Unless you plan to stay for dinner at the cafe, or a spa at the massage, you’ll only need a couple hours to visit. Anything more than that and you’ll start to look like a raisin!

How Long to Stay in South Iceland

Thingvellir National Park

Ideal Time: 2-4 Hours. Thingvellir is the meeting place of two of earth’s tectonic plates. As such, the landscape is a mix of large cliffs, dizzying canyons, and cascading waterfalls. Beautiful trails meander through the park and make most sites accessible for everyone.

Historically, Thingvellir was used as the meeting place for Iceland’s first government. For hundreds of years Icelanders would convene in the valley to meet and discuss the country’s future. interestingly enough, another political drama has unfolded withing the park. Game of Thrones fans will recognize many locations in the park from scenes of their favorite show. We’d encourage every visitor to spend at least a few hours exploring the beautiful park.

Geysir Geyser Park

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. Iceland’s geyser park is located in the Haukadalur Valley and is home to numerous geothermal features. Local geyser’s Strokkur and Geysir still erupt to this day, the former more so than the latter. Strokkur can be spotted erupting at heights up to 100 feet every fifteen minutes. The park also contains main boiling mud baths and emerald pools. Occasionally, Geysir still shows signs of activity. In 2016 a surprise eruption sent boiling water hurtling into the sky.

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Gullfoss Waterfall

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. Gullfoss is known for its stunning two tiered, 90 degree turn falls. As the Hvita River twists and turns through the land surrounding Gullfoss, it swiftly falls over two separate 90 degree bends. The river drops over 100 feet across the two falls and throws mist high into the sky. Adding to the raw beauty of Gullfoss, the mist often covers the falls in a multitude of rainbows. Be sure to bring a rain jacket, that mist is chilly!

Skaftafell National Park

Ideal Time: 2-4 Hours. Hiking through Skaftafell National Park is every explorer’s dream. Short and easy climbs meander through the park. Beautiful waterfalls like Svartifoss, seen above, are scattered throughout the acreage. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can wander deep into Morsárdalur Valley and high into the Kristínartindar Mountains.

These more strenuous hikes are not for the faint of heart but are incredibly rewarding. Hikers are awarded unparalleled views of glaciers, craggy peaks, and arctic highlands. The park is also used as a base camp for those daring enough to summit Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnjúkur. If you have the chance to visit set aside at least 2 hours to explore the picturesque park.

The Glacier Lagoon

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. The run off of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier meets with sea water to form  Jökulsárlón, the Glacier Lagoon. Large icebergs float in the ever-expanding lake as they make their way out to Atlantic Ocean. Some of these icebergs are over 1,000 years old and larger than houses.

For those patient enough, seals can be spotted dancing in the waters near the inlet. They can be found year round hunting the fish that call the lagoon home. Just past the lagoon is the Diamond Beach. Small jewels of ice polished by sand and water litter the expansive beach. The lagoon has become one of Iceland’s most famous destinations. Plan to stay for at least an hour in this jewel!

Skogafoss Waterfall

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. Skogafoss drops almost 200 feet into the canyon below its mouth. The striking waterfall is as powerful as they come. Incredibly, you can still walk right up to its edge and feel its breathtaking strength. Mist pillows in waves down the canyon and rainbows are an ever present reality. A short, steep hike will take you up and above the falls. If you’re prepared for a hike, the trail will lead you deep into the mountains, glaciers, and hot springs of Iceland’s highlands.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most stunning destinations. So much so, we included it in our Favorite Adventures in Iceland post! If you’re lucky enough to visit make time to take the boardwalk back behind the waterfall. You can watch the falls catapult almost 200 feet into the pool below as the sun tries to peak into the hollow.

Vík Black Sand Beach

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. There are a multitude of black sand beaches scattered along Iceland’s coast, but none as popular as the one located in Vík. Reynisfjara Beach stretches for miles before being engulfed on each end by massive cliffs. The Apostles stand guard at sea as large waves crash repeatedly into the coarse sand. Ideally, you have a chance to visit the beach at sunset. Whenever you visit be weary of the water. Strong riptides turn below the surface and several people have passed away in the strong currents.

How Long to Stay in North Iceland

Akureyri

Ideal Time: 1-2 Days. To be honest, we knew that Akureyri was Iceland’s second largest city and “capital of the north” but we weren’t really expecting to see a whole lot when we got there. Although it’s smaller than Reykjavík, it’s still an incredible little city! It can be a wonderful base camp for whale watching, exploring the North’s mountains and fjords, or just meandering about.

We were only able to spend a morning in the city, and most of it was spent in a café drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies. We walked away content and warm but dreaming of exploring its endless shops and alleyways! If you have a chance be sure to allow a couple days to explore all the museums and stores the city has to offer.

Myvatn Nature Baths

Ideal Time: 2-4 Hours. Located between Akureyri and Egilsstaðir, the Myvatn Nature Baths are a beautiful collection of lakes and hotpools in Northern Iceland. Given its distance form Reykjavik, these pools see a much smaller crowd than the Blue Lagoon. In such, you can consistently find a spot in its relaxing waters. Given the chance we’d recommend everyone carve out a couple hours to soak in the warm waters at Myvatn.

How Long to Stay in West Iceland

Snæfellsjökull National Park

Ideal Time: 4-6 Hours. West Iceland’s Snæfellsjökull National Park is home to glaciers, caves, cliffs, and craters. It is also Iceland’s only National Park that stretches all the way to the sea. Visitors have a chance to explore the numerous grottoes and caves that line the park. If short drive and short hikes are more of your style, Snæfellsjökull has plenty of quick trails. When you visit, make sure to allow a few hours to tour the cliffs along the coast and the gorges and canyons along the interior.

Kirkjufell Mountain

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. Kirkjufell is supposedly the most photographed mountain in all of Iceland. Its famous for its tiered steeple peak and freestanding structure. It sits alone surrounded by beaches on an outcropping into the Atlantic Ocean. Guided and unguided tours will take you to the summit just over 1500 feet above the ocean below. Alternatively, you can enjoy the views from the neighboring waterfall, Kirkjufellfoss.

How Long to Stay in East Iceland

East Iceland, while ruggedly beautiful, is worth a little less of your time. The drive around the dizzying fjords often transitions to gravel and is unnerving for even the most iron-stomached. If you’re seriously planning how long to stay in Iceland for, we’d recommend avoiding most of the East coast.

Vestrahorn and Stokksnes

Ideal Time: 1-2 Hours. Even East Iceland has its gems. While the local Viking Cafe was listed on our roundup of What to Skip in Iceland, nearby Vestrahorn and Stokksnes are a must. The beautiful mountain and wind swept black sand beach look like they belong on a foreign planet. Ideally, you could spend a few hours here and be right back in the action. Unfortunately, even these beautiful mountains are hours from the closest other attractions.

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As you can see, Iceland is full of incredible locations that are well worth your time. Figuring out how much is the hard part! If you’re tired of wondering how long to stay in Iceland just follow our handy guide and we’re certain you’ll have a blast. Enjoy!

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to Iceland? Do you have any recommendations for places to visit, or how long to stay in Iceland for? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

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Verse of the Week: Galatians 1:10

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

We’ve struggled in the past to identify our purpose and intentions for The Agape Co. As its grown its taken on new roles and meanings constantly. We started off thinking it would be vacation planning for others. After a year we realized it wasn’t our passion and it was very hard to scrap out a living doing so. While we loved helping others discover and explore the world around them, we didn’t feel we were having an impact on their lives. Our posts would only get a few hundred likes and our website a measly ten views a day.

That all turned when we focused on God and his plan for The Agape Co. We began implementing his word into every single one of our posts. In doing so, we crafted and created an audience that we feel can make a difference. We hope that we’ve been able to help them grow their faith first, and their love for exploration second. Letting go of our desire for fame, recognition, or whatever you want to call it prompted this change.  This week, dedicate your time to a passion that both fuels you, and furthers God’s Kingdom.

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Free Things To Do in Reykjavik – 5 Budget Friendly Adventures

Want to save some money on your dream trip to Iceland? Maybe you’re saving to visit the Blue Lagoon, or maybe because $40 felt like a little much for a bus tour, either way here are our favorite Free Things To Do in Reykjavik. Enjoy!

Reykjavik is the capitol of Iceland and home to 2/3’s of the country’s population. For these reasons alone it is worth at least a few days of every traveler’s time. Being in such a large city can be expensive so we created a list of  things to do in Reykjavik. All these locations are worth at least a smidgen of your time and some are an absolute must.

These spots could all be knocked out in an afternoon, and would be a perfect way to get acquainted with the city. Most are within walking distance of downtown and all are perfect for travelers of every age. After you save a couple bucks the first day you can splurge on some more breathtaking Adventures in Iceland!

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Without further ado, we give you our list of Five Free Things to Do in Reykjavik!

Explore the Harpa Concert Hall

Opened in 2011, the Harpa Concert Hall has won numerous awards for its stunning design and architecture. Geometric steel framework dotted with different colored glass panels splash color across the halls. The building also contains a hotel, two restaurants, and numerous shops.

Harpa sits proudly in the heart of Reykjavik along the harbor’s edge. Ironic, because its funding and building left many locals enraged. The concert hall was being built during one of the largest economic depressions in history and citizens were concerned with the lofty price tag. The city went ahead with its plans, and in turn created a masterpiece of social, and cultural significance.

Visit Hallgrimskirkja Church

A statue of Leif Eiriksson stands guard over the harbor in front of Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland’s famed steeple. Shaped to look like the hardened magma columns dotting Iceland’s countryside the church tops out at 244 feet tall. For $7, you can book a tour to climb to the top of the tower. Those brave enough are awarded with a fantastic view of the city.

Inside the church, the sanctuary remains wide open. 5,275 pipes protrude from the organ and climb the back wall. Music fills the cavernous space and visitors are welcomed warmly. At over 40 years in the making, the church is a masterpiece of stone and steel. Please be respectful of any services.

Walk Down Laugavegur Street

On the old “Wash Road” Reykjavik’s primary shopping street is home to bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and shops of all kinds. Perfect for just walking around, window shopping, or sampling the local cuisine.

Wash Road refers to Laugavegur Street’s history as the local “laundry route”. The local women used to walk the path to the area’s hot pools to wash their clothes. Over time, shops sprung up and in 1885 the road was constructed. Now it is a mecca for tourists looking for an authentic slice of Iceland. It also happens to be one of our favorite free things to do in Reykjavik!

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The Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager is often mistaken as an ode to Leif Eriksson and his Viking ships. It is actually intended to represent hope, progress, freedom, and undiscovered territory. Regardless of your interpretation, on a clear day this is a must.

Looking west out across the bay towards Mt. Esja the Sun Voyager looks ready for launch. Upon closer inspection, the glass floor reflects the bright blue skies and the structure almost appears seaworthy. Minus the gaping holes in the sides! The sculpture is only steps from the Harpa Concert Hall so be sure to pair the two during your stop.

Hike Around Perlan Observatory

Many people visit the Perlan Observatory for its phenomenal views of downtown Reykjavik, and rightfully so they’re incredible! However, along Perlan’s hillside there’s a myriad of abandoned WWII bunkers waiting to be explored. The views of Reykjavik along the path all rival those at the top of the observatory.

Perlan itself went under a massive renovation in 2017/18 and now features an Aurora Borealis Planetarium and Wonders of Iceland Exhibit. With the remodels we believe prices have increased. The former cluster of hot water tanks has become a world renowned observatory and museum.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our Favorite Free Things to Do in Reykjavik for later 🙂

Iceland is famous for it's scenic landscapes, wonderful people, and for being so incredibly expensive! If you're looking to do Iceland on a budget then our guide on 5 Free Things to Do in Reykjavik is perfect for you. We detail our five favorite places to tour Reykjavik on a budget. Enjoy! www.theagapecompany.com #budgettravel #iceland #visiticeland #icelandtravel #reykjavik #visitreykjavik

As you can see, there are some absolutely incredible free things to do in Reykjavik.

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to Iceland? Which free activity sounded the best to you? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

If you want to read more about the Land of Fire and Ice, check out these other posts about Iceland!

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Verse of the Week: Job 19:25

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

For those of you acquainted with Job’s story, you know the suffering he endured. If you’re unfamiliar we encourage you to read the trials he suffered through. Yet, even through his suffering he continued to worship God. He never turned his back on him, even though he was told to do so, and never cursed him, even though he was told to. The Lord is still active in our lives. Even when it feels like you’ve been abandoned or forgotten, we promise you he’s right there with you. In the end, when we are unable to wage the war on our own, he will return to set us free. This week, focus on the good God has done for you and praise him even when it’s hard. He is coming back after all!

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Adventures in Iceland – 7 Incredible Experiences

It’s tough to see everything Iceland has to offer, especially so if you only have a few days. That’s exactly why we compiled our 7 Favorite Adventures in Iceland. If you have the time and the funds, you have to check them out during your trip! Enjoy!

Some travelers like to pick a location and stay there for the duration of their vacation, but not us. We like to get out and explore! Most of the time this means we spend a lot of time in the car driving. After all that downtime we tend to pick some fairly adventurous activities at our next stop. These seven adventures in Iceland are just that, adventures!

These activities are found all around Iceland’s ring road and are in no particular order. They’re just seven places/tours/things that we would love to try given the chance. Some are well within are budget, and some we’ll have to save for. Either way, we’re sure there’s an adventure in Iceland that’s within your budget and your time constraints!

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Want to learn more about Iceland? Check out our other posts on the Land of Fire and Ice!

Ice Cave Tour

While dreaming about the endless adventures in Iceland, the ice caves were immediately added to our itinerary. Too bad we didn’t look at the price until we started actually planning. These tours are still fairly reasonable, around $150 to $250 a person, but at the time we couldn’t spare the cash.

On the bright side, most ice cave tours last between 3 and 5 hours. If you really splurge, you can go for the full-day volcano and ice cave tour. It lasts for around 11 hours and should be included on any bucket list. After pick up in Reykjavik, you visit epic landscapes, hike on glaciers, tour the ice caves, and watch the roaring river rush down Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. Any number of tour companies offer great services, just give it a search and see which fits your budget!

Helicopter Tour

If you haven’t already guessed, this activity also got crossed off our list for the price. Iceland is exceptionally unique from the ground, but seeing the landscape from above would be magical! If you do have the funds by all means try it out. Most tours leave right from Reykjavik and last for 1-2 hours.

While the tour its self is breathtaking, the price will also leave you gasping for air. A quick 1 hour jaunt will cost you upwards of $250 per person. Want to head further inland? Get ready to fork over around $1,500 a person. While at the time it wasn’t in our budget, if we get the chance to return we’ll make it a priority. We better start saving!

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall in southern Iceland, is probably Iceland’s most famous waterfall. Sure Skogafoss and others are incredible, but just look at that! The Seljaland River falls almost 200 feet into the pool below and it really is a sight to behold. The best part, they built up a boardwalk to let visitors walk behind the falls!

Most day tours from Reykjavik include a stop at the falls but to truly appreciate it try arriving earlier than the crowds. During the day you’re bound to be surrounded by tourists, but come early and you may get lucky. The falls are located just off the Ring Road so the drive is doable in any vehicle.

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Glacier Hike in the Highlands

**F-Roads are Iceland’s most dangerous roads, but they take you to some of the most incredible places. If you plan on visiting the highlands, you MUST rent a 4×4 vehicle. Two wheel drive vehicles are not allowed, as some roads are impassable without four wheel drive. Be cognizant of road closures as F-Roads are not open year-round, so be sure to check your route and avoid any closed roads.

The highlands are chalked full of canyons, waterfalls, hot pools, and glaciers. It’s like walking in a dream. To really get a feel for the most unique adventures in Iceland you have to go into the highlands. If you go through a tour operation, guides will even take you out onto the massive glaciers to see Iceland at it’s finest. If you go it alone, stay on designated trails and be sure to rent a 4×4 vehicle.

Whale Watching Tour

While Icelandic wildlife on land is somewhat lacking, the waters surrounding are a different story. It’s very common to spot humpback whales, orcas, belugas, porpoises, seals, and much more patrolling the local waters. The endless fjords of West and North Iceland are the best spots for an up close encounter. In fact, we spotted whales just 100 meters off the shore in our car driving through the Westfjords.

If you have the chance we’d recommend starting your tour up North in Akureyri or Húsavík. Your chances of seeing whales are extremely high regardless of the season and the prices are comparable to others in the area. Most tours are around $75 to $100 per person and last 3 to 5 hours.

Myvatn Nature Baths

Myvatn Nature Baths is the North’s answer to the Blue Lagoon. Located  between Akureyri and Egilsstaðir, it offers many of the same amenities as the Blue Lagoon, but is much farther the airport and thus there are fewer tourists. The lakes surrounding the lagoon are pristine high alpine pools and leave the view to the surroundings unimpeded.

You can enjoy these views via the expansive infinity pool at the lagoon. The crowd is a nice mix of locals and tourists (a rarity in Iceland!). After a relaxing dip you can enjoy the dining options on campus or begin your journey home. You can expect to spend an hour to return Akureyri or two to Egilsstaðir.

See the Northern Lights

The northern lights are most visible in Iceland between November and April (when there’s the least amount of sunlight per year). Unfortunately for us, we went in mid-May, and were unable to catch a glimpse of the famed light show. We undoubtedly will return to experience this adventure in Iceland some winter!

There are many agencies that offer “northern lights tours”; however, they cannot guarantee that you will see the aurora borealis. We suggest seeking out the northern lights on your own. To do so, try:

  1. Getting out of the city and into an area that isn’t affected by light pollution. The darker the sky the better.
  2. Pick a night that isn’t cloudy and doesn’t have a full moon.
  3. Check out http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/ for an accurate aurora forecast.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our guide to Seven Adventures in Iceland for later 🙂

Looking for awe inspiring adventures in Iceland? From Iceland Northern Lights to Glacier Hikes and Helicopter Tours in Iceland, we've got you covered! Our guide lists seven bucket-list adventures in Iceland for you to try. Enjoy! www.theagapecompany.com #icelandtravel #visiticeland #luxurytravel #adventuretravel #iceland

As you can there’s an adventure for almost every budget and everyone. From whale watching to hiking the rims of volcanoes, these are the seven adventures in Iceland we would love to try!

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to Iceland? Which adventure in Iceland would you like to try? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

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Verse of the Week: Mark 8:36

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, but forfeit his soul?”

You can often tell what people value by how they spend their time and money. It’s very easy to look form the outside and say, “I’ll be happy when I’ve done…” or “when I have…”. Part of that is the rise of social media, and always seeing the “perfection” of other’s lives. Instead of chasing fleeting happiness in a trip, new car, or even a 100 likes on a post, search for eternal joy. There is a Savior that loves and cares for you. Devote not only your heart, but your time, and money to him and his kingdom. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This week, dedicate not only your time to Christ but make an effort to give to his works as well.

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What NOT to Do in Iceland – 5 Places to Skip

Iceland is a beautiful country with no shortage of places to stop and tour. Most stops are worth your time, but several are better off left alone. From barren stretches of desert to unique restaurants, we’ll tell you exactly What NOT to Do in Iceland!

After driving over 2,400 miles around Iceland’s Ring Road, we saw a ton of what the country has to offer. This included both the good and the bad. When we return, there are definitely a few places we would skip. So if you’re trying to find what to do in Iceland, or more importantly what not to do, you’ve come to the right place!

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our guide on What NOT to do in Iceland for later 🙂

Here’s our list of things we wouldn’t go out of our way to see again:

Drive Through Northern Iceland

If you plan on driving the Ring Road counterclockwise (like most people do) there’s really not much to see between Höfn and Akureyri, Iceland’s “capital of the north”. The coast is always pretty, but as soon as you start driving inland, there’s little to see and no towns for miles. Certainly, at first the views do not disappoint but eventually the dark brown earth starts to blur into one giant rock field. Sounds kind of like Nebraska minus the corn!

If you do go North, make sure to fill up on gas beforehand and pray for no car problems. When we say you’re on your own up there we mean it. Even with a very fuel efficient vehicle you’ll be running on fumes between towns. Additionally, be sure to buy “Pre-Paid” gas cards as many pumps do not take credit cards and don’t have actual stores attached to them.

The Arctic Henge

Per #1 on our list, the Arctic Henge is one of the attractions that drove us to northern Iceland in the first place. Located just 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the megalith is in Raufarhöfn, the northernmost city in the entire country. On good nights, the stars and Aurora Borealis above the Arctic Henge are unimpeded by any light pollution. On bad nights, the clouds, cold, and unbelievable wind keep away even the hardiest travelers.

The attraction is not yet completed, but when it is, it will become a main attraction for Paganism in the world. While we respect the local cultures and religions, we are weary of the Arctic Henge because of this. Regardless of your views, in its current state the attraction is not worth the drive.

DC-3 Plane Crash at Sólheimasandur Beach

In 1973 a US Navy DC-3 airplane was forced to crash land on this black sand beach in southern Iceland. The years have not been kind to the plane. Harsh weather has worn away all recognizable marks and only the hull remains. Rumor has it a local farmer sold the tail years back for some quick cash.

Social media has exploded the popularity of the old wreck and in such expedited its demise. The thousands of new visitors are now expected to hike 2 miles across the sand to the wreck. Short yellow sticks guide the indeterminate pathway and wind kicks up the sharp volcanic sand the entirety of the hike. It was very cool to climb and crawl around the plane but you need to be very careful. Sharp metal fragments and wires jut out in every direction.

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Eat at The Viking Café (Höfn)

Though not too far out of our way, the Viking Café was an unnecessary stop. We originally came to see Vestrahorn and enjoy some “World Famous” waffles. Upon arrival we found you had to pay to park, pay to walk down by the beach, and pay to breathe… kidding! Not to mention they had stopped serving waffles 🙁

Vestrahorn and Stokksnes are by no means a let down. In fact, they were a highlight of our trip. The steep mountain peaks rising abruptly out of the ocean floor were just as incredible in person as in picture. Be on the lookout for high winds and any incoming storms!

Hike to Hengifoss and Litlanefoss

In Icelandic, “foss” means waterfall. So whenever you pass a road sign with the word foss on it, you should always stop! The last location on our list is located in northeastern Iceland (see a trend here?). Litlanefoss, like many waterfalls in Iceland, is framed by basalt columns of hardened magma. While as stunning as any waterfall in Iceland, it comes with its own downside. The hike.

The path to the falls walks uphill on an unpaved goat trail for about 2 miles. The word steep does not convey the magnitude this hike entails. On the path to Hengifoss you pass just above Litlanefoss— but you can’t see it. It can only be seen from across the gorge from untracked farmland. The falls themselves are gorgeous, but the work and hazardous trail aren’t worth the effort.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our guide of What NOT to Do in Iceland for later 🙂

Iceland is full of incredible waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, and canyons. With so many incredible attractions it can be tough to prioritize what to see or do. We put together 5 places to skip in Iceland to help with that! The guide details 5 things NOT to do in Iceland so you can spend more time at better locations. Enjoy! www.theagapecompany.com #visitIceland #Iceland #Icelandtravel #Europetravel

 

Want to read more about what to do in Iceland? Check out these posts!

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Verse of the Week: Ecclesiastes 3:11

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

It’s funny to me that we are able to assign places as wildly beautiful as these as, “not worth your time.” They were certainly worth God’s time when he created them. In the same way, I often find myself think others are “not worth my time.” I’m certain they were worth God’s time as well… so why not mine? That appears to be the drawback of human nature, the need to compare and compete on every front. From places to people, my judgement is all based off a snapshot from a single moment in time.

God’s plan can’t be viewed through that lens. We were created for an eternity and not a single moment. The same God that formed the wildest places on earth formed everyone around you. The journey you’re on, and the journey others are, is not defined by a single moment. Instead of rushing to judgement, let’s focus on the long term. Just because your neighbor didn’t want to go to church last week doesn’t mean you don’t ask them again this week. Just because you heard a teenager swear doesn’t mean they’re past saving. Just because someone’s dirty and unkempt doesn’t mean you don’t show compassion. Appreciate every opportunity you’re given to make an impact, because, while a single moment doesn’t define you, it can begin to shape God’s plan in another’s life. This week, see what impact you can make on other’s who may not have been “worth your time.”

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Skiing in Colorado – What You NEED to Know Before You Go

Looking to go skiing in Colorado? We compiled a list of everything you need to know before you hit the slopes. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or it’s your first time on the snow, this is a great place to start before planning your next ski trip to Colorado!

With towering mountains, deep snow, and endless ski resorts, skiing in Colorado is an incredible adventure for thrill seekers of all levels. We’ve been making the trip out west every winter just for the chance to catch some fresh powder. While certainly not for the faint of heart, if you’re looking for the adventure of a lifetime, we’d encourage you to try skiing in Colorado! Enjoy!

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our guide to Skiing in Colorado for later 🙂

Ski Resorts in Colorado

Many resorts are cut and dry. You go, you ski, you fall, you get back up, repeat, and then you leave. Ski resorts in Colorado are nothing like that (minus the falling)! The villages that line the Rocky Mountains buzz with activity. Ski bums show for the snow conditions and epic terrain. Families come for a quick break from school and work. Locals flock to enjoy the shops and local restaurants. The resorts out west are much more vibrant than the bland ski villages of old. Even if you’re not skiing in Colorado, there’s plenty to do at the resort!

Most resorts host other outdoor activities (ice skating, tubing, snowmobiling, etc.) for anyone to try. Granted, you can expect to pay for the experience. Local towns are a great way to find more budget friendly adventures and eateries during your stay. Most resorts are ‘partnered’ with local towns and it isn’t uncommon to find discounted Ski and Stay packages. Wherever you end up choosing, be sure to check online for deals on lodging, dining, and lift tickets.

We break down how to go about choosing the correct resort later, but in the meantime we’ve attached a list of all 26 ski resorts in Colorado below. Off to the right side you’ll see a breakdown of each resort’s vertical drop, ski-able acres, and average annual snowfall. Reports on these stats vary but you can feel confident they’re close. Feel free to check out any resorts sites that intrigue you to learn more about them!

Want to learn how to save hundreds on flights? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you our exclusive guide for free! In it, we share our favorite secret travel hacks that consistently save us hundreds of $$$ on airfare. Sign up to save for yourself!

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What You Need to Know Before You Go Skiing in Colorado

Quickly, we’ll cover five things you absolutely need to know before going skiing in Colorado. Then, we’ll break down our favorite and least favorite parts about the slopes. Then the decision is up to you. You evaluate the information and decide if you want to give it a try!

Choosing the Resort

Assessing Your Ability

Just above we’ve attached our handy list of resorts. If you’re a beginner don’t worry so much about the ‘Big Mountain’ stats. Vertical and acreage won’t matter near as much this early in your skiing career! 😉 Instead do a quick search of any resorts that interest you and see what they offer for lessons, ticket prices, and beginner skiing. All of these matter much more at this point.

If you’re a more advanced skier, or even a competent one looking to push your limits, start comparing those stats we discussed. Check out the sites and look into who offers cat-skiing and hike-up terrain. Compare the different resorts amount of ‘Advanced’ and ‘Expert’ labeled terrain. You’d be surprised, most ski resorts in Colorado offer some form of advanced terrain.

Proximity, Cost, and Community

Overall, there are a few things to consider: proximity, cost, and community. Try choosing a resort that’s close to where you’re staying. A one hour drive won’t feel terrible on the morning of day one, but by day four you’ll be spent. Again, with a little foresight you can save a ton on your ski trip. Try searching for ‘Ski and Stay (insert resort name)’ and seeing what pops up. Also look on the resorts sites to see if the offer any discounted passes or group rates.

Have any friends that ski? Ask them where they go! Locals often know the best spots and may even be interested in showing you around their home mountain. If you don’t know anyone who does that’s fine too. Instead, look to see if the resort offers free guided tours, it’s a great way to make friends and learn how to get around the mountain!

Getting to the Resort

Many local ski towns offer shuttle services to the resort. After you get ready in the morning you can slip over to the closest stop and pop out at the resort minutes later. A quick search online will help you identify if you’re resort offers a shuttle. Alternatively, many hotels also offer the same service so you can book accordingly. If you made the drive out to Colorado you can always take your car and park at the resort. Some charge for parking and some don’t so that’s a hit or miss. Always remember to take your boots out at night… just trust us!

Renting Equipment

There are plenty of rental options in every ski town. If you’d rather leave your equipment at the resort overnight, you can try renting from the resort themselves and seeing if storage is included. Be sure no matter who you rent from, you allow them to help size your gear. It’ll be tempting to say the boots are too tight, or skis are too short, but these are well trained individuals. They know what they’re doing and want you to be safe.

Gear you should always rent if you don’t own equipment includes: helmet and goggles, boots, and skis. If you’re a competent skier you should also grab a set of poles. As a beginner, poles are more of a hindrance so leave them at home. Some companies offer a ‘Full Kit Rental’ that also includes nice gloves, snow pants, a ski jacket, etc. This can be a great way to save some money if you don’t own any other gear!

What to Wear

We won’t break down the science of layering here but if you’d like to read about it check out our Definitive Winter Hiking Guide. It breaks down the ins and outs of dressing for cold weather properly. Briefly, we recommend well insulated socks, a base and mid-layer shirt, comfy and warm pants, and your outerwear. Outerwear should include your gloves, face-mask, jacket, snow pants, helmet and goggles, and boots. If it’s extra chilly add layers accordingly. Most of the time you’ll be surprised how warm skiing makes you. Always remember sunscreen on your exposed skin, while it may be chilly the sun isn’t taking any breaks.

Staying Safe on the Slopes

Most of these rules are common sense but they’re important to iterate nonetheless. Choose slopes and trails that are in line with your ability. The general scale follows a green (easiest), blue, black (hardest) color scheme, stay within your ability. Never ski alone, there are many unmarked and hidden obstacles and you always need a buddy. Stay within the boundary. Again, this is common sense but so many neglect these rules and endanger themselves and others by doing so.

Obey signage. If it says ‘Caution’ it means it so slow down. Look uphill before merging, this is a lot like checking your blind spots while driving. Call out before passing on narrow or slick conditions. Everyone appreciates a heads up, especially when things are dicey. Lastly, never stop in the middle of the trail or where you can’t be spotted from above. Just having a general awareness to your surroundings will be more than enough to keep you safe when you’re skiing.

The Best Parts About Skiing in Colorado

The Location

Most of the resorts are only a few hours from Denver or another regional airport. The Denver Airport is also a Southwest hub, so you can usually find inexpensive flights anytime of the year. After arriving there are tons of local ride share and resort shuttle options. Some even offer resort to resort service so you can hop between your favorites.

The Scenery

Colorado has some of the tallest peaks in the Lower-48. When you go skiing in Colorado you are literally riding down those giants, or sliding down depending on your ability level! 😉 Regardless of how you get down, the views from the mountains are unparalleled. Cascading peaks scrape the blue skies as far as the eye can see. After you’ve seen them once you’re hooked.

The Snow

Most resorts get between 300-400 inches a year. That’s around 30 feet of fluffy, white powder! All this snow makes the ride down a thing of beauty (and the falling down more tolerable). It also means that learning on Colorado’s slopes are much more forgiving. Picture landing in a big pile of cold cotton candy. During the winter months you’re almost guaranteed a ‘powder day’ if you stay for more than 3 days. All this snow makes for near perfect conditions day after day, enjoy!

The Weather

Yeah you heard right! Don’t be surprised to see temperatures in the 30’s even in the coldest months. The mountains help to trap moisture in valleys smoothing out the sharp temperature contrasts people imagine. Most days in the mountains are actually warmer than what we get here in the Midwest. To combat the early morning chill, try wearing layers you can easily shed as the day goes on.

The Worst Parts About Skiing in Colorado

The Altitude

Mountains galore everywhere! The downside to the elevation is a major lack of oxygen and the possibility of altitude sickness. There is about a third less oxygen at 12,000 feet compared to that at sea level. Skiing is fairly strenuous so your body is working much harder to carry and use oxygen. This extra work can lead to some nasty headaches and nausea if you fail to account for it. Good news, the remedy is simple: drink water! Lots of it!

The Crowds

Colorado ski resorts report around 7.1 million visits annually, unfortunately, this sometimes means long lines and large crowds. To help avoid this, shoot to ski Mondays-Thursdays as most locals are working or are in school. You might be wondering why not Friday? Most kids in the area have Fridays off for ski practice. Man does that sound awesome or what? Alternatively, studying the route map just a little before your arrival will help a ton. Knowing your way around the mountain (and the crowds) will make your trip so much more enjoyable.

The Cost

Colorado has some of the best skiing in the world, and they certainly charge for it. Most resorts you visit charge upwards of $125 per person per day. As you can imagine, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly adventure skiing is not the answer. You also need to consider the cost of renting gear when you go, most of the time that’ll be around $40 per person per day. Try booking passes online beforehand, they often have deals and promotions running to cut the prices. You can also look into a season pass. At some resorts if you ski 4 or more days your season pass is already paid off!

Having to Leave

I won’t lie to you… this is definitely sounds like a cop-out, but I promise you it isn’t. With perfect snow, amazing food, and hundreds of shops to explore, it’s a miracle anyone ever leaves. If you’re looking for a fun family adventure then look no further, skiing in Colorado is a blast and the resort has something for everyone!

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our guide to Skiing in Colorado for later 🙂

Skiing in Colorado is way better than we ever imagined! Incredible snow, beautiful views, and cute alpine villages made us wish we could stay forever. If you're looking for a family-friendly adventure we encourage you to try skiing in Colorado. Our post details everything you need to know: the best ski resorts in Colorado, how to stay safe skiing, and even what to wear when you go skiing. Check it out! www.theagapecompany.com #skiing #skitrip #Colorado #skiingincolorado #skiresorts #coloradoskiing

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to skiing in Colorado? Which resort would you like to visit? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

To read about more family-friendly adventures check out:

12 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Utah

17 Places to Visit in Northern Wisconsin

25 Family-Friendly Adventures Near Tampa

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Verse of the Week: Ephesians 3:20-21

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

How incredible is it to have a creator so powerful we can’t comprehend all that he is capable of? The line, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” tells us this is true. He called the stones to rise and build the mountains, settled raging seas, and calmed prevailing winds. Yet somehow we feel as if we have to suffer this world on our own. We don’t! The Lord answers prayers everyday. There is nothing you can ask him that he can’t accomplish. This week, try praying intently. Don’t put things past God, instead ask him directly for his guidance and help.

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Blue Lagoon Iceland Review – The Truth About Iceland’s Most Famous Attraction

Before our trip to Iceland, we read a ton Blue Lagoon Iceland Reviews. They all followed the same idyllic melody of tranquil waters, amazing facilities, 5-star dining, and incomparable luxury. If your visit goes like ours it won’t be what you’re expecting. Follow along to hear our true thoughts on the Blue Lagoon.

Sure the waters really were blue and the staff was friendly, but the lagoon felt more like an overstuffed hot tub than a geothermal wonder. Online, you’ll see images of an empty lagoon wrapped in snow. It looks like you could wade through the rising steam without ever seeing another person.

In reality, the Blue Lagoon is much more like the world’s largest hot tub party. Sure it’s a very nice hot tub, but it’s a crowded, sweaty hot tub nonetheless. Now if you don’t mind sharing more power to you, but hang on we’ve got plenty more to tell. We hope you enjoy our honest Blue Lagoon Iceland Review!

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our review of the Blue Lagoon for later 🙂

The Best of the Blue Lagoon

The Location

The lagoon is only 20 minutes from the airport and 45 minutes from Reykjavik. It’s perfect for a quick layover adventure or day trip during your stay. The drive from Reykjavik is very easy and fairly well marked. The roads are all paved and maintained so there’s no need to worry about getting stuck if you’re visiting in winter. Trust us that can be a real concern!

If you’re visiting between flights there are numerous tours that leave directly from the airport. Plan ahead and even a 4 hour layover can be spent at the lagoon. Headed back to the Reykjavik after? Check out these Five Free Things to do in Reykjavik!

The Staff

Everyone me met who worked at the lagoon was very kind, helpful, and made it clear they wanted you to enjoy your visit. They do a great job of training their employees and it really shows.

Big bonus: they all spoke English so communication was a breeze. If you’re up to par on your Icelandic, I’m sure they speak it as well! 😉 Besides being easy to communicate with, the staff also seemed to love working at the Blue Lagoon. Who knows why… maybe they get free swims? Either way, it made everything so much enjoyable for us, as I’m sure it will you.

It’s Camera Friendly

For some reason this is left off a lot of other Blue Lagoon Iceland reviews. We guess it’s not a big deal for others, but for people looking to commit their time  to memory you’re in luck! The entirety of the lagoon is camera friendly (with exception of the locker rooms). We noticed many visitors purchased “Blue Lagoon” waterproof phone cases at the entryway. Great marketing plan by the lagoon but you shouldn’t have any trouble without the case. This isn’t a wave pool after all!

Personally, we’d recommend taking them out at the start, getting a couple pictures, and then putting them away. Enjoy the free mud masks and your time instead of hunting the perfect shot. Unless you’re visiting in the shoulder season you’ll have a tough time finding it.

The Water

The water at the Blue Lagoon is definitely as advertised. It’s kind of a foggy, opaque blue in direct sun but shifts to the vibrant hue as the light becomes less harsh. Temperature wise, it’s pretty much like swimming in a giant hot tub (this time in a good way). With warm and cold areas, temperatures range anywhere from 98° F to 104° F.

We actually found some cool facts about the lagoon’s famous waters. The source of the water is over 6,500 feet below the earth’s surface and within 48 hours all of the water is recycled. Meaning, in only 2 days the pool has “emptied” and refilled itself with hot, clean, blue, geothermal water. Overall, the lagoon holds around 1.5 million gallons of water. That’s like filling 30,000 bathtubs to the brim!

As you can see, the lagoon clearly has its draw. Its waters, staff, and location are all spectacular, and being able to use your camera is a big plus. On the other hand, there are also some major drawbacks. Read on to hear our least favorite parts about the lagoon in our Blue Lagoon Iceland review!

Want to learn how to save hundreds on flights? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you our exclusive guide for free! In it, we share our favorite secret travel hacks that consistently save us hundreds of $$$ on airfare. Sign up to save for yourself!

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The Worst of the Blue Lagoon

To be clear, we’re not saying we didn’t enjoy our time at the Blue Lagoon. In fact, we’d recommend it to anyone who has the time and funds to visit. We’re saying not everything about the lagoon was as magical as we were led to believe. In other Blue Lagoon Iceland reviews it was built up to be something it wasn’t. Ultimately, we hope to present the information fairly to you and let you make your own decision.

The Cost(s)

When we visited the price was around $70 a person for the bare minimum entrance pass. While they clearly have a right to charge for their beautiful facilities and a dip in the tranquil waters, the price seems outrageously high. We saw a stat that 80% of the countries 500,000 annual tourists visit the Blue Lagoon. That means 400,000 people visit the Blue Lagoon Iceland each and every year. This number is only going up as Iceland continues to grow in popularity.

What really bothered us most were the hidden charges. Sure you could get towels, face masks, and entrance to private pools, but only if you were willing to fork over your wallet. The additional charges left a bad taste in our mouths and had us feeling like the invitee to a country club pool. You know, the one who shows up with the big glob of white sunscreen on their nose. On the bright side, kids are free, and teens are around half price.

The Crowds

In the sake of honesty, the picture above was taken in a cove, around midday in the shoulder season. It better represents how the Blue Lagoon would look at it’s emptiest. As Iceland continues to grow in popularity, the lagoon will only get busier. One can only imagine what the lagoon will look like in 10 years… we’d guess like an over-stuffed aquarium. To be clear, all Blue Lagoon Iceland reviews mention the crowds as the main downside.

The crowds begin as soon as you enter, follow you to the lockers, and finally down into the lagoon. Strangely enough, once you work your way into the lagoon the crowds do disperse some. With the exception of high traffic areas like the saunas, silica mask stations, and entrances you can usually find some room to breathe. Shoot for less busy times between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM or after 6:00 PM to help avoid the people and more richly enjoy your experience.

The Locker Rooms

The Blue Lagoon had stunning facilities and the locker rooms were no exception. There were still a couple problems: the wristbands were terrible, the shower situation was nuts, they were poorly organized. When you arrive you’re given a waterproof wristband that works as your locker key and charge card throughout the Blue Lagoon. My strap didn’t clasp and Kestra’s wrist was too small for the wristband to stay on. I ended up wearing hers’ and pocketing mine so they wouldn’t get lost. They were more of a pain than anything.

In the locker rooms, patrons choose their own lockers and they fill quickly. It’s tough to find a pair or trio of lockers close together if you’re going as a group. They require you to shower before and after hopping in the lagoon. We mean full out stripped down showers. They even have ‘guards’ organizing traffic and making sure you shower. Public showers can be tough for some people so they do offer semi-private curtained showers, but they fill quickly.

The Lack of Instruction

After you pay you really are on your own. We managed to meander our way to the locker rooms and observed the proper steps from there. The time spent in limbo trying to figure out where to go and what to do next was definitely a bummer though. The basic steps after entry are to: find a locker, strip down and shower, get on your suit, and then make your way to the lagoon. After a little random navigating in the locker rooms you should be able to find the showers and the exit.

The Chaos

Some customers seem to forget basic etiquette during their visit. Whether they are having a splash war, running to take the shower, or generally causing a scene, there’s no shortage of poor behavior. The crowds are obviously another key factor here, more people means a higher chance of inappropriate behavior. On the bright side, most people do seem to respect others and their surroundings. Like they say though, one bad apple. If it worries you, avoiding peak times will help to alleviate this problem.

It’s Not Family Friendly

Just trust us! Many of the couples seem to get caught up in the romance of the lagoon. It’s kind of like they’re having their own hot tub party… yuck. If you do take kids along, be sure to stick to open areas of the pool where people are on their best behavior. You can also try to arrive in the middle of the day and most of the issues are mitigated. Again, fewer crowds.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our honest Blue Lagoon Iceland Review for later 🙂

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's most famous tourist attraction. Not everything about Iceland's Blue Lagoon is as incredible as it seems. If you're looking for the truth about the Blue Lagoon Iceland then look no further. We'll tell you the honest truth about Iceland's Blue Lagoon! www.theagapecompany.com #iceland #bluelagoon #bluelagooniceland #visiticeland #luxurytravel #adventuretravel

Ultimately, if you have spent the money to get Iceland, we recommend you visit the the Blue Lagoon at least once. While it does have its downsides the tranquil blue waters manage to wash them all away. Our main takeaways would be to be sure to avoid peak times from 10 AM – 2 PM and 4 PM – 6PM, book online beforehand (it’s required), and pack a towel to save a couple bucks.

So please let us know in the comments below… Have you ever been or would you ever go to the Blue Lagoon? After reading our Blue Lagoon Iceland review, would you still visit? Still have questions or comments, let us know in the comments! Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

Want to read more about Iceland? Check out these posts!

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Verse of the Week: James 1:17

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Something we’re trying to incorporate into everyone of our blogs is a quick devotional. As Christians we believe it is important to spread the good news and take account of all we’ve been blessed with. The ability to worship freely, the gift of traveling the earth, having companionship and good friends to share our joys and concerns with, the list of blessings goes on and on. Most importantly, every single one of these gifts have been given to us by our creator. They won’t be taken away or withheld from us. We were made by a loving God who cares for us and wants to see us prosper. This week, we encourage you to take a look at the gifts you’ve received and remember to thank God for them.

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