Cheap Summer Vacations – 16 Amazing Destinations for Your Summer Getaway

Be aware the end is near… schools are ending faster than you can count, and families are packing their bags. Cheap summer vacations are a staple of good times, tan lines, and family memories. Today we’re going to choose our 16 favorite summer vacations spots that won’t break the bank. So, pack that suntan lotion, start those workouts and take your pick of Cheap Summer Vacations—or just try them all!

To make things a little easier to navigate we’ve broken up our picks into two sections. The first 11 picks are cheap summer vacations you can take in the USA. The remaining 5 are budget-friendly adventures around the globe. Check out Packing Tips for Travelers if you need help stuffing your suitcase for your next adventure. If you’re feeling extra generous, please shoot this post a like and a share and, as always, enjoy! One last thing before you get too far, remember to…

Pin our picks for 16 Cheap Summer Vacations!

Cheap Summer Vacations in the USA

Bar Harbor, Maine

Cool weather, lots of sun, and wonderful people make Bar Harbor an excellent choice for a family trip. Located right on the coastline and just miles from Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor offers postcard views around every turn. Warm and dry summer weather allow for a refreshing dip in Echo Lake. If you’re brave enough you could even wade into the Atlantic, it’ll be chilly!

Try wandering the local streets and exploring the town’s quaint shops. If you follow the “Museums in the Streets” signs you’ll be led on a self-guided tour through downtown. Plan your visit a little later and catch free movies and popcorn in Agamont Park!

Hayward, Wisconsin

Lake Cabin Wisconsin

Hayward and the rest of Northern Wisconsin are the Midwest’s answer to Bar Harbor. The weather, people, and incredible sunshine bring many visitors back year after year. Thousands of lakes surround the small towns like Hayward. If you’re feeling adventurous you can rent a boat for the afternoon, hop on some mountain bikes, or try out the go-karts!

At night you and the family can relax around the campfire in your own cabin on a private lake. We’re serious about that part! This Airbnb Cabin is only 20 minutes from Hayward, sits on 80 acres, and has a private 20 acre lake. Kestra and I were lucky enough to visit last fall and we loved every second!

When you book, send the promo code AGAPE2019 in your message to the host to receive 20% off. That’s right folks, that’s $50 off each night!

*Promo code is subject to availability. Discount is only available on bookings in May-June and September-November. The host reserves the right to deny any bookings.

Annapolis, Maryland

Cobblestone walkways line the streets of Maryland’s historic capital. The city is well over 300 years old and steeped in history. Named after Queen in Anne in the early 1700’s the city is now famed for it’s charm, restaurants and gorgeous coast.

While there we recommend checking out both the Banneker-Douglas Museum and Ego Alley. Both are incredible, FREE!! spots to take in the history, culture, and beauty of Annapolis. After a day on the docks be sure to enjoy the city’s vibrant eateries and tour the historic mansions scattered around town.

Moab, Utah

Moab is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. National Parks fill the state and Moab sits on the doorstep of Arches National Park and Canyonlands. From mountain and dirt biking, sand dune surfing, to camping and hiking, Moab is truly one of a kind.

If you’re up for a bit of a drive be sure to check out these 12 Beautiful Places in Utah! After a fun day in the sun you can retire to a nice glass of wine or local brew at one of the many restaurants in town. With all these epic adventures it’s easy to see why Moab is one of the best spots for a cheap summer vacation!

San Diego, California

Surfing in California

San Diego is beautiful all year and somehow extra pretty in the summer months. It has tons of family-friendly activities to keep you busy all day. If you use a multi-day Go San Diego Card you can save big on museums, cruises and local theme parks. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Legoland, and even unlimited access to SeaWorld are included in the bundle and some attractions are 55% off! Seriously check them out, they’re a PHENOMENAL deal: Go San Diego Card 🙂

If you’re looking for more outdoors activities there are plenty to try! Hiking and swimming at Devil’s Punchbowl, ziplining at at La Jolla Reservation, off-roading at Anza Borrego State Park are just a few options!

Tampa, Florida

Looking for fun things to do as a family in Tampa? Check out our top 25 family friendly adventures in Tampa, Florida!

As troves of flip-flopped families descend on Orlando, thinned crowds are the norm in Tampa. We loved it so much we actually wrote up our Favorite Family Friendly Adventures in Tampa. With plenty of public parks, more free movies, and epic deals at major attractions Tampa is an incredible find!

We’d start our day at the local Lettuce Lake Conservation Park and watch the abundance of turtles, birds, and gators. Follow that up with any one of the local beaches and then we’d check out the mini-golf scene. Play for fun, or bet on some ice cream, it’s a great way to spend a couple hours after the sun cools! After an intense 18-hole showdown be sure to try some local seafood, catch the sunset, or enjoy a free movie at the Sunset Cinema!

Williamsburg, Virginia

Similar to Annapolis, Williamsburg is a beautiful, historically-rich town. In the 1900’s the town was restored to its former glory and is a sparkling jewel of the east coast. When walking through Williamsburg and its surrounding downs you are treading the same paths as our Founding Fathers.

In our list of Cheap Summer Vacations, Williamsburg embodies everything we’d possibly want in a trip. Take a quick trip up to Jamestown, try a ghost walking tour, or just wander around town. Everything is reasonably priced, accessible, and most importantly fun!

Denver, Colorado

Ok I know what you’re thinking. People go Skiing in Colorado but who goes there for a summer vacation? Well for starters, you should. As a major hub flights into the airport are consistently cheap (say $200 a person +/-).  The weather is very mild and getting around the city is a breeze.

In terms of “ideal” cheap summer vacations Colorado couldn’t get much better. The CityPass allows users to book in advance and save up to 30% at places like the Downtown Aquarium, Denver Zoo, and the Air and Space Museum!

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

At the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a perfect mix of natural wonders and modern conveniences. We actually loved Gatlinburg and the surrounding Smokies so much they made our list of Family Friendly National Parks! The park is home to over 5,000 plant species, 100’s of different animals, and an extensive trail system stretching over 800 miles.

After a day spent hiking through and above the clouds retire to local Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg for some family fun. Dinner theaters, amusement parks, novelty shops, you name it, think of It as the Wisconsin Dells of Tennessee. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale don’t worry, Gatlinburg still offers fine dining and resort living!

St. Louis, Missouri

As budget travelers few things perk us up more than the word free. Luckily for us, and anyone looking into cheap summer vacations, that word is plastered around St. Louis. Free tours of local Purina Farms spoil visitors with dog show and much more. The St. Louis Art Museum includes free admission, and on Sunday afternoon’s hands-on activities and a 30-minute tour

Additionally, the local City Museum houses a 10-story slide, Ferris wheel, and numerous more family adventures. It’s low cost of admission (around $15 for ages 3 and up) make it a must for any trip to St. Louis. If you’re hoping to catch a more local vibe, try catching a baseball game or sampling the world-famous Bar-B-Que!

Jacob’s Lake, Arizona

Grand Canyon Arizona

Located snuggly between Las Vegas and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon sits Jacob’s Lake. Strikingly, different from its neighbors, Jacob’s Lake is enveloped in the Kaibab National Forest. A retreat to the area can be spent on endless hiking trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, or even stargazing at night. Picture this as the perfect camping trip you always dreamed of as a child.

In the morning you can check out the local Jacob Lake Inn for a steaming pile of pancakes and fresh orange juice. If roughing it is more of your style, sit around the fire and get to cooking! Just be sure none of the endless deer in the area make off with your breakfast. At night you can enjoy your time at the Inn or try out the local Kaibab Camper Village, both are incredible!

Cheap Summer Vacations around the World

Reykjavik, Iceland

Wondering if the Blue Lagoon Iceland is worth all the hype? We've been there and can tell you exactly why it WON'T live up to your expectations. Let us know if you'd still include it on your list of things to do in Iceland. www.theagapecompany.com #iceland #bluelagooniceland

Hear us out here. You can easily do Iceland on a budget and add to your list of favorite cheap summer vacations if you’re willing to sacrifice a few things. Avoiding the really nice downtown hotels, eating in some nights, and not splurging on super cool Icelandic wool sweatshirts all help. Additionally, you can use WOW air to consistently find amazing rates to fly to The Land of Fire and Ice.

As for the capital itself, Reykjavik is a beautiful city with tons of incredible activities all around. From free hot pools, to stunning architecture, and incredible natural wonders, Reykjavik is truly a one-of-a-kind city. If you’re really trying to save some money and get to know the city check out Five FREE Things to do in Reykjavik!

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s San Juan del Sur is a dreamy tropical getaway located on the Pacific coast. Given its proximity to the US (3 hours from Atlanta) flights are often budget friendly. Kestra and I have managed to compound these savings by using 15 Tips to Finding Cheap Flights every time we search for airfare.

We’d spend our days enjoying the beautiful Playa San Juan del Sur, that’s the beach 😉 White sand lines the coast and turquoise waters cascade end over end for miles in either direction. The local resorts also offer incredible summer discounts so prices all around are low. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Lisbon, Portugal

If you are able to find a cheap flight, Lisbon is a budget-traveler’s heaven. The city sits on the edge of the Atlantic and is as architecturally stunning as anywhere on earth. Steep hills climb out of the city affording beautiful views around every corner. Tile work from the 1400’s still lines many walkways throughout the city.

If you’re tired of walking the hills, try hopping on the gorgeous, gravity-defying, 1930’s tram. For only a few bucks you can enjoy a low-cost, scenic tour of town. If you’re feeling adventurous, visit a local winery, tour the terraces and sample the local selection. It is almost the same price of the water after all!

San Jose, Costa Rica

There are hundreds of waterfalls in Costa Rica so finding Costa Rica's best waterfalls may seem impossible. That's why we made this amazing Costa Rica travel guide- Costa Rica's Best Waterfalls- so they aren't hard to find anymore! If you're looking for things to do in Costa Rica, planning a trip to Costa Rica, or just love looking at Costa Rica travel guides you'll love our post. Be sure to let us know which of the waterfalls in Costa Rica you like the most!

Another quick flight from Atlanta could have you exploring Costa Rica’s Volcanoes or Costa Rica’s Best Waterfalls. San Jose is a beautiful Latin-American city steeped in culture and history. The local plaza and its museums, shops, and theaters are well worth a day of your time.

If you manage to escape the city for a day endless waterfalls, jungles, and volcanoes wait to be explored. Local soda’s serve fresh meals for just a couple dollars. Beaches abound within a few hours drive. In terms of cheap summer vacations, Costa Rica offers a taste of luxury.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is actually two separate cities, Buda and Pest. They are separated by the Danube river and each sport their own distinct vibe. This cultural hub has exploded in popularity in recent years and airfare prices have accordingly plummeted. It’s very easy to find flights in the summer for only $600-$700.

While there, we’d recommend taking a Danube River cruise. You can often find one that includes a meal and a 2.5 hour cruise for around $20. As you float down the Danube you’ll see the Parliament, the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, among the myriad of beautiful, historic buildings. The next day, try out either the Gellert Spa or Szechenyi Spa and enjoy a refreshing dip. Both opened in the early 1900’s and have been pleasing visitors ever since.

Whoever decided cheap summer vacations were a thing of the past, were boring, or were just plain impossible was wrong. Finding budget friendly destinations may be a little tougher now, but as you can see there’s no shortage of good options. So start saving, pack your bags, and start exploring!

So please let us know in the comments below… Which of these cheap summer vacations are you going on? Do you know of any other budget friendly destinations we should add? Where’s your next vacation taking you? Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

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!

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our guide on How Long to Stay in Iceland for later 🙂

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.

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our guide on How Long to Stay in Iceland for later 🙂

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!

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our guide to 5 Free Things to Do in Reykjavik for later 🙂

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!

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 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!

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our guide to the Best Adventures in Iceland for later 🙂

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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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!

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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!

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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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