• Skalakot Manor

    Stay at a Luxury Manor and Farm in the Countryside of Southern Iceland

    A stay at <a href="https://skalakot.is/" target="_blank">Skálakot Manor Luxury Hotel</a> is a stay in the idealized Iceland that we all imagine: a cozy manor surrounded by rugged mountains, with easy access to waterfalls, glaciers, black sand beaches, and miles of lava fields covered with green, spongy moss. The gorgeous accommodation located in the countrysides of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Southern Iceland</a> has been owned by the same family for seven generations and wows for more reasons than just the spectacular landscape surrounding the establishment. With gables that echo the nearby mountains, the manor hotel and farm hybrid is a unique accommodation built for guests to enjoy a unique experience that is quintessentially Icelandic.<br><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWKf"></img></a><br><b>Jaw-dropping views of the Skálakot Manor Luxury Hotel in the countryside of Southern Iceland </b><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWKQ"></img></a><br><b>The Skálakot Manor Luxury Hotel staff and family behind the luxury manor and farm</b><br><br>As you approach the charming <a href="https://skalakot.is/" target="_blank">Skálakot Manor</a>, the surrounding landscape in enough to take your breath away - located at the bottom of a jagged mountain-top, the scene is cinematic. Inside, the Skálakot Manor is complete with fourteen bedrooms, all seemingly inspired by Ralph Lauren&#39;s idea of a luxury Icelandic farmhouse. The interior has hints of Art Deco paired with elegant fabrics. As a result, the rooms are characterized by natural materials and great craftsmanship. Traces of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Icelandic culture</a> are sprinkled throughout the accommodation and it doesn&#39;t take long to feel at home. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWKL"></img></a><br><b>One of the fourteen unique rooms in the Manor</b><br><br>One of the best aspects of this hotel, however, may be the charm and ease and welcoming service that accompanies staying at a <a href="https://skalakot.is/" target="_blank">family-run farm</a>. The lively group of staff are passionate about working in the  <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Icelandic countryside</a> and their love for their home radiates as they welcome you on arrival. In addition to the manor hotel, the working farm is a joy to explore and is most well-known for raising the extraordinary breed of Icelandic horses, known around the world. The family has bred these short, sturdy, and shaggy horses for centuries and can answer any questions you may have about the engaging creatures. On <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> tours, you can join a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">guided Icelandic horseback tour</a> of the property and surrounding area.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWKG"></img></a><br><b>Guests enjoy an Icelandic Horseback Tour</b><br><br>Energized from an action-packed day full of waterfall hikes or<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"> tectonic snorkeling</a>, you can return and settle in to enjoy the (literally) farm-to-table menu in the dining room. The chef prepares candlelit dinners, as well as coffee and sweet cakes for an afternoon snack. And for breakfast expect to find a delicious buffet that includes <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><i>Hafragrautur</i></a>, the delicious oatmeal topped with fresh fruit that many Icelanders love.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWKV"></img></a><br><b>The quaint restaurant offers three meals and an afternoon snack of teas and cakes each day</b><br><br>Sited away from any light pollution, <a href="https://skalakot.is/" target="_blank">Skálakot Manor</a> provides the perfect location to admire the Northern Lights. End your days at Skálakot joining the Icelandic tradition of a hot tub soak or enjoy a nightcap by the fireplace, perhaps planning the next days&#39; Icelandic adventure. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxvN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zWKB"></img></a><br><b>Catch views of the Northern Lights September to mid-April</b><br><br>The family-run <a href="https://skalakot.is/" target="_blank">Skálakot Manor</a> and farm is the ideal location to enjoy the many wonders Iceland has to offer all while immersing yourself in Icelandic culture and feeling perfectly pampered with the stellar accommodation features. To have a chance to stay with the Skálakot Manor family in one of their fourteen rooms, take a look at our<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank"> Iceland Family Adventure</a> and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">Iceland Multisport Tour</a> or give <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> a call at 833.387.1210 to hear more.

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  • Rekjavik

    Best Places to Eat & Drink in Reykjavik, Iceland

    <p>While many visitors to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland</a> use <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Reykjavik </a>as a jumping-off point for their adventures out in the Arctic wilderness, it is no mere base camp. It’s a vibrant, thoroughly modern city, with fantastic restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Although <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Reykjavik</a> has experienced some incredible transformation over the past decade, those looking for a uniquely Icelandic dining experience needn’t worry—smoked reindeer is still on the menus of even the fanciest restaurants. We asked Classic Journeys&#39; Iceland Guides <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/iceland-multisport-adventure/" target="_blank">Atli and Kommi</a> (both native Icelanders who’ve spent plenty of time in Reykjavik) to give us some recommendations.<br><br><b>ICELANDIC STREET FOOD:</b><br>It’s no surprise that Icelanders face some culinary challenges, thanks to the country’s climate and isolated location. But Icelandic food is surprisingly diverse and very, very tasty. And seasoned travelers know that the best place to start when you want to understand a country’s cuisine is right in the streets. Food trucks and wagons are becoming more popular in Reykjavik, and a trip to the city isn’t complete without sampling their wares.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><b><i>Best things to order: </i></b><br>- Plokkfiskur, a simple stew with three basic main ingredients—cod, potatoes, and onions—is a popular staple. Versions of it can be found everywhere, from small street carts to the city’s most exclusive restaurants.<br>- Feeling extra adventurous? Head to the <a href="https://www.bsi.is/" target="_blank">BSÍ Bus Terminal </a>downtown; the charred sheep’s head is a local favorite.<br>- Grab a hot dog. And don’t feel bad about doing so: one of Reykjavik’s best-kept secrets is that they serve one of the best hot dogs you’ll ever eat. Called the pylsur, the Icelandic hot dog is made with three different varieties of meat—lamb, pork, and beef—and served with a variety of great condiments. Stop by the <a href="http://www.bbp.is/" target="_blank">Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur</a> (<span>English </span>translation: the best hot dog in town) but be prepared to wait with the locals. They’ll tell you to order one “with everything.” Trust them, apple-sweetened ketchup on a hot dog really is delicious.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bbp.is/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012D6A" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br> </p> <p><b>FINE DINING IN REYKJAVIK:</b><br>There are a number of world-class restaurants in Reykjavik. Here are a few of our guides’ favorites:<br><br><a href="http://www.fiskmarkadurinn.is" target="_blank"><b>Fiskmarkadurinn (Fish Market)</b></a><br>Atli recommends going straight to the tasting menu. “A great variety of the best in Icelandic cuisine, with paired wine. A two-hour food adventure.”<a href="http://www.fiskmarkadurinn.is" target="_blank"><img alt="Fiskmarkadurinn (Fish Market)" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cnc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="http://maturogdrykkur.is/en/menu/" target="_blank"><b>Matur </b><b>og</b><b> Drykkur</b></a><br>Both of our guides recommend Matur og Drykkur if you’re looking for expertly prepared authentic Icelandic food. The menu may change, but if it’s available, Atli says to try the cured puffin.<a href="http://maturogdrykkur.is/en/menu/" target="_blank"><img alt="Matur og Drykkur (Photo Cred: Buffalotrip.com)" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cnh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> </p> <a href="http://matarkjallarinn.is/en/" target="_blank"><b>Matarkjallarinn (Food Cellar)</b></a><br>“BIG yes,” says Atli. “More ‘local’ than most, the main clientele is Icelanders. Great lamb and beef!”<br><a href="http://matarkjallarinn.is/en/" target="_blank"><img alt="Matarkjallarinn (Food Cellar)" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cnm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="http://kolrestaurant.is/en/" target="_blank">Kol</a></b><br>This local favorite is touted for its ever-changing menu, fusing local Icelandic tastes with international dishes. Atli says to “go for the pasta and the fish!<a href="http://kolrestaurant.is/en/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kol" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012D2D" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>  <p><b>REYKJAVIK NIGHT LIFE? THINK ARCTIC-CASUAL.</b><br>If you’re looking for an after-dinner drink, Reykjavik’s bars range from low-key pubs to thumping dancehalls. The common thread—thanks in no small part to the weather—is “come as you are”. You’ll be fine walking into most places wearing your snow boots and wool sweater.  Here are three Reykjavik bars you should check out:</p> <a href="http://www.kaffibarinn.is" target="_blank"><b>Kaffibarinn</b></a><br>Say it aloud, and you’ll get a hint as to the nature of what’s arguably Reykjavik’s most famous bar. Kaffibarinn is a coffee shop during the day, but at night it converts to a full-service bar. It’s popular among locals and travelers alike, so get there early.<br><a href="http://www.kaffibarinn.is" target="_blank"><img alt="Kaffibarinn" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cou" style="height: 356px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.slippbarinn.is/en" target="_blank"><b>Slippbarinn</b></a><br>Often referred to as Reykjavik’s first true cocktail bar, Slippabarinn offers a Happy Hour from 3:00 to 6:00 every day of the week.<br><a href="https://www.slippbarinn.is/en" target="_blank"><img alt="Slippbarinn" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Coz" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="http://www.kaldibar.com" target="_blank"><b>Kaldi Bar</b></a><br>Iceland has a burgeoning craft beer scene; Kaldi was the country’s first microbrewery, and their bar offers up a few of their creations. Raise a glass of Kaldi’s unfiltered ale (the original) and say “skál!” (That’s Icelandic for “cheers”!)<br><a href="http://www.kaldibar.com" target="_blank"><img alt="Kaldi Bar" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cp4" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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  • Empty Nesters on Bike

    Escape Your Empty Nest

    Dear Empty Nesters (and Empty Nesters-to-Be),<br><br>Your kids are off having a great time, spreading their wings, feeling free and looking ahead instead of back. I say let them be your role models for a change and go tackle the world on your own. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/world/" target="_blank">A big, juicy vacation</a> is the best way to turn an empty nest slump into a celebration of your new independence.<br><br>And that’s my Dear Abby advice to you, straight from a home where the younger of our two sons recently flew off to college. The house is quieter now. A gallon of milk lasts a lot longer in the fridge. The dogs stare at us with that how-are-you-going-to-entertain-us look. I worried about how I would handle the return to being a one-generation household. The tactic we’re taking is to seize the moment and have fun with this fresh phase. Why should your kids be the only ones off meeting new people, living new experiences and “studying” abroad? You deserve all of that, too!<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPW&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zUXI" style="height: 247px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>A healthy dose of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">Tuscany</a> was the cure for what ailed my husband and me. It’s hard to feel down in a world where you can watch the sunset from a country villa with a glass of Chianti in your hand. Did I miss the boys? Sure. But did I find myself enjoying the moment in a different way than if they’d been splashing in the pool on the other side of the cypress? You better believe it.<br><br>If you Google “empty nest syndrome”, one of the top tips for how to overcome it is to “reconnect with your partner and friends.” Is there a better way to do that than on a vacation that suits your interests – without worrying how it appeals to your progeny?  Now may be your moment to spend a culinary week cooking and visiting markets in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank">Provence</a>. Or be like our neighbors who decided to do <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank">New Zealand</a>. It’s a fantastic family destination, but they could never clear everybody’s calendars when they had to plan around soccer and athletics. The great thing is how a vacation jump-starts the process of creating memories that belong only to you. (Just be sure to have your guide take a picture when you’re geared up for<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"> tectonic snorkeling in Iceland</a> or camel-riding in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Moroccan Sahara</a>. I can tell you from personal experience that it is very satisfying to text an image like that to a 19-year-old who’s confined to a classroom.)<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group riding camels in Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPW&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f894" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Trust me: I am an utterly, irretrievably sentimental mom. I love my sons to pieces, and we had so much stupendous fun as they grew from babies to young men. Of course, we butted heads, too. After each of them received their college acceptance letters, the separation phase kicked in and long before they flew off, my husband will tell you that we had a few moments of thinking, “Okay. Maybe it really is time for the next phase.” We wouldn’t change any of it, but with a couple of empty-nester vacations under our belts we also wouldn’t turn that clock back even if we could.<br><br>Our sons and their someday-families will always be welcome to travel with us. But for us these days, travel is a sweet antidote to a house that’s 50% less frenetic than it used to be. If this coming fall is when your turn is coming, take another piece of advice from the experts and plan ahead for it now. If you can look forward to a nice long stroll in a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Cotswolds sheep meadow</a> or some <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nepal-walking-tours/" target="_blank">Himalayan me-time in Nepal</a>, your empty nest will feel like it’s full of opportunity.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/world/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPW&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f89E" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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