From the Penis Museum in Reykjavik to the gushing waterfalls along the Golden Circle route to the rejuvenating waters at the Blue Lagoon, it doesn’t get any more versatile than Iceland.
When we set off on our road trip across the beautiful country, we had only one thing on our list: See the Northern Lights. We know, we know, how basic, right? But the more we explored, the more we discovered how much more Iceland has to offer and just how gay-friendly the country is!
The people are friendly, the food was delicious, and whilst the nightlife scene was small, Reykjavik’s tight-knit gay community made it feel welcoming and thoroughly joyful, quite like a family gathering.
We were torn between joining a tour group and hiring a rental car and seeing Iceland on our terms. We chose the latter and couldn’t have been happier with our choice. Even if it meant getting lost quite a few times (not naming any names!). Here are our top five highlights of Iceland during our road trip:
In every city in the world with a gay scene, people make the same joke that “all the gays know each other.” Well, in Reykjavik’s case, where the general population is just 120,000, this is quite literally the truth.
Many tend to overlook Reykjavik as a gay destination, feeling it’s not “glam” or “raunchy” enough. We strongly disagree. After all, how can a place with a Penis Museum be considered anything other than queer?
Reykjavik was undoubtedly a highlight of our Iceland trip and we are insistent that people visit. Although to be frank, you won’t have much of a choice. Unless you plan to swim to the shores of Husavik, the easiest way to get into the country is through Reykjavik.
Around the city, we found dozens of great bars, charming cafes, and fabulous restaurants to keep ourselves (and our stomachs) occupied. The gay scene of Reykjavik is small, but there are a handful of places to check out. The Gaukurinn Bar is one of the best spots for dancing, meeting other LGBTQ people, and seeing live artists. For drag shows, look no further than the Kiki Bar, which has a different performance every evening. And although it was packed full of people, everyone we met was respectful and kind.
You simply can’t step foot in Iceland without exploring the Golden Circle. It’d be like heading to Barcelona and avoiding the sun…
And whilst we may come across as your typical cookie-cutter, city fanatic type of gays, we’re actually pretty down with nature. Especially when said nature is this dramatic.
The Golden Circle’s explosive geysers, pounding waterfalls, biting wind that cuts at your cheek, and sparkling snow so bright that you need your sunnies aren’t unlike your typical night out at a London or New York-type gay club! But we’d swap this experience over the bickering twinks, blaring Cher music, and strobe lighting any day…
Located 25 miles east of Reykjavik, the Golden Circle is a travel route that takes you by glaciers, mountains, and waterfalls. Our top 3 highlights from the route were the Þingvellir (pronounced ‘Thingvellir’) National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the Gullfoss Waterfall. Our personal favorite was the geysers, despite their explosive sound giving us quite the spook. The water discharges from the ground every 5-10 minutes having been forced up by insane pressure.
The best way to visit the Golden Circle is as part of a tour from Reykjavik or on your own terms by renting a car and hitting the road.
NEXT PAGE: Blue Lagoon, Northern Lights, and whale watching in Husavik…