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Grindavik, Iceland

Sunday, June 11, 2023 - 5:30pm by Lolo
18 miles and 0.5 hours from our last stop - 2 night stay


Papa's RestaurantPapa's RestaurantGrindavik, the end of the road - our final destination before flying back to the states. This, and Reykjavik, are the places that most travelers to Iceland’s journeys start and/or end.

It’s the closest town to Keflavik, the airport we would be flying out of, and it is also home to the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, which we thought would be a nice way to wrap up our trip.

It was already late afternoon when we arrived in Grindavik, so after checking into the campground, we headed to town (on foot) with the intention of having dinner at Bryggjan Grindavik Netagerðin, a cafe and restaurant right on the harbor.

Unfortunately, only the restaurant was already closed for the day, and the cafe only served soup. The hostess was kind enough to recommend the nearby Papa’s as a very good alternative.

My fresh Icelandic trout at Bryggjan Grindavik NetagerðinMy fresh Icelandic trout at Bryggjan Grindavik NetagerðinIt looked promising as the sign by its door read: “Probably” the best fish in the world. Not just good fish, but the best fish. Having not had fish everywhere in the world, I can’t vouch for it being “the best,” but it was definitely very good and very fresh. The fact that almost all the other customers in the restaurant were locals also vouched for its probably being the best fish in the world.

Grindavík is still very much a fishing town with most of its inhabitants working in the fisheries. There is still an active fishing fleet in Grindavík and most of their catches go to the local factory that specializes in processing salted fish for export.

The town even has a museum called the Icelandic Saltfish Museum which explains how saltfish is produced and the essential role it played in Icelandic people’s survival during the country’s difficult past.

Bye Bye IcelandBye Bye IcelandUnfortunately it was closed when we were there.

The next morning, all we needed to do was pack and clean up the van, and soak in the Blue Lagoon at 6:00 pm (the only time we could get because we waited too long to book).

That wouldn’t take all day, so we squeezed in a morning 3.5-mile hike to the Fagradalsfjall volcano (which is the one that is currently erupting in Iceland, just 2 weeks after we left). I felt that Fagradalsfjall was pretty awesome and worthy of a Trip Stop of its own.

The way I feel about IcelandThe way I feel about IcelandAfter our hike, we finalized our packing and went out for a late lunch/early dinner at Bryggjan Grindavik Netagerðin, the restaurant that thwarted us yesterday. As we climbed the stairs to the restaurant upstairs, a large group of about 20 men and women dressed in orange (Coast Guard? Or fishermen) were just leaving. So, this must be the place.

The restaurant is also a fishnet making shop, because in Grindavik it's perfectly normal to have gourmet cooking and net making going on at the same time. There was a large glass window at one end of the restaurant through which we could observe the net making facility.

I can’t vouch for their net making, but the food was excellent. I had the fresh Icelandic trout, probably caught about an hour ago on the boat outside our window, served with melted butter, fried almonds, raisins, butter fried potatoes, and a light salat. Herb had the boring, but delicious fish and chips

Now it was time for our last event of the trip - our highly anticipated visit to the Blue Lagoon, also worthy of its own Trip Stop:

What an amazing trip it had been. Weeks later, I am still smiling!

Grindavik location map in "high definition"

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