When we decided we wanted to go to Iceland, I immediately started planning ahead. I wanted to have a good understanding of where we would be, how long we would be there, etc. As I said in my previous post, we did extensive research to figure out where we’re going to go and what we’re going to do while we’re there. Since our time in Iceland is going to involve a lot of hiking and lots of sightseeing outside of the major cities, I wanted to use a map to figure out our general itinerary. For me, I found Google Drive to be extremely helpful.
If you have Gmail, one have access to Google Drive. On Google Drive, you can create documents similar to Microsoft Word or Excel documents. However, in addition to this, it also offers an option to create maps. This map became instrumental in our planning. It helped us decide which parts of Iceland we wanted to see and how many places we would be able to see.
We started by mapping out all of the possible places we wanted to go. As we went through which places we wanted to go, we color-coded them and separated them by layers. We moved the places we were definitely going to onto a different layer and then made the places that we’d like to go to but may not have time to go to a different color.
Planning for food
After that, I made a separate layer for vegan friendly restaurants and grocery stores. This required some research, but not too much. Thankfully, there are numerous blogs out there with vegan food recommendations. On top of that, HappyCow.net also maps out vegan friendly restaurants in Iceland. With Happy Cow, I also can see reviews by numerous people to decide not only if there is a vegan friendly restaurant in the area, but if it’s a good option. Similar to mapping the locations, I put all of the vegan friendly restaurants on the map.
During my research of restaurants, I found a number of blogs and articles by vegan travelers, tourist websites, and even locals (seriously, just Google “vegan Iceland”). My favorite by far was this article on Medium. Not only is it comprehensive and has legitimate reviews for every place, it also is updated regularly. For example, I found this website before we actually booked our flights. At that time, there were a few vegetarian restaurants but no vegan restaurants listed. Since then, the site has been updated and a vegan restaurant was added to the list! Yippee! This article is also extremely helpful because the restaurants it lists are only restaurants that have vegan options labelled on their menu, it lists grocery stores with vegan options, and it even lists former restaurants that have since been closed so that is we are recommended a restaurant or do see a listing for a restaurant, we will know if it actually isn’t open anymore. Lastly, the article also includes a list of helpful words and phrases, something I imagine will come in handy while there (especially for someone like me who speaks absolutely no Icelandic).
At first, I thought I would miss out significantly by vising Iceland as a vegan, but after finding that there are vegan options and more importantly, that other vegans have visited Iceland and loved it, it really eased our worries about the trip.