The land of fire and ice, lava and glaciers, Damon Albarn’s hiatus and Bjork’s creative genius, majestically bleak landscapes and no-holds-barred late-night partying; for such a small country, Iceland packs one serious punch. We can’t think of a better place for an unusual holiday.
AT A GLANCE
Surrounded by the bracing waters of the Nordic Sea, Iceland may be remote but it is definitely worth a visit (or two). Just one look at Iceland’s dramatic landscapes; blanketed with snow during the winter and basked in nearly 24-hour sunlight in summer; and you’ll immediately be dreaming of gothic fairy tales and cinematic grandeur. Exploring the explosive geysers and waterfalls is a must, followed by a taste of Reykjavik’s notoriously wild nightlife.
WHAT TO SEE
Whilst in this enigmatic country, a hunt for the Northern Lights is a given. The Aurora Borealis makes some of its most beautiful light dances over the Icelandic snowscape. Go by quad bike, snow mobile or cross-country ski to chase down this ethereal wonder. Head out into the glittering darkness of nightfall to unperturbed rural landscapes where the lights will be at their most beautiful.
Iceland is a land of incredible natural wonders, from the glacial wonderland of Sólheimajökull, where you can try your hand at climbing vertical ice walls; to Jokulsarlon, the glacier lagoon peppered with icebergs and native Icelandic wildlife. The geological spectacles of the Skógafoss and Sejalanfoss waterfalls are also a must-visit, be sure to take the tripod and camera kit to catch some otherworldly wonders on film. From icy heights to watery depths, if you’re in possession of a PADI diving certificate, you can slip into a wetsuit (highly recommended) and dive between two tectonic plates for a close-up view of the earth’s most basic building blocks. After all that icy adventure, pamper yourself in the soothing thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon; float around the warm waters and slather yourself in silica, it’s said to have incredible healing properties.
No trip to Iceland would be complete without getting under the skin of its eccentric and addictive capital; Reykjavik. By day, delve into quirky Icelandic boutiques, vintage stores (we love Sputnik), and off-beat cafes alive with the capital’s famously creative sorts. At night, Reykjavik comes alive, as cafes turn into bars and DJ’s take to the decks. The Icelandic people can teach us a thing or two about how to party. Most locals will only head out on Friday or Saturday night after midnight, when many of the bars and clubs open, and stay out till the early hours of the morning. They don’t call Reykjavik the ‘nightlife capital of the north’ for nothing.
WHY WE LOVE IT
Iceland strikes the perfect balance with its urban charm, creative culture and stunning rural landscapes, which all combine to create a destination that has something to captivate every traveller.