This country has gained significant popularity over the past ten years, climbing higher on the bucket lists of adventurers, lovers of the outdoors and budding photographers alike – and it’s so easy to see why. Thousands of years worth of volcanic eruptions have created the most unique backdrop to one of mother nature’s most spectacular sights – the famous Aurora Borealis – known informally as the northern lights. One moment, you’re on the moon: walking across a vast lunar landscape with an unspoilt horizon, surrounded by no one. The next, you’re enjoying gastronomic delights in a restaurant so modern you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in London, New York or Sydney. Throw in an obligatory selfie of you bathing in bright blue, warm thermal waters – drink in-hand – and you’re officially in Iceland; an atlantic island nation that is unlike anywhere else on earth.
The thermal waters previously mentioned are of course those of the famous Blue Lagoon: a spa, hotel and treatment centre located around an hour from the capital of Reykjavik. The famous outdoor pools maintain a constant 380C – and are arguably more special for winter visitors. Swimming and relaxing in the warm milky waters with the chill of the arctic air on your face, surrounded by snow, is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The volcanic mud is known for its skin-healing properties, so don’t be surprised to see other visitors covered head-to-toe in the stuff. Those that take advantage of it will find themselves leaving not only cleaner, but silky smooth.
The Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) is an icon of Iceland’s natural wonders. Fed by the second-biggest glacier in the country, Langjökull, the icy waters plummet 32 meters over two levels into the canyon below. Gullfoss is one-third of a Golden Circle Tour, a term used to describe day-tours that also visit Þingvellir National Park and the Geysir Geothermal Area. Together, these three make for one of the country’s most popular activities and showcase the diverse natural attractions Iceland has to offer.
The Northern Lights are arguably one of the main reasons visitors brave the cold weather of the winter months. This natural wonder occurs when the charged particles from the sun collide with atoms in the upper atmosphere, creating a dazzling light show of greens, blues and purples across the night sky. Most prevalent from November to March, thousands of visitors arrive into Reykjavik international airport during this period in the hopes of catching a glimpse of this unpredictable, sporadic and elusive phenomenon. You’ll find a variety of northern lights tours available from Reykjavik, including Jeep safaris and boat trips, all of which depart the city to escape the light pollution.
Reykjavik is a small, spead-out and and quiet city in contrast to other global capitals, and makes for an ideal base to explore the rest of the country. Other popular activities include whale and puffin watching, cave expeditions, sea fishing, and even Game of Thrones tours (with many outdoor scenes being filmed here). It’s an ideal weekend away, however more adventurous types may wish to visit over a week, hiring a car and discovering the island themselves. We’d recommend doing this in summer, as to avoid the harsh driving conditions of the rest of the year.
We create Iceland Packages from as little as £250 Per Person
Contact your local branch for more information, or a tailor-made quote.
DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE ON ICELAND BOOKINGS THROUGHOUT SEP 2018
Terms and Conditions apply. Contact your local store for more details on our Destination of the Month discounts.