Iceland is a country that turns the world on its head. Frozen landscapes battle fiery volcanoes, the sun rises at midnight and an ancient Viking heritage splices with contemporary Nordic design to create a destination like no other. Head to the capital Reykjavik and soak up Iceland’s vibrant nightlife and music scene, or just explore the country’s array of contemporary museums, bars and cafes. The more adventurous might want to discover the breathtaking trails and glacial mountains of Vatnajokull National Park. Whatever you do, you’ll find something to take your breath away when you book a hotel on this unique, secluded island.
Reykjavik — Backed by snow-capped mountains, book a hotel in the picturesque harbour city of Reykjavik: Iceland’s capital. Discover numerous world-class art galleries and museums, such as the National Museum of Iceland. The city is also renowned for its nightlife, and many of its daytime cafes step up a gear or two to transform into buzzing bars in the evening.
Vatnajokull National Park — Vatnajokull National Park offers over 8,500 square miles of breathtaking mountain peaks, uninterrupted forests, glaciers, freshwater lakes, hiking trails and ice caves. Just be sure to plan your visit in advance, as the weather can be unpredictable, particularly in the highland areas and during winter months.
Akureyri — The so-called ‘northern capital’ of Iceland, Akureyri may be small but it certainly packs a punch. Host to over three dozen annual events and festivals, covering everything from snowboarding to medieval crafts, book a hotel in this traditional fishing port that is also famous for its fabulous seafood restaurants.
Blue Lagoon — Situated 30 miles south of Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most iconic and famous sites. Geothermal vents heat the water here to delicious temperatures, and minerals from deep inside the Earth colour it a striking electric blue. Take a dip in the steaming lagoon and you’ll come away feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
It is the natural majesty of this sub-Arctic nation which really has people coming in their droves. From the contrasting sapphire waters and lush green forests of the Blue Lagoon, to whale watching tours from the northern town of Husavik, this is not the time to forget your camera! The tour de force is undoubtedly the Aurora Borealis. Best seen in the winter, Iceland is one of the most accessible destinations to witness the sun’s cosmic rays colliding with Earth’s magnetic field to create this heart stopping display of atmospheric light.
Beyond the natural wonders of this unique nation, Iceland’s many small towns offer a unique taste of local life. That said, due to its accessibility and size, the capital Reykjavik perhaps draws the most visitors. See it at a leisurely pace with a City Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off bus tour, pausing to see the sights or to check out the futuristic window displays in the shops. If you’re a TV buff, why not book a tour of the Game of Thrones filming locations? Taking you beyond the city limits, you will find these tremendous landscapes even more impressive in real life.