Iceland is unlike anywhere else on the planet, with a vast, varied landscape that provides a wealth of sights to see and adventures to be had. Witness powerful geysers gushing from the stormy ground, discover the charming capital city of Reykjavik, relax in gorgeous natural hot springs, and spot humpback whales in Europe’s whale-watching capital, Husavik. This list is just a taste of what this breathtaking country has to offer…
This natural wonder is a sight that appears on many bucket lists, and if you’ve seen them before you’ll know why. Iceland is a particularly spectacular location to witness the kaleidoscopic skies above, with a prime location in the auroral oval. The best time to visit to secure a chance of a sighting is from September to April but February and March are the most likely, staying in or close to a dark sky area. Many tours run nightly around the country with accommodation pick-up, or for an extra unique experience you can stay in a remote hotel and view them from a private hot tub.
You can hire a car and drive it yourself or opt for a guided tour day trip of this legendary tourist route consisting of three equally beautiful main stops. The first along this route is Þingvellir National Park, the meeting point of two continental plates located on the shores of the largest lake in Iceland. Explore the Oxara waterfall, make a wish and toss a coin in to Nikulasargja Gorge, enjoy a stunning vista from the top of Almannagja, and go snorkelling in Lake Thingvallavatn. Next up is Haukadalur, a geothermal area containing hot springs and mud pools, and the famous geysers Geysir and Strokkur, the latter of which is still active. Linger at Strokkur to see it erupt every few minutes. Finally visit the iconic Gullfoss waterfall, which translates as Golden Falls, for amazing vistas of untouched nature and the earth’s powerful forces at work as the mighty water cascades down a two-tiered canyon. Make sure you take a raincoat for this last one!
A trip to Iceland would not be complete without a visit to the mineral rich waters of the world-famous, award-winning Blue Lagoon. The milky blue open-air bathing spot averages a delightful 39°C, making it the perfect spot to relax in between exploring the country’s vast terrain, and as a bonus the natural volcanic elements are like a luxurious spa treatment for your skin. The perfect time for a visit is late at night, in summer this will be during the midnight sun or in winter you may be lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis. Make sure you pre-book for your visit to ensure you don’t get turned away on the day.
Explore inside a volcano
Venture into the dormant Þríhnjúkagígur volcano, a strange and unique phenomenon, on the only tour of its kind in the world. After being conveniently picked up from your hotel in Reykjavik, you start the day with a 50-minute hike from Blue Mountains Country Park to the crater, through breathtaking moon-like scenery. Once you arrive you will find an open-air elevator shaft, similar to those used by window cleaners on skyscrapers, to make your 198-metre descent into the magma chamber. The once-in-a-lifetime sight of beautiful, vibrant colourations and curious formations on the rocky walls that greets you is truly stunning. Make sure you take your camera as once you reach the ground level you are free to explore every detail of this natural wonder, before returning to the surface to be served delicious traditional Icelandic soup.
Approximately 11% of Iceland’s land area is covered by ice, delivering a paradise of glaciers. During the summer months, the conditions are perfect for hiking these stunning glaciers, and the midnight sun enhances an already serene and spectacular environment. Vatnajökull is the largest ice cap in Europe, with 30 glaciers inside it. Svínafellsjökull is the most popular, as you can walk in the footsteps of many a Hollywood actor in films such as James Bond, Game of Thrones and Batman, along some of the bluest ice in the country. If you’re visiting in winter, then find a guide and head to beloved Breiðamerkurjökull, also in Vatnajökull, to explore the most magical and luminous ice caves in Iceland as well as the beautiful Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon nearby.
Call 0161 440 6730 to begin your journey today…
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