Offering an awe-inspiring combination of Northern Lights, geothermal spas, spectacular sea life, dramatic landscapes and yes, even beaches, holidays in Iceland are understandably becoming more and more popular.
Despite year-round temperatures ranging from just 0 degrees in the winter to 11 degrees in the summer, tourists continue to flock to Iceland in their millions to experience the incredible sights awaiting them – many of which appear on bucket lists across the globe.
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The capital Reykjavik is the obvious starting point for any Iceland adventure, with plenty of things to do, making it ideal for city breaks in Iceland. Hallgrimskirkja, a colossal white-concrete church which is visible from 20 kilometres away, provides great views.
Reykjavik also boasts a number of impressive museums, including the National Museum of Iceland, while for something a little different, there’s always the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Here, you’ll get to study more than 200 penises representing the different land and sea creatures residing in Iceland. Well, when in Rome…or Reykjavik…
During family holidays in Iceland, kids will love the Whales of Iceland exhibit or, even better, head out to sea on a whale watching tour.
The city’s most famous spot, however, is the Blue Lagoon, although it’s actually located a little south of Reykjavik itself. The geothermally heated pools are believed to have properties great for skincare, making it a popular attraction.
To explore further afield under your own steam – and trust us, it’s worth it – take a drive along the Golden Circle, which takes in a number of Iceland’s stunning natural attractions. The first stop is Thingvellir National Park. Believe it or not, within the park is the north-west corner of the North American continent, with the Eurasian continent several kilometres away. Both are incredibly dramatic sights.
The Golden Circle also takes in Haukadalur Valley – within which is the Geysir Geothermal Area where you’ll see the Great Geysir and Strokkur – as well as Gullfoss Falls, among the most spectacular in Iceland – and that’s quite a compliment.
For a rather chilly country, Iceland holidays can also present opportunities for a lot of hiking, if that’s your thing. Skaftafell Nature Reserve has beautiful trails, while Landmannalaugar in The Interior is famous for its bubbling springs and rugged routes. Alternatively, you’ll find the epitome of remoteness tucked away among the hills and lakes of Hornstrandir.
And – hear us out here – don’t forget about beach holidays in Iceland too. Granted, you may be packing a couple of jumpers rather than a bikini, but don’t miss the chance to visit the spectacular desert-like Breidavik Beach in the west fjords. Reynisfjara Beach on the south coast is another breath-taking spot, where the waves caress the black sand before withdrawing out towards two giant basalt rocks, strutting out from the seabed.
Reykjavik is also a great base from which to catch a glimpse of the natural phenomenon, Aurora Borealis – better known as the Northern Lights. March and September are typically the best times to see them, but you can get lucky any time of year. Book a designated tour to head out of the city itself to a more remote location. Many tours will offer a free second attempt if you don’t see them first time around.
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