For nature lovers out there who want to see some stunning natural formations, Iceland is simply one of the best places you can go. Its mysterious, otherworldly landscapes and ambiance give it an almost magical air.
What to do in Iceland
Getting around Iceland is easiest with a car, and it’s an incredible straightforward place to navigate, but there are bus tours will take you too all the must-see destinations. A popular route is the 300km Golden Circle which will take you past such delights as the Þingvellir National Park with its tectonic rifts and spongy moss.
Heading further west and you will pass Laugarvatn, the small town built on natural hot springs. Here you can sit back and relax wonderful saunas and geothermal pools. Sticking with the water theme and you should ensure you head to see the Gulfoss waterfall. The sheer size of the combined with the constant crashing of the water makes it a true spectacle and a perfect place for a photo opportunity.
Heading back towards Reykjavik you must stop by Strokkur, a fountain geyser which is perhaps the most popular in Iceland. It erupts every six to 10 minutes and the explosion of water regularly reaches 20m high. If it’s still light out and things aren’t too cold, consider taking a hike up the Kambar Mountain at Hveragerði. The views are exquisite and there is no feeling quite like taking a relaxing dip into the beautifully warm and clean geothermal river.
Eating Out in Iceland
The easiest place to find a good restaurant in Iceland is in Reykjavik. A true taste of Iceland is served us at the superb Old Iceland Restaurant. With its locally sourced food and beautifully presented dishes, the family owned establishment is one of Reykjavik’s most popular places to eat.
Another upmarket restaurant with exceptional ratings is the Dill Restaurant, but be aware that it is closed between Sunday and Tuesday. For a cheaper but still delicious meal, you can’t go wrong with Icelandic Fish and Chips down Tryggvagata.
When to visit
Iceland does offer a certain charm when the snow is falling but its cold and dark winters certainly aren’t for everyone. The dark nights are the best time for seeing the Nothern Lights though and it really is a magical sight.
If exploration is more you thing then you can’t go wrong between May and September as temperatures tend to be mild. Things will be warm enough to strip down and take a dip in a geothermal river and it’s also the time boat tours at the Jökulsárlón Lagoon are in operation.
Where to stay
There are fewer large hotels and more guests houses/serviced apartments across Iceland. In Rejkavik, where most people tend to base their stay in Iceland, you will usually need pay at least £100 for a double room per night in touristy months. For this price there are a range of wonderfully clean and spacious rooms such as those in the centrally located Konrads Guesthouse and Igdlo Guesthouse which are both well worth the money.
For cheaper alternatives, there are a couple of standout options. Kex Hostel, named after the Icelandic word for biscuit, provides some relatively inexpensive but comfortable beds in dormitories. Oddsson Hostel, housed in one of Iceland’s most famous buildings, JL House, also offers a well-priced stay in a six bed mixed room.
For more information about Iceland, check out our Reykjavik City Breaks article!