Iceland might have a smaller population than Leicester, but its scenery is like nothing you’ve ever seen. The Northern Lights are the main headline-grabber, and you’ll know why if you’ve ever been treated to their spectacular dance in the sky. We’re running trips there between January 24 and March 6 in 2016, which those in the know agree are pretty amazing value.
Of course, the Lights – AKA Aurora Borealis – are an entirely natural phenomenon, so they don’t always show up. But on our trips, we offer you two repeat tours if they don’t come out to play.
Lights aside, there’s a whole host of weird, wacky and downright wonderful stuff to savour in Iceland. Just check out this little bag of tricks…
Built by a Berlin artist, Tvísöngur is a clump of concrete bubbles with a very special party trick. Reflecting traditional Icelandic harmony, the wind creates a kind of tune as it blows through each bubble.
We’re not pulling your leg, lots of natives really do. And they’re so serious that many building projects have been altered to prevent damaging any rocks where elves are thought to live.
Surrounded by rare red volcanic rock, Kerid Crater Lake is not to be missed. Some 3,000 years old, it contains an expanse of impossibly bright blue water. It’s not far from our Golden Circle Tour either – where you can see Gullfoss waterfall, the jets of Geysir and the lava plains at Thingvellir National Park.
Local delicacies include Hákarl – rotten shark which is buried and fermented for months (we’ll let you judge the taste). It’s often served on a traditional winter platter, which also boasts rams’ testicles, boiled sheeps’ head and seal flippers. Yum.
Sloshing around in dirt is usually reserved for the rugby pitch. Not in Iceland! The Blue Lagoon silica spa is one of the country’s top attractions. Minerals are pushed to the surface by the hot water, and the mud cleanses and exfoliates your skin.
It’s no surprise that many a Tinsel Town blockbuster has been shot here. The Vatnajökull glacier was used in Batman Begins and Interstellar, while the Jökulsárlón glacial lake was used for a car chase in Die Another Day.
Icelandic horses might be teeny weeny, but don’t call them ponies. Short and stout, they’re still officially considered horses, and are exported around Europe due to their popularity.
Axes and horned helmets at the ready! This rural settlement was painstakingly constructed for an Icelandic movie that never got made. Watch this space though, as Universal is apparently showing interest.
Reykyadalur is a geothermal river in Iceland’s ‘smoky valley’, where boiling natural spring waters mix with cold river currents. The result? Steamy natural baths along a popular trekking route.
During the winter months you might see minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises off Iceland’s coast. Boat trips set out from Reykjavik, and you may even spot a humpback whale launching itself out of the sea (if you’re really lucky).
Iceland or Mordor? Some of the scorched lava formations look right out of Middle Earth. The Dimmuborgir site is the pick of the bunch with its array of jagged rock and a naturally-formed archway known as ‘The Church’. There’s even a myth that Satan landed here when he was chucked out of heaven (comforting).
Game of Thrones is no stranger to Iceland. Arya Stark’s trek across the Seven Kingdoms was filmed here, as were the Night’s Watch going beyond The Wall. Thrones star Jon Snow had his romantic tryst with Ygritte in the lava cave of Grjotagja. Probably wise not to try and recreate that one, though.
Traditional mountain villages, laid-back lakeside towns and musical cities – Austria has...
Beaches with a difference. Think you have to go somewhere tropical to...
What's hot for summer 2020?. Find out more about some of our...
Author: Shaun Ringwood
Published: November 24, 2015
Our top deals tailored to you, straight to your inbox Sign up for offers
Shop Finder Ask a question? Contact us
We're part of TUI Group - one of the world's leading travel companies. And all of our holidays are designed to help you Discover Your Smile.
Registered address: Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, LU2 9TN
More from TUI
About TUI MyTUI app Cookies Notice Privacy Notice Terms & conditions Ways to Pay Media Centre Travel Jobs Affiliates Discover Google Play Store App Store for Ios TUI Travel Money Holiday Budget Calculator TUI Group TUI Credit Card First Choice Holiday Brochures Travel After Brexit Holiday Weather
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel
More information is available by checking /destinations/info/travel-aware
Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.travelhealthpro.org.uk
The advice can change so check regularly for updates.
Some of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This website will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each holiday and travel service offered before you make your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk