For a typically cold destination, Iceland is, like, so hot right now. And it’s not just the chance to spot the Northern Lights that’s seen tourist numbers here double in the last decade. While adventure-hunters are drawn to ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’ for its dramatic landscape of glaciers and volcanoes, there’s even more to explore besides steaming hot springs and spurting geysers. Thanks to the trendy obsession with all things ‘Scandi-cool’, the capital, Reykjavik, has fast become one of the hippest spots in Europe for foodies and cool kids.
Tour the Golden Circle. Trust us, you’ll be the envy of Instagram. Taking in Iceland’s top three natural wonders, there’s Gullfoss - the country’s most spectacular waterfall, roaring 32 metres down into a rugged canyon – and Thingvellir, an otherworldly national park. Not forgetting the Geysir field, where hot water regularly shoots up from boiling mud pits.
1. Go glacier hiking. Strap on some spiky shoes, grab an axe and explore ice caves.
2. Try off roading. Jump in a Super Jeep (check out those chunky tyres) and scramble up a mountain, or speed through the snow on a snowmobile.
3. Brave Ice snorkeling. Yes, it sounds mad. But you won’t want to miss the most unique snorkelling experience in the world. Snorkel in between the continental plates at the Silfra fissure in Thingvellir Lake – the ice-cold water is crystal-clear.
1. Laze in the Blue Lagoon. This natural hot spring smack-bang in the centre of a lava field has a few man-made bits added on, like a swim-up bar. Cheers.
2. Chill with an Icelandic beer. Believe it or not, beer was banned in Iceland until 1989, a ‘hangover’ from Prohibition. But now Icelanders are making up for lost time with their very own craft beer revolution. Reykjavik microbrewery, Olgerdin, offers tours and tastings.
3. Be amazed by the Northern Lights. Head out into the peaceful silence of the Icelandic countryside for a chance to see one of the world’s most amazing natural phenomena.
Right in the middle of the action in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, the sleek Skuggi Hotel is just a short walk from the city’s best restaurants and bars.
Klettur Hotel is close to the capital's scenic harbour, and comes with its own friendly little bar stocked with Icelandic beers.
The stylish Alda Hotel comes with a fitness room, sauna and outdoor terrace complete with a hot tub.
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