You may have noticed that every celebrity traveller went to Iceland last year and much was shown on TV over the Christmas period. So apart from the fact that Iceland has been on the UK’s Green List since May it really is an amazing place to go and should be on everyone’s must see list.
Known as the land of Ice and Fire because of the glaciers and volcanos there is plenty to see and some lucky visitors may also get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis. With a flight time of just over 3 hours from Heathrow it is easy to reach and ideal for a short break and really is an all year round destination.
Reykjavik is the most northern capital city in the world but when I went for a 6 day trip in November it was a lot warmer than I had imagined due to the Gulf Stream.
Hotels and restaurants are first class with staff providing a very warm welcome.
After two nights in Reykjavik we headed south and saw our first sunrise at 0930 across a lava field. We stood where the Eurasian tectonic plate meets the North American plate causing over 200 earth tremors in the previous 48 hours! Don’t worry this is all normal and goes on well below the surface – you can visit the Lava Centre to get a better understanding of Iceland’s Volcanic activity. There are 130 active & inactive volcanoes and when you stand on the roof of the centre you see them in every direction!
Having based ourselves in Vik on the south coast for three nights we managed to visit some of the many waterfalls dotted all over the Icelandic landscape. The most spectacular for me was the Gullfoss Falls, or Golden Falls formed by glaciers in the last ice age.
The landscape in Iceland is like nothing I have ever seen before. It’s very diverse, wild and raw and you can see why the Apollo astronauts did some of their training there. Another feature is the black sand on the beaches which dramatically sets off the unique pieces of ice laying like jewels on Diamond Beach which sits at the edge of a glacial plain beside Glacier Lagoon.
Having spent two nights searching for the illusive Northern Lights, first on a cruise and then on a coach trip out to the wilderness just to drink hot chocolate, we were finally treated to a dazzling display in our hotel carpark when we least expected to see them. They really are magical!
The best time of year to see this amazing light show is mid September till April – you just need dark, clear skies with plenty of stars and some solar wind from the sun.
Lastly, no trip to Iceland would be complete without a dip in one of the geothermal spas – we picked the Blue Lagoon that was quiet late afternoon and despite the snow was a fabulous warm dip with a drink at the bar and an optional silica mud mask included.
Hopefully I have tempted you to explore a trip to Iceland in 2022. Trips can be part of a guided tour or you can explore independently with day trips included. If you prefer to move around at your own pace you can hire a car and explore a pre planned route and don’t forget Iceland is a year round destination so you can visit the land of the midnight sun in mid June.
All pictures included are from my trip – Authentic Travel is an independent travel agent and we are always happy to have a chat and explore ideas so we can put together a tour just for you and your travel companions either email me at jane@authentictravelcompany.