Iceland literally bursts with natural attractions; active volcanoes, geysers and thermal pools hint at the explosive force here whilst great glaciers continue to carve and sculpt the dramatic landscape and the Northern Lights put on a surreal show in the skies above.
Reykjavik, the world's most northerly capital, is a cultural powerhouse, with art galleries, museums and a coffee culture to rival anywhere. At night the city jumps to a vibrant music scene whilst on weekends the locals maintain the tradition of the runtur, the legendary Icelandic pub-crawl.
Outside the capital, the Blue Lagoon, set amidst a black lava field in the heart of the volcanic wilderness is a popular attraction for people who want to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich waters.
To see the main sights take a tour of the Golden Circle, which encompasses the gushing pools of Geysir, the giant double waterfall of Gulfoss and the rugged rift valley at Pingvellir, site of the ancient parliament, the Althing.
The more adventurous should travel to the western fjords to stand on Europe's most westerly point and see sea birds in vast numbers. Cruise to the Westman Islands to find puffins though. Walkers should take the opportunity to trek on Vatnajokull, Europe's largest ice cap, although a skidoo safari here or dogsled trips on the icecaps at Myrdalsjokull are marginally less taxing.
Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Iceland, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.
Mild summers (May-August) with nearly 24 hours of daylight. Cold winters (November-March). The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, appears from the end of August, but is best seen in winter. Tourism outside the capital generally halts in winter.
Independence Day in June sees outdoor theatre, parades and dancing. Sjómannadagurinn is dedicated to seafarers and includes swimming contests and tugs-of-war. Pjóõháõ, in August, is a local event of camping, bonfires and lots of drinking. Verslunarmannahelgi, also in August, is a nationwide festival celebrated with barbeques and horse competitions.
Influenced by Scandinavian and European cuisines, and based heavily on fish and lamb. Salmon served in many forms, most popularly as gravlax. Specialities include hangikjot (smoked lamb) and hardfiskur (dried fish).
Iceland is a classless society. It also has a strong literary tradition. In terms of people's names, an Icelander is called by his first name, as his surname is comprised of his father's Christian name, plus son (e.g. John, son of Magnus, is called John Magnusson). Women add the suffix dóttir, meaning daughter.
Keflavik (REK) 51 km from Reykjavik. Egilsstadir (EGS) 2 km from the town.
Air Iceland is the main domestic airline and is the only reliable transport in winter. Ferry services to various islands and fjords. No rail system. Car hire easily available. When driving, the use of headlights is obligatory at all times. Efficient buses in summer, limited service in winter.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Iceland. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Iceland. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Iceland, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.
Lisa Allinson - Europe Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0618