During the winter break, I spent a few days over in the most sparsely populated country of Europe, Iceland. From the UK, it is only a relatively short flight away and it allows you to see geysers, volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls and if you are lucky enough, maybe even the Northern Lights!
Starting at its capital, Reykjavik, the country’s largest city and located in the south west region, there are a few sights and tourist spots to check out. This includes the Hallgrimskirkja (pictured below), the largest church in the country and towering over the city.
Also spotted the Sun Voyager sculpture (below), which is a short walk along the sea front from the Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall.
Want to see some unusual? There is plenty to choose from locations related to trolls, vikings, the Chuck Norris Grill (based on the famous actor/ martial artist) to even the Icelandic Phallological Museum (i.e. a penis museum with ‘samples’ from over 280 different specimen including 55 from different types of whales!).
Drinks (alcohol) can be expensive in Iceland but you should be able to take advantage of the ‘happy hour’ around different bars in town, some starting from 3pm – we certainly did!
If you are a fan of the The Big Lebowski film with “The Dude”, you can even enjoy a wide selection of White Russians at the Lebowski Bar…I had to drop by of course…
The latest attraction in the capital is the FlyOver Iceland, a fantastic attraction created with over 100 hours of flying over Iceland by helicopter creating an amazing journey – well worth it! It left me wanting to come back to see more of this beautiful country….
Leaving the capital, there are lots of different options for tours to explore Iceland within driving distance. I went for the Golden Circle Tour including the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall as well as the volcanic crater Kerid.
Just make sure that if you are coming over to Iceland in the winter, you are ready for the cold and the wind chill, especially as the weather can change quickly from one day to the next…
Finishing off the (very cold) day of touring at the famous Blue Lagoon was perfect – anyone coming to Iceland has to enjoy the geothermal spa experience!
In the late evening, depending on the time of the year, you have the chance to drive outside of Reykjavik (or join in a tour bus) to spot the Northern Lights. Best time is apparently from late September to late March….and a lot of luck also needed!
On way back to the airport, we even managed to check out the Viking World, a viking ship museum in Keflavik where the main international airport for Iceland is situated.
At the airport, you can also take something home from the Duty Free Iceland store, either from Iceland or perhaps from Scotland if you like scotch, such as the Glen Scotia Campbeltown 1832 Single Malt scotch whisky….