Holidays to Iceland: An Overview

Raw nature is what Iceland is all about. Geologically speaking, this is the world's youngest country, and still very much a work in progress.

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Why we think you’ll love it

  • The adventure opportunities are unparalleled - a day spent snowmobiling, trekking over glaciers or snorkelling between tectonic plates is just another day in Iceland
  • The marine cuisine! Not only does Reykjavik have a host of imaginative chefs, but with bountiful supplies of cod, haddock, monkfish, herring, lobster and salmon, so you are spoilt for choice

Luxury Holidays to Iceland: The Detail

Iceland has a population of 320,000. That's it. That's Wigan, and a full third of those hardy Icelanders live in the capital, Reykjavik, making the rest of the country one of the emptiest countries in the world. As well as the least polluted, since the country meets most of its energy needs from natural geothermal power. As a result, pristine landscapes of fjord, mountain, glacier, and moss-covered lava field still dominate most of the island.

Did you know

  • Iceland is warmer than its name suggests. Like Britain, it benefits from the Gulf Stream, so is not nearly as icy as its misleadingly-named neighbour, Greenland
  • Iceland has its own alcoholic drink, called brennivin, which is a sort of schnapps distilled from potatoes
  • Many Icelanders believe in elves
  • In Iceland, raw puffin heart is considered a delicacy

But before you head out into the wild, your first stop will be Reykjavik, the most northerly capital in the world, and a place that looks and feels more like a small fishing village than a capital. The city has a very quirky charm all of its own, with a selection of decent hotels and a more than decent nightlife. The good news is that Reykjavik is also so small you'll never get FOMO (fear of missing out) as you just wander five minutes around the corner to find another fun place to party. While you wander, it's also worth checking out the statue of explorer Leif Erikson outside the extraordinary Hallgrimskirkja church, which is designed to look like Iceland's basalt lava flows. A gift from the US of A, the statue acknowledges that it was a Viking who actually discovered the Americas several hundred years before that charlatan Christopher Columbus.

Away from the capital, Snæfellsnes is typical of Iceland - a starkly beautiful peninsula jutting into the North Atlantic on Iceland's western coast. Closely connected with the Norse Sagas, this region was also the birthplace of Mr Explorer Erikson himself, and the Snæfellsnes volcano is where Jules Verne's adventurers journeyed to the centre of the world.

Another intriguing place to visit is Southern Iceland, home to yet more spectacular scenery, and the villainous volcano Eyjafjallajokull which caused so much air travel chaos in 2010.

On the long days of summer in Iceland when the sun hardly sets, there are plenty of outdoor activities that we can arrange - and plenty of daylight hours in which to enjoy them. Pack your luxury holiday to Iceland with fishing for sea trout or salmon, horse-riding, sea kayaking, whale-watching, hiking or snowmobiling on year round glaciers. In Snaefellsnes itself, we can organise snow-shoeing or snowmobiling on the glacier-topped volcano that dominates the tip of the peninsula.

So get on that flight (just three hours from London but a world away) to a place that has, after much post-credit crunch soul searching, realised it's much better at fishing and producing bonkers creative types (exhibit A - Bjork) than banking and they seem far, far happier as a result.


Top picks for Iceland

101 Hotel

101 Hotel

Reykjavik

101 Hotel is a totally chic boutique in Reykjavik. As Iceland’s first design hotel it is nothing less than smart, funky and oozing with style.

Where to stay

I wanted to write about my pleasurable experience in dealing with Helen Bedford of Original Travel. Helen selected hotels for us in London, Oxford, Bath, Liverpool, and Cardiff that are absolutely amazing. We can't thank her enough. I'll be certain to direct anyone your way. Thanks for a job well done.

Ronald

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