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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.

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.

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.

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Iceland Itinerary Ideas

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thorsmork valley iceland
If You Do Three Things
1
Jeep Safari

Thorsmork - or valley of Thor (god of lightning) - is a mountain ridge situated between three ice caps, including the popular Eyjafjallajokull volcano that last erupted in 2010. This picture-perfect area is ideal for hiking with longer or shorter routes available for to cater for hikers of any experience If the weather permits, explore this lush green landscape by jeep escorted by local guides who will retail the events of the famous eruption.

golden circle geysir iceland
If You Do Three Things
2
Visit the Golden Circle

The popular Golden Circle - a route in southern Iceland- traces a path between three beautiful natural attractions. Explore the World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park where you can walk between two continents, wait for the active Strokkur geyser to erupt and marvel at the stunning Gullfoss waterfall. For a real adventure, opt for an off-road buggy or rent a car to set your own pace.

myrdal glacier iceland
If You Do Three Things
3
Glacier Visit

Discover the Myrdalsjokull glacier - one of the largest glaciers in Iceland - and explore the caves underneath it. Marvel at the black, white and blue ice of an 800-year-old cave; learn how it was formed and take plenty of great pictures. Afterwards, head to the coast to wander along the famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara. which has been featured in a number of famous shows.

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  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Westman Islands
Reykjavik
Southern Iceland
Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Westman Islands
Reykjavik
Southern Iceland
Snaefellsnes Peninsula
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Low season
Off season
Myvatn Lake
Deeper Cuts
Head off the beaten track and uncover the little-known gems of a destination
Get Off The Ring Road

As an alternative to the classic Golden Circle route, head north-east for the 162-mile Diamond Circle, perfect for those wanting to do a self-drive. Highlights of the route include Lake Mývatn, which is a great spot for bird watchers; Dettifoss waterfall, which holds the title of Europe's most powerful waterfall; and the fishing town of Húsavík, which is fantastic for whale watching, particularly in the summer.

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A Note on Price

Luxury Iceland holidays are not cheap – fact. However, a long weekend can be done for around £1500 per person including flights, accommodation and excursions. For a week long adventure in Iceland, prices start at £3500 per person including flights, accommodation and lots of excursions.

Itinerary Suggestions

Westman Islands Add-on

3 Days

From £500pp

Reykjavik and Deplar Farm

7 Days

From £9,840pp