Iceland holidays

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Iceland holidays will transport you to a place of natural wonders, home to hot springs, mountains and lava fields. Located just below the Arctic Circle, Iceland’s geological features are truly remarkable.   

There’s plenty to see and do in this captivating country. Take a trip to Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city. Boasting vibrant cafés and bars, Reykjavik also offers the ideal base for exploring the Golden Circle – a popular itinerary that involves visiting fascinating geysers and spectacular waterfalls.  

Further afield in the remote Highlands, there’s the opportunity to hike up mountains and wander through ice caves. Whatever you get up to, holidays in Iceland promise a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. 

Natural Beauty and Uniqueness  

Iceland isn’t short of natural beauty. This is a country shaped by dramatic landscapes and unspoiled scenery that make it a truly unique place to visit. From its glaciers to its lagoons, Iceland’s natural wonders are illuminated season after season by the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun.  

11% of the country’s landscape is covered by ice, so there’s ample opportunity to walk across some of its most extraordinary glaciers. Enjoy a hike on Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Iceland. Also known as ‘the water glacier’, Vatnajökull offers an unforgettable experience and endless beautiful views. 

Or head over to Thingvellir National Park and walk between the tectonic plates at the Almannagja gorge. Adventurous travellers can also try snorkelling or scuba diving in the Silfra Fissure or go horse-riding through the park.  

And of course, spotting the Northern Lights should be right at the top of your Iceland bucket list. This awe-inspiring ethereal light show is not to be missed. Visitors can join a Northern Lights guided tour to witness this phenomenon from the best viewing locations across Iceland.  

Amazing Attractions

Holidays to Iceland guarantee amazing attractions wherever you go. One of its most popular places to visit is the Blue Lagoon, just half an hour south of Reykjavik. This outdoor geothermal spa boasts brilliantly blue waters said to contain unique healing properties. The waters are nice and warm, averaging temperatures of 37 to 39°C (98–102°F). 

Whale-watching is another much-loved activity in Iceland – perfect for nature-lovers. Catch a glimpse of these gentle giants splashing around in the water under the Northern Lights. Whale-watching tours depart all year round from Reykjavik and other locations across Iceland.  

Iceland is also home to some pretty incredible geysers, including Strokkur, located in the Geysir Geothermal Area. Strokkur is an active geyser that blasts water to a height of 20 metres every 5 to 10 minutes. It’s well worth a visit if you want to learn more about the country’s geological highlights.   

Reykjavik Sights  

Reykjavik is a cosmopolitan coastal city full of personality. Here, quaint, colourful houses line the streets, giving the cityscape a picture-perfect look. Reykjavik’s Old Town features impressive ancient buildings full of history, while stylish boutiques and restaurants add a contemporary edge to the city’s traditional Nordic character.  

Stroll around Reykjavik’s idyllic city streets and catch glimpses of the surrounding mountains and sea. There’s lots to explore, from its National Museum and Saga Museum to the Harpa arts centre. 

Relax in the city’s geothermal-heated pool, Laugardalslaug. This is the largest pool in Reykjavik and is very popular with the locals. You can also take a 20-minute ferry ride to the neighbouring Viðey Island, where you can explore walking trails and enjoy scenic views over Iceland’s capital city.  

Map of Iceland

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-1°C - 15°C

The weather in Iceland is generally cool and cloudy. The winters are long with temperatures averaging around 1--2°C. You can expect snowfall from October to April, peaking in December and January. While it doesn’t get much rainfall, the chance of precipitation is highest from October to February. The summers are short, with temperatures averaging 12-15°C, between July and August.

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3 hours

Keflavik airport (KEF) is around 50km of Reykjavik

Iceland is best for...

Explorers: The land of fire and ice, this country is a geologically active powerhouse. Hike glaciers, dip into nature’s hot springs, stand behind iconic waterfalls, take a tour above volcanoes, watch explosive geysers, and chase the Northern Lights. 

Wildlife enthusiasts: Holidays to Iceland offer a gateway to a virtually untouched natural habitat. If you visit during the puffin season, April to August, you’ll see millions of these plump birds bobbing along the South Coast. Whale watching excursions are also a must from April to early October.

Art lovers: Home to Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower, a stay in Reykjavik is a must for its art scene alone. The capital is one enormous expo, from the vibrant street murals and sculptures that bejewel the walkways to the dozens of galleries hosting pop up exhibitions.

Fast facts for Iceland

Language: While the language spoken in Reykjavik is Icelandic, most naives are taught English as a second language/

Currency: The currency in Reykjavik is the Icelandic Krona (kr)

Local time: Reykjavik is the same as GMT/UK time

Fly to: Keflavik airport, around 50km southwest of central Reykjavik. 

Flight time from UK: 3 hours

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at Iceland's tourism website.

Visa / Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

 

Getting around Iceland

Local bus: Reykjavik has an excellent bus service operated by Strætó BS. You can use cash, purchase a ticket from Hlemmur Bus Terminal or download the app, and you can even track your bus in real-time.

Hire a car: Hiring a car is a great option if you want to explore the countryside. The buses outside of the capital are limited, so driving will give you the freedom to explore on your own schedule. So long as you get clued-up on all the rules and regulations before you set out.

Coach tour: Most of the iconic sights are best accessed by booking a coach tour. The Golden Circle route will take you to see the Geysir Geothermal Area, the Gullfoss Waterfall and even see the Northern Lights at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Thingvellir National Park.

Events in Iceland

Winter Lights Festival: From mid to late February, Reykjavik is ablaze with light shows as the city celebrates winter after a long period of darkness. You’ll find more than 20 glowing works of art stretching from Hallgrímskirkja church to Reykjavík City Hall, illuminating iconic buildings.

Reykjavik Food & Fun Festival: Iceland breaks between late February and early March are a food lover's dream come true. Chefs from around the world take over local restaurants to compete in whisking up their own gastronomic wizardry.

Fashion Festival: Iceland is edgy and artsy. So it’s no wonder that architects and fashion designers descend on the capital for three days of avant-garde events in mid-March. Enjoy cutting-edge shows, music and workshops throughout the city. 

 

Iceland weather

Temperature: The summer months are between July and August, with temperatures averaging 12-15°C. The winters do bring snowfall from December and January, with minimal percipitaion from October to April and average temperatures of 1-2°C.

Best time to visit: Iceland holidays can be enjoyed year-round. Visit during winter and you’ll have the chance to catch the Northern Lights. Summer is a great time to experience the long days and the midnight sun phenomenon.

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