15ºC / 59ºF
Iceland has one of the smallest populations in Europe, with just
over 332,000 people living mostly in the capital, Reykjavik. Here you will find
stunning wooden houses, historic Viking remains as well as modern architecture
and chic Nordic restaurants. In the city centre, spend
hours exploring winding roads and classic Scandinavian architecture, take in
the views from the top of the impressive Hallgrímskirkja church, or dive into
Iceland’s mythical past at the immersive Saga Museum. Outside the city limits,
experience the island’s natural beauty with whale watching, or opt for a
daytrip into wild, open landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Immediately west of the city, visit the natural wonder that is the geothermal Blue Lagoon. The colour and texture of the warm water is caused by a unique mix of minerals, silica and algae; spend a day floating in the sky-blue lagoon, feeling the heat of the water complement the cool Icelandic air. Iceland is also one of the few places in the world where the Northern Lights are visible. Visit between September and early April to witness the stunning colours draped across the horizon; complete darkness makes it easier to see this marvel of the sky.
While on the island, taste delicious local food fit for Vikings. Start the day with a large bowl of Icelandic yoghurt known as skyr, and add some berries or honey for a filling breakfast that will keep you going until lunch. Though the local cuisine is mainly lamb and fish, you may be surprised to hear that Iceland makes amazing hot-dogs! If, while in Reykjavic, you stumble across one of the Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur stands, make sure to try one of their signature hotdogs loaded with trimmings, or ‘ein með öllu’, as the locals would say (extra points for pronunciation).
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