There are many reasons why tourists flock to Iceland every year – it’s an island bursting with mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls. This island is also one of the few places in the world where you can watch the Northern Lights flit across the skies. The best time to catch this natural phenomenon is between September and April, during the darkness of night when cloud coverage remains low. It’s impossible to guarantee a sighting, but if you’re lucky enough to witness this wonder, you’ll treasure the moment forever.
In summer you can get close to the thundering waters – and during wintertime, it becomes a frozen paradise.
Set off from the capital on an adventure around Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. The journey begins with a stop at Þingvellir National Park, a stunning scenic area that borders the Mid-Atlantic Ridge tectonic plates. Next up, visit the striking Gullfoss Waterfall. In summer you can get close to the thundering waters – and during wintertime, it becomes a frozen paradise. The third and final Golden Circle stop is the mesmerising geothermal area of Geysir, where you can watch the famous Strokkur geyser erupt high in the sky.
A city masterpiece
Inspired by Iceland's natural wonders, the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church is a must-visit. Pay to go up to the top of this landmark and admire the mesmerising views of Reykjavik – on a clear day, gaze across to the volcanoes and glaciers beyond the city.£377 ppBook a holiday
You’ll find plenty of curiosities when you roam around the streets of Reykjavik. Make your way to the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church, admiring it from the outside before you step inside this architectural wonder. Other unique city sights include the Sun Voyager sculpture, the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall (which regularly hosts symphonies, operas and theatre shows) and the lovely Lake Tjörnin. If you are a nature lover, you’ll especially enjoy visiting the dome-shaped Perlan Museum for superb exhibitions about the nation’s natural wonders and astounding sights from the observation platform. While you’re here, the Planetarium is a must-visit.
Top tip: Ready to kick back? Make tracks to one of the outdoor pools. Seltjarnarneslaug and Vesturbæjarlaug are both popular with locals with reinvigorating waters in both hot and cold tubs.
Start your day with a visit to the Whales of Iceland exhibition and learn about an array of underwater creatures with its virtual reality experience, life-like models and interactive exhibits. When you’re ready, join an afternoon whale watching experience out on the North Atlantic Ocean. Keep your eyes peeled, as experts leading the excursion ferry you to find the best wild animal spots – where there are frequent sightings of porpoises, dolphins, humpback whales and orcas during winter.
Top tip: Get your tickets ahead of your trip to Reykjavik to make the most of your holiday. Be sure to wrap up warm and pack extra layers before you head out to sea.