Here’s our top ideas when you visit Reykjavik, Iceland.
1. Visit the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue
The Sólheimajökull glacier tongue is a projection of an ice cap that covers the 1666m high-volcano Katla, which is still active today. It’s as if you’re in a desert – there’s no sign of life, only stretches of white ice and mounds of sooty black lava hardened over time.
2. See the varied Icelandic landscape
On drive back north to Reykjavík see peaceful pastures, 30m waterfalls, dark rock formations, bright green moss – it’s a land like no other, changing from one extreme to the next.
3. Relax in the Blue Lagoon
Situated 50km outside of Reykjavík, it’s one of Iceland’s highlights, a geothermal spa in the middle of a lava field, which has been turned into a world-famous attraction with massage facilities, saunas, cafés and shops.
You have to shower naked before jumping in the 38˚C water, and there are pots of white clay to rub on your body to make us appear younger – don’t get it in your hair or you’ll have a souvenir of your trip for weeks to come.
4. Marvel at the Northen Lights
On most people’s list of things to see in a lifetime, the aurora borealis is a fantastic natural light show seen in clear skies near the North Pole. Tours run daily from September to March, but are weather dependent.
5. Experience the the Golden Circle
Even the name sounds magical and you won’t be disappointed by Iceland’s big three – the gushing waterfall of Gullfoss, the towering spurts of Geysir and the Unesco World Heritage Site of Pingvellir National Park, where Vikings established the world’s first democratic parliament in 930AD.
6. Go whale watching
Despite Iceland having legalised whaling, you can admire these gentle giants in their natural habitat on a boat trip from Reykjavìk’s old harbour.
What you need to know about Iceland
When to go: June-August is peak season, but May and September are also good times to visit.
Getting there: Iceland Express has daily flights to Keflavík airiport from Gatwick and Stansted.
Getting around: Unless you’re hiring a car, it’s best to see the sights on a tour. Reykjavik Excursions will pick you up at your hotel and take you to your destination/activity.
Visas: Australians and Kiwis don’t need a visa to visit Iceland. South Africans require a Schengen visa.
Currency: Icelandic krona. 1 GBP = 190.87 ISK
Going out: A local beer is about 800 ISK.
Accommodation: Dorm beds in Reykjavík start from 2000 ISK. Hotel doubles from 10,400 ISK.
» Janine Jorgensen travelled to Iceland with Iceland Express (0118 3218384). One-way flights from Gatwick start at £89, including taxes