18 Jun 2012 Ice, Ice Baby! Discovering Iceland
Kate Jarvis offered to share about a recent visit to Iceland, and as this is a place both George and I have never been and want to visit–we were excited to learn about a new destination. Enjoy!
City breaks are great fun. I came to realise this after my first one this January, when I went to Istanbul purely because I wanted a Turkish kebab. However, that’s a story for another blog.
City breaks to Iceland are becoming increasingly popular, with Reykjavik now a cool city to be seen in. The winters are long in Iceland, quite predictably, and I think that’s a great excuse to go shopping for a stylish winter wardrobe. Any excuse.
A great thing about a break to Reykjavik is that once there, it’s only around 10-15 minutes drive into the city, and from there you’ll find pretty much what you want by walking. It’s just around a 3 hour flight from London, but a stylish city break is befitting a stylish start, and I’ve found a great way to kick start any holiday is by booking an airport hotel for the night before travelling. The Menzies Chequers Hotel London Gatwick Airport is a great start to a holiday, or if flying from north of the border, give Normandy Hotel Glasgow Airport a try.
The city has plenty to offer, surrounded by stunning scenery – with huge glaciers and waterfalls in reach. Hallgrims church is a huge landmark in the city and I’d suggest you visit for the stunning views. There are also many museums around the city.
Of course the city, and country, is famous for its use of geothermal energy, and the Blue Lagoon. This is a short way out of the city centre, and I’d definitely recommend visiting this, if nothing else. For relaxation alone, this is fantastic. You can bathe in hot geothermal water, giving your skin a wonderful treat, and sweat out impurities in the sauna, with stunning views over the whole centre. For the sheer power of nature – what an attraction!
Of course, being so far north, there’s the chance for whale watching – and if you’re going to see one anywhere, it’ll be here. I’d certainly recommend a trip – just remember your winter woollies! Alternatively, the city has a zoo, for a slightly less open chance to see some wildlife.
Now I love shopping, this is quite well known, and Reykjavik is great for shopping. There are big malls just outside the city, accessible by public transport, and smaller stores for exploring inside the city centre. If you’re into your designer goods, you’re well catered for here.
At night-time this is one lively city, and quite classy too. Keep your eyes peeled – you might even catch a celeb. It is quite expensive to drink in the city, so I’d say either make your drink last or switch to something cheaper! Despite all this, the clubbing scene is famous, with VIP clubs around the city. It’s an experience, that much is true. Restaurant-wise, there’s plenty to choose from, with international cuisine to suit everyone.
In my opinion, Reykjavik is cool in more ways than one, and the Blue Lagoon itself is worth the flight. Add a little more style to this city break with a difference, by spending a night in an airport hotel. Give Radisson Blu Stansted a try when heading out of London, it’s certainly something I’d look at.
For sheer style, head to Reykjavik.
This post was written by Kate Jarvis who has worked in the travel industry for over 7 years. Having travelled around the world on a budget he is a firm believer in economical travel. His favourite international destination is Ecuador.