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Whether you come for the incredible landscape, the Northern Lights or the legendary Reykjavik nightlife, Iceland is unique. You won’t tick the lot off in one trip, but you can pack a lot in. These are our top 5 essentials for Iceland.
This well established tourist route is an excellent way to sample three of Iceland's most essential sights in one easy day trip from Reykjavik. You'll see Strokkur, the famous Icelandic geyser that erupts every 10-15 minutes, as well as Thingvellir National Park, a rift valley famed as the location of the first Icelandic parliament and for its clear views of the continental divide. But perhaps the most awe-inspiring of the three is Gullfoss, an awe inspiring 32m two-stage waterfall guaranteed to take your breath away.
It's hard to imagine a more spectacular place to kick back than Iceland's most famous geothermal spa. Located a short distance from Keflavík airport, the Blue Lagoon is so called for the distinctive milky blue colour of its waters, which are said to have rejuvenating powers. Add to this the balmy temperatures and - of course! - a waterside bar, and you start to see why it ranks amongst the top attractions in Iceland.
A short way from the village of Vík on Iceland's south coast you'll find Reynisfjara beach, better known to the English-speaking world as Black Sand Beach. Famed for its striking black sands and its hexagonal basalt formations, this is a truly spellbinding sight and a true Iceland travel essential. Legend has it that distinctive rocky towers offshore are said to be the remnants of trolls, turned to stone by the break of dawn.
When it comes to whale watching, Iceland is one of the best and most reliable destinations in Europe. Its waters are home to 23 different species of whale and dolphin, including orca, minke and the magnificent humpback. A variety of operators based mainly in Reykjavik and Húsavík offer tours year round, though if you really want to sight a whale then come in summer, when the success rate is over 90%!
Full of friendly inhabitants, a fabulous café scene and top class nightlife, Iceland's capital is an essential stop on any good Iceland travel itinerary. Stroll its picturesque waterfront, take your pick from its scores of excellent restaurants and mingle with the locals in the Reykjavik pubs. Don't miss the chance to visit the iconic Hallgrimskirkja church, a city landmark with a tower offering the city's best views.
*(when amended or cancelled up to 30 days prior to departure)
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