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Iceland

Don’t go to Iceland without doing these five weird and extraordinary things

If you think of Iceland, what springs to mind first? Bubbling geysers? The Blue Lagoon? The Northern Lights? There are some absolute must-sees and must-dos when it comes to this spectacular wonderland. Whether you come for the winter for the atmospheric darkness or in the summer for the endlessly long days, Iceland is a surprisingly all-season kind of place.

 

1. See the original geyser

geyser, Iceland

OK, let’s start with the basics. Iceland is renowned for its impressive geysers, so it would be remiss to skip seeing the original – Geysir, after which all other geysers are named. It’s not the only geyser in the Geysir Hot Spring Area. In fact, the most active is Strokkur. If it’s not spurting a shot of hot water high into the air when you first arrive, pause for a sec – there’s usually an eruption every few minutes.


2. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon

lagoon, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is synonymous with Iceland. But if you’re the type that rebels against following the masses, ignore your instincts and pay a visit to this milky-blue utopia. The Blue Lagoon deserves its reputation. Naturally heated to 38 degrees, the mineral-rich waters have healing and nourishing properties that make for an incredible experience whether you’re a typical spa bunny or not. Plus, soaring popularity has its benefits – the Blue Lagoon is well served with an in-water bar. Then bob over to the in-water mask bar to slather on an algae or mud musk to reap the glowy benefits of the Blue Lagoon’s natural elements.

 

3. Gaze at the Northern Lights, or bask in the Midnight Sun

Iceland

Ahh, the aurora borealis! One of Iceland’s biggest claims to fame. Your best chance of catching this swirly other-worldly spectacle is between October and March. Perfect if you’re visiting Iceland in winter. But if you’re more tempted by the more moderate temperatures of Iceland’s summer, while it’s harder to see the auroras, you get to experience a different kind of phenomenon – the Midnight Sun. The days are incredibly long between May and August, and the sun barely seems to set at all.

 

4. Go wreck-hunting in Sólheimasandur

wreck in Iceland

You’ve heard of wreck diving, but thankfully, you don’t have to plunge into Iceland’s chilly waters to witness an eerie spectacle. Instead, straddle an ATV and zoom off over black volcanic sand until the ghostly outline of a plane wreck comes into view. It’s an abandoned US Navy plane that’s taken a permanent residence on the beach since the 1970s. Details around its demise are a little sketchy, but that just adds to the mystery of this place.

 

5. Try the local beer (and burgers)

beer

Iceland takes its beer seriously. Very seriously. Our advice? Pitch up at Bastard Bar in Reykjavik and order a beer flight. This selection of four beers is the ultimate intro in local craft beers, including their home-brewed Hazy Bastard and Amber Bastard. Paired with the ultimate burger, a Fat Bastard, and you’ve got something pretty epic on your hands.

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