Friday, 7 November 2014

Christmas Getaway - Iceland

Iceland
As a family we love getting away before Christmas to build up the excitement. This is the second part in my Christmas getaway adventures. If you haven't read the first instalment (Copenhagen) then have a quick read here. The idea is to give you some inspiration for where you could visit. 

As Christmas approached we headed off to Iceland for our festive getaway. With a flight time of under three hours from London, it is the perfect European destination. 

Before travelling to Iceland my knowledge of the country was quite sparse. Arriving in Reykjavik airport you could lull yourself into a false sense of security that Iceland is going to be like any other European country, you might however have judged it way too quickly. 

A twenty minute ride in a taxi to Reykjavik soon has you realising how beautiful Iceland is with its rugged Lava fields, glacial rivers, lush green countryside and dramatic coastlines. 

Iceland
Due to the Eurasian and American tectonic plates meeting, the island is growing by about 5cm year on year. The Icelanders are proud to share, that one day they will be living on one of biggest countries in the world. 
Iceland
Iceland
For a small Island the landscape is extremely diverse, majestically beautiful and rugged. I have travelled all over the world, but Iceland for me has the wow factor.  

Our destination in Reykjavik was Hilton Nordica, the room was spacious and had commanding views looking out over the City and sea. Ask for a room on a higher floor and one that is facing the sea.  

Many people had shared that I would freeze in Iceland but coming from the UK I found this hard to believe. Yes in December it is cold, and you need to make sure that you have appropriate clothes, layering up, thermals and shoes with a good grip. What is true about Icelandic weather however is that you can see four seasons in one day, with fog, rain, snow, sun, wind and hail all paying a visit.  

Icelanders know how to cope in the cold and snow, beautiful wool jumpers and animal skin hats.   

One thing to prepare yourself for any visit is the food and drink is seriously expensive. Now I live in London and I know how expensive food and drink can be but this is on a different level. So make sure you bring enough money to be able to enjoy the wonderful cuisine on offer. If you like a drink, my top tip is on exiting airport security, visit the the duty free shop in the airport this is loads cheaper than on the island.

Whilst visiting Iceland you have to try their wonderful stews and soups on offer. 
Stew

Mysuostur, caramelised brown cheese is also a wonderful treat. I seriously fell in love with a toasted sandwich with cheese and jam. Surprisingly delicious. 

Iceland offers some wonderful tours outside of the City, that I wound highly recommend that you do. The one that is probably most famous is the Golden Circle Tour


The tour showcases the beautiful Thingvellir National Park (Þingvelli). 
Thingvellir National Park
Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the Park, it is like walking onto a gigantic Lord of the Rings film set. The mountains have been created by volcanic activity and the crack that runs through them is a fissure zone.
Thingvellir National Park
The water is like an oil painting with beautiful crystal blue tones that change and ripple underneath your feet.  

Next up we visited the Geysers, which are highly active hot springs under the ground.They are a fairly rare phenomenon as they exist around active 
volcanoes. 

We arrived early in the morning so there were fewer visitors around. The landscape is how I would imagine the surface of the moon looks like. 
Geysers
Geysers
Geysers
Geysers
Geysers
Geysers
Geysers
Wow, the different trails around the Geysers is a wonderful way to capture beautiful photographs and experience first hand the force of nature. 

Next up was Gullfoss Waterfall,now I have seen a few waterfalls in my time and they have always been a little bit disappointing. The expectation of what they will be like, never matches up with the real life experience. That was until Gullfoss waterfall. 
Gullfoss waterfall
When we visited as you can see from the picture above, there was mega ice at the side of the waterfall. It was so beautiful it looked like soft foam suds from a bath. The falls come down in a three step formation and they are awesome. The noise is tremendous. 

The trip ended on Kerið a volcano crater lake. 
Kerið
Other trips to do. I would defiantly visit the Blue Lagoon (Geothermal Spa). 

Blue Lagoon

Even though this is expensive, it is a once in a lifetime experience. Silica Mud Mask that is around the lagoon is a brilliant natural face mask. Apply for five minutes and it will help to remove all the dead skin, helping to leave your face wonderfully soft. Top tip is to visit the lagoon on the day you are leaving as it is very close to the airport.  

I had a wonderful time in Iceland, it is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited and the best bit is there is still loads of beautiful places to see on the south side of the island, so I will be back in the Summer. The people are some of the warmest and friendliest I have met.

The start of our autumn here in London has been really rather mild but the temperature this week has really dropped and this weekend we are set for 0 temperatures. That must mean only one thing Christmas is truly on its way. 

I will be planning shortly my Christmas trip for this year but next up in the Christmas Getaway series will be Tromsø.


Is it too early to get the Christmas decorations out? Yes I hear you cry! Oh you spoil sports! 

 photo foodieforce_32.jpg

26 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved Iceland when I visited, I think I went to all of the places you've mentioned, and you've captured them beautifully. Once again though, I have only been in the summer, but I'd love to go in the winter. I think I need to up my winter travelling! I'm looking forward to hearing about where you jet off to this year :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is such a beautiful country I hope to visit in the Summer. I never used to travel anywhere cold in the winter but having done if for the last three I highly recommend it. Lucy x

      Delete
  2. This is such a beautiful place to be!!! I haven't been yet, but I hope in the future! Lovely surroundings! :D

    Diana P. | Cups & Roses

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should definitely be on the bucket list such beautiful landscape but wait to see what comes next Lucy x

      Delete
  3. The scenery is so so beautiful, you're so lucky to have been able to visit! Cheese and jam sounds like a strange combination to have in a sandwich haha xx

    Toasty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cheese is sweet and so goes really well with Jam. I just wish that I had made more of it Lucy x

      Delete
  4. What a fun adventure. I love how you described the "commanding views." I love well-written blogs, and yours is definitely one of them. Thanks for taking us on your trip to Iceland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming from your good self that really is a complement thank you. Iceland is beautiful so you want to take pictures of everything. Lucy x

      Delete
  5. I don't know much about Iceland other than the lagoon! I'd love to visit. It looks beautiful.

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a beautiful country Lucy x

      Delete
  6. The geysers look amazing and so does the volcano crater lake. I've never been to Iceland but I have had a natural mud bath on Vulcano island in Italy, that was fun!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The natural mud bath in Italy sounds like fun. Iceland is beautiful highly recommend a visit Lucy x

      Delete
  7. What a beautiful place; great photos! The Blue Lagoon looks amazing! No you go for it; get the Christmas decs out ;-)

    x Roch & Tash x
    www.next-route-style.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blue lagoon is wonderfully and relaxing I would love to go back in the summer but we will see. Hope you are bothe well Lucy x

      Delete
  8. Wowwww Lucy, I love this place!!! I have never been to Iceland and will definitely visit it one day! Love all thes pictures. Thank you love for the inspiration!!! hahahaha I would like to see all four seasons in one day - that's cool!
    Hug you, Liuba x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is an amazing city very beautiful. The landscape is all so very different hope you are well Lucy x

      Delete
  9. How beautiful!!! Can't wait to show my husband that I read a blog that mentions "tectonic plates" (he is a space nerd!). I know many Americans visit Iceland. It really looks like a beautiful country, that hasn't gotten derailed by commercial tourism. I love the big blocks of ice!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you come to the UK you defintely should make a visit to Iceland it is beautiful. I have two more post to come that might top it. Ioi husband would love it Lucy x

      Delete
    2. Will definitely share it with him!!! A definite visit I will make when I come to the UK is you!!!!

      Delete
  10. Wow, the scenery is phenomenal! I'd absolutely love to go to Iceland and I'm so pleased you had a wonderful time! :)

    Style Sunrise ☀

    :)
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would love the scenery and out door activities everything is so beautiful Lucy x

      Delete
  11. Your photo's are amazing... it looks like you had an incredible time xx

    Gemma | Miss Makeup Magpie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a great alternative for a holiday Lucy x

      Delete
  12. Just showed the hubby! So happy I know what tectonic plates are! He loved your post/photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks my lovely hope you get to visit one day Lucy x

      Delete
  13. Oh Lucy, this post is fab, you totally captured the magic and beauty of Reykjavic and catapulted me back there! I went with my 80yo great uncle as he had been obsessed with the thought of Iceland since being stationed in the desert in WWII. We did quite a few tours as it was the best way for him to get around, the golden circle, one with a viking banquet, and one to a fishing town twinned with our home town, we visited the blue lagoon twice and the pearl, which has an awesome indoor geyser. My trip to Iceland was seriously amazing and one of my top 3! Thank you for sharing such gorgeous photos and bringing back my memories, x

    ReplyDelete