Looking for your next getaway? Iceland is on the government's green list of countries, meaning you don’t need to quarantine upon return. Home to stunning waterfalls, black beaches and hot springs, it’s no secret that Iceland has plenty to offer. As Europe’s most sparsely populated country, it’s an ideal place to embark on a socially distanced adventure. Read on to discover our top reasons to tick Iceland off your bucket list in 2021.
This guide is intended for inspiration. You should check the latest government advice for visits to individual destinations before attempting to travel and be aware of any local guidelines or restrictions when booking a holiday.
Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Nothing compares to witnessing the vibrant colours dancing across the sky. Aim to visit during the winter months, September to April, when the nights are longest. Improve your chances of seeing the elusive show by avoiding urban areas with light pollution. For clear night skies, head to Thingvellir National Park, just 45 minutes' drive from Reykjavik. A UNESCO world heritage site, the area features unique geology and Iceland's largest natural lake. Maximise your odds of spotting the natural phenomenon by spending at least seven nights in this beautiful country.
The world's northernmost capital, Reykjavík, boasts excellent restaurants, fantastic nightlife and an array of natural wonders on its doorstep. Museum buffs are spoilt for choice. Head to Perlan, an interactive museum, where you can wander through an ice cave. Stretch your legs with a walk around the city's beautiful Old Town. Climb to the top of the remarkable Hallgrimskirkja church for the best views of the city. You can embark on a whale watching tour from the old harbour. With over 20 species of whales, Iceland is a great place to see these majestic mammals in their natural habitat.
If you love waterfalls as much as we do, then Iceland is the place for you. It's estimated there are at least 10,000 waterfalls. Gullfoss, or "Golden Falls" gets its name from the golden hue of its glacial waters. The iconic falls are easily accessible (just two hours from Reykjavík) and undeniably breathtaking. Those who enjoy hiking should visit Bruarfoss waterfall, known for its brilliant blue colour - see it to believe it. For an unforgettable experience, head to Seljalandsfoss waterfall. There's a path encircling the waterfall that you can walk around. The south coast view is incredible, don't forget your waterproof coat!
Is there anything better than a long, outdoor soak after a busy day hiking? Bathing in the soothing waters is an essential Icelandic experience, so make sure to add a hot spring to your bucket list. The world-famous Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. Renowned for its milky blue geothermal seawater, National Geographic named it as one of the 25 wonders of the world, and it's easy to see why. Those seeking a more rustic experience can hike to Seljavallalaug, Iceland's oldest man-made pool. Set in a secluded valley surrounded by mountains, the views won't disappoint. If you're looking for a stunning geothermal lagoon with unobstructed views of the ocean, then look no further. The new Sky Lagoon opened just outside of Reykjavík. Visitors can relax in the ocean-facing infinity pool, a prime location for stargazing. Did we mention there's also a waterfall, swim-up bar and cool pool?
Escape the crowds with a mesmerising road trip around the Westfjords. The remote peninsula boasts untouched nature, majestic landscapes and a variety of wildlife. A visit to Dynjandi waterfall takes some beating. The largest waterfall in the Westfjords, it's made up of seven breathtaking waterfalls. The hike to the top is 100% worth it. Wildlife enthusiasts can find the world-famous puffins at Látraburg cliffs. Home to a large concentration of seabirds, the cliffs stand nearly 1500 feet high, offering unrivalled ocean views. Another major draw is Rauðasandur Beach. The magical red sand beach changes colour depending on the weather and season.