Ice, Ice Baby! Discovering Iceland

 

Photo © Susan Ste Marie

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.

Photo © Susan Ste Marie

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.

Photo © Susan Ste Marie

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.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

2 responses to “Ice, Ice Baby! Discovering Iceland

  1. Great article, and nice shots of the city. Taken from the top of Hallgrimskirkja tower, I presume? 🙂 And how did I not know that Reykjavik has a zoo? I shall check that out next time I’m there!

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