Let’s get it out of the way – when you are in Iceland, you must and you will watch the Northern Lights. It’s the ONE thing that you must do. That, and the Golden Circle tour. So, let’s skip those and look at …
1) Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and black sand beaches
A magnificent sky-blue, white and grey titanic icebergs that float majestically. The glacier lagoon is surrounded by black sand beach. It’s unlike anything that I have seen before – part candy floss colours, part regal but entirely breathtaking. You wouldn’t be able to stop staring in silence. If you are lucky, you might get to sight a few seals jumping around playfully.
You can take a boat ride around and watch the icebergs up close.
2) Glacier Hiking
Get up and close with the glaciers. They are made of compressed fallen snow, not frozen water, hence the captivating crystal blue colour. Watch for the giant cracks and understand how these are formed.
Fun fact: James Bond’s Die Another Day and Batman Begins were filmed here!
3) Chasing Waterfalls
Iceland is home to many breathtaking waterfalls. It reminds me of all the Geography lessons about waterfalls, rapids and… formation of landscapes. To witness it live in front of my own eyes was just amazing and a total #throwback.
Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) is an iconic waterfall of Iceland that rivals Niagara Falls. It is part of the Golden Circle tour. There is also a myth about a young couple who jumped down for their love. After all, what is a work of nature without some folklore?
The other two waterfalls I will suggest are Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and Skogafoss Waterfall.
4) Games of Thrones location sites
For all you fans out there! The GoT tour includes a visit to the stomping grounds of the White Walkers and trail of the Wildlings from North of the Wall. Remember when Jon Snow met Ygritte? You’ll get to visit the cave where the two first consummate their relationship.
5) Hot Springs
You can’t visit Iceland without visiting the geothermal hot spring. They have the perfect temperature to bathe and soak in. What’s the best way to relax, after bracing the cold, wind and rain, that to enjoy a dip in minerals?
Tip: You can have a glass of wine or Viking beer in the hot spring. WIN!
6) Iceland Moss
Waves and waves of Icelandic moss that never ends. It’s different from what you have ever seen. While it’s lichen, it has medicinal properties. It was used to make bread too.
It’s a rare sight anywhere in the world to see fields of neverending moss. It is also very #InstagramWorthy !
7) Hiking at Reykjadalur hot springs
I enjoy exercising but never thought that I will hike 3km (one-way) during my holiday. Usually, I like to laze around but hiking at the Thingvellir National Park blew my mind away. The views that you are treated are very beautiful. You will marvel at the gorgeous scenery and landscape that Nature creates. The whole hike is filled with steam floating in the air everywhere!
The reward for your hard work? At the end of the 3km trail, there is a natural, geothermal hot spring that you can enjoy.
8) Dog Sledding
If you are a dog lover, you must try dog sledding in Iceland. You will interact and play with the amazing Greenland Huskies leading the pack. The dog sledding place we went to had 60 over dogs.
Note: Dog sledding is neither cruel or torturous for the dogs. It doesn’t create any air or noise pollution too.
9) Horse Riding
I had always loved horse riding since I used to do it when I was young. We were in for a treat; this combines horse riding and sightseeing into one. The Icelandic horses were huge, magnificent and friendly. They were easy to manoeuvre, even for beginners.
We were treated to spectacular scenery and the surrounding mountains.
10) Cafes and Food
Food matters a lot to me – it makes or breaks a trip. Before I came, a lot of people warned me that the food in Iceland sucks. Yes, things in Iceland are generally expensive so be prepared to pay.
But here’s a few things you have to try!
– Brauð & Co: Best bread in Reykjavik! We went there every morning to get our breakfast.
– Sandholt: Love the chocolates
Both are equally satisfying.
Dinner, check out:
1) Snaps Bistro
Voted Best Restaurant in Reykjavik for many years running. A charming Parisian-inspired bistro with hearty food that all of us enjoy. Oh, all the servers were really good looking too.
2) Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur Hot Dog Stand
If it’s good enough for Bill Clinton, it’s good enough for you.
3) The Fish Market
High-quality seafood but not cheap.
About the author
Anna Haotanto is the CEO of The New Savvy and Director at Tera Capital, a private investment firm. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. She is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment, and children’s issues.
SIX WANTS TO SEND YOU & A FRIEND TO BORACAY
Fancy the idea of lazing on the gorgeous white beaches of Boracay? Then here’s an Instagram contest you’d want to get in on. From now till February 2017, tag “@scentbysix” to your holiday snaps and include the hashtag “#wishSIXwashere” on Instagram.
At the end of the contest period, all holiday snaps bearing the hashtag #wishSIXwashere will stand a chance to win a pair of air tickets to Boracay.
1. Follow @scentbysix on Instagram.
2. Tag @scentbysix and use the hashtag #wishSIXwashere in your holiday photos.
3. Tag the friend you want to take with you to Boracay!
Of course, you have to be residing in Singapore to qualify for the prize and terms and conditions will apply with regards to travelling dates.
So start tagging your holiday snaps now! Make sure your Instagram account is set of Public so we can see it!