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Iceland is having a bit of a moment. It seems like everyone is jetting off there and we’ve lost count of the number of blue lagoon selfies we've seen this week. But if you like what you see, here’s the top 5 things to put on your list...
Blue Lagoon: A must (and not just for the Instagram snaps). This geothermal pool-come-spa is heated by underground volcanic activity and reaches a rather toasty temperature of around 38C. The water contains a combination of silica, algae and minerals, which sooth winter-chapped skin. After a really good pamper? Try the silica face mask at the poolside bar, or book yourself in for an in-water massage in the spa. Word of warning – drink lots of water before you get in – the minerals can really dehydrate you, which left our Editorial Director gasping!
The views: The saying in Iceland goes 'If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes'. It can be a brilliant blue sky one moment, hailing the next, all before busting out a rainbow. But no biggie, the unpredictable weather makes for a beautiful backdrop across the town and mountains, so head up the hill to the glass domed Perlan and watch the crazy weather unfold before your eyes as you sip a hot chocolate. The view from the Hallgrimskirkja Church tower isn’t bad either, overlooking the rainbow-roofed houses of Reykjavic.
All of the lights: Nope, not just the Northern ones (although book to see those on your first night, as if you’re unlucky and don’t see them, you get a free pass for the next night). If you’re visiting Reykjavik in the Winter, you’re only going to have around 4 hours of daylight before you’re back in darkness again. Once the sun sets head to the Harpa concert hall. Designed by architect Olafur Eliasson, the glass building becomes illuminated with a dazzling light show that illuminates the town. It also houses frequent shows and exhibitions - find out what's on here when you're there.
Icelandic jewels: Iceland is home to some of the best minimalist jewellery designers. Stop by Metal Designs along the main high street for sculptural earrings and Aurum for lust-inducing pieces from local designers. A lot of the pieces are inspired by the Icelandic landscape, so you can take a piece of the country home with you. Bling bling.
Munch time: Now onto to the real reason we're all here. The food. For your Icelandic fish fix, head to Kopar in the old harbour for their catch of the day and cosy atmosphere. Fish and More do an excellent fish soup for lunchtime, but if you're after something a little more local and adventurous head to Bar Ananas for Icelandic tapas - fermented shark anyone? If you get a bit sick of fish, head to Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavik's famous hot dog stand. I'm willing to bet that it will be the best hot dog of your LIFE. Ask for 'the one with everything'. You’re on holiday – calories don’t exist.
Now, fingers crossed to see those Northern Lights...