Why you should book a holiday to Iceland now

Why you should book a holiday to Iceland now
Thingvellir National Park
PHOTO: herworldPLUS

I was on holiday in Iceland last December when I noticed a strange pattern: there seemed to be Singaporeans just about anywhere in the capital city of Reyjavik.

Granted, it is a popular tourist destination, but it seemed that no matter which restaurant I patronised, which shop I visited, I'd hear the unmistakeable Singaporean drawl.

And then there's social media: why are there so many pictures of Northern Lights and Blue Lagoon?!

No matter the reason for the sudden increase in popularity of Iceland in the last few months or so (I blame all the articles harping on the eventual disappearance of the Northern Lights starting from 2017), there's no doubting the fact that Iceland is indeed a stunning location with jaw-dropping landscapes, and worth the long, arduous journey (London Heathrow is probably the most convenient connecting airport for international flights) there.

Still not quite convinced by the number of Singaporeans who have already flocked there?

Here are ten photos that will nudge you a little over the edge.

The shopping stretch of Laugavegur in Reyjavik

Photo: herworldPLUS

Laugavegur, Reyjavik's Orchard Road, is home to neat, orderly rows of shops, restaurants and bars that can warrant hours of wandering around.

In the winter, the shopfronts are decorated with twinkling fairylights, making the streets super Instagram-worthy.

A must-have in Iceland: fish stew

Photo: herworldPLUS

Icelandic fish stew is a thick, creamy affair, spiced with curry, tumeric, saffron and more, and chock full of different types of chopped fish.

It's a little disconcerting drinking what tastes like a curry at the start, but when it's -5C and sleeting outdoors, your tummy will thank you for it.

The Hallgrímskirkja church

The Hallgrímskirkja church is an iconic Icelandic landmark, whose incredible shape was inspired by the freeform shapes formed when lava cools into basalt rock.

The real highlight is the observation tower, almost 70m above ground and offering an unobstructed view of surrounding Reyjavik.

View from top of Hallgrímskirkja church

Photo: herworldPLUS

Even on a cloudy, snowy day, the colourful buildings of surrounding Reyjavik with a backdrop of the ocean makes for a postcard-perfect view.

Wild Icelandic horses roam the frozen fields freely

Despite their small stature that makes them resemble ponies, Icelandic horses are in fact, horses.

And exceedingly friendly probably as a result of the endless stream of overzealous tourists wanting to give them a pat and food.

These horses live in the wild outside of Reyjavik, so keep your fingers crossed as you're driving across the countryside!

Thingvellir National Park

This one's for all you Game of Thrones fans.

The Thingvellir National Park is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the national shrine of Iceland, but also one of the filming locations of GoT season four, episode one, as the narrow path leading to the Eyrie.

The spectacular Gullfoss Waterfall

Photo: herworldPLUS

The Gullfoss Waterfall (part of the famed Golden Circle tourist route going into the southern uplands of Iceland and back to Reyjavik) isn't the most spectacular waterfall in the world.

But in the winter when everything is desolate and barren and covered in a sheet of snow, the sight of the startlingly white landscape is absolutely breathtaking.

The trek over the Sólheimajökull glacier

While everyone talks about Northern Lights, my personal favourite attraction is the Sólheimajökull glacier, which is part of Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland's fourth largest glacier that covers the infamous volcano Katla.

It's an approximately half-hour trek (free of charge) to the edge of the glacier, where you can then go on one of the many tour options for glacier walks and ice caving.

But if you're not feeling particularly adventurous, the trek is more than sufficient to give you an inkling into the scale of grandeur the glacier boasts.

Sunset over the town of Vik

Photo: herworldPLUS

Weather in Iceland can change drastically in a matter of hours.

During the winter, it's especially brutal with elements like snow, sleet and rain all pelting at you on a bad day.

But when the weather clears up, and the sun deigns to peek out of its cloud cover, there are little words to describe the magnificence of Iceland's sprawling landscapes.

Northern lights!

Photo: AFP

I mean, what else are Singaporeans really there for, right?

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