IN the winter months, Iceland only gets about four hours of daylight.
So, when I visit in spring, the Icelanders seem somewhat excited at the prospect of nine whole hours out of the darkness – despite the sub-zero temperatures.
Perhaps that’s because throughout the colder climes, many people drink fish liver oil for breakfast to compensate for the lack of vitamin D.
A cup of coffee will suffice for me.
Stepping off the plane to freezing post-winter weather wasn’t all that much of a shock to the system. After all, Scots are made of hardy stuff!
However, what did surprise me is that, in the height of summer, Iceland’s temperatures soar as high as 20 degrees. I found this hard to believe as I shivered in my cosiest winter coat.
“In the summer, you’ll almost always wake up to extremely cold weather, but by 11am you can have a glorious summer day – shorts and T-shirt weather.
“Then the next day, it will be back to zero,” my tour guide told me.
The more I learned about Iceland, the more I realised how similar it is to home.
Chilly temperatures aside, Reykjavik, has more than enough personality to warm your heart.
As I travelled across the almost empty, yet magical landscape, I began to understand why Reykjavik is such a popular filming location.
It featured heavily in Game Of Thrones, as well as Star Trek Into Darkness, among countless other movies.
I arrived at my first Icelandic location – the Blue Lagoon (and no, I’m not talking about Glasgow’s famous fish and chip shop!).
Deemed one of the 25 wonders of the modern world and set in the heart of the stunning Icelandic landscape, it’s fair to say the Blue Lagoon isn’t your average spa experience.
One of the main reasons tourists visit Iceland, it almost felt like an obligation to make this my first pit stop.
Once you conquer the icy dash from the changing rooms (the temperature now minus one and beginning to snow) to the gorgeous steamy, blue water, you’ll find yourself immersed in one of the most relaxing settings you could imagine.
The serene hot pools are known for their skin nourishing properties – rich in silicia, minerals and algae.
Time escaped me as I floated around, sipping a fruit smoothie from the swim-up bar and sporting a face mud mask without a care in the world.
Other Blue Lagoon treatments include standing under the man-made waterfall, known for working wonders on sore shoulders and stiff muscles, and heating up in the sauna and steam rooms which are carved into the lava rock.
You can also take a break from the water by reflecting in the relaxation area. I ticked off all three.
I finished my day at the Lava restaurant, which is built into a cliff and offers spectacular views of the Blue Lagoon.
The unique eaterie serves modern food with a twist that captures the wild nature of the Icelandic spirit and this, combined with the out of this world setting, proved to be an unforgettable experience.
There’s no shortage of hip hotels in Reykjavik, in-keeping with its cool and relaxed atmosphere.
Finding a base in the centre allows you the opportunity to see the best of what the city has to offer.
Granted, it’s pretty pricey, but tourism has been booming since recovering from Iceland’s recession – it’s certainly moving up on the list of holiday hot spots.
One of the best ways to explore the city is on foot. You’ll stumble upon an endless number of unique and quirky restaurants, coffee shops and bars.
But before you set out for a few glasses of wine, just remember one glass will set you back at least a tenner!
Iceland is easily a destination you’ll visit once and fall head over heels in love with.
You’ll find yourself longing for more and planning your return, just so you can visit that coffee shop you passed but didn’t have time to visit.
Or just to find yourself gazing out at those picturesque views once again.
Whatever the reason, when it comes to Iceland, once just isn’t enough.
WOW air flies from Edinburgh to Reykjavik four times a week. Prices start from just £34.99 one way including taxes.
For more information or to book please visit wowair.co.uk or call 0118 321 8384
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