Natasha Wynarczyk, Woman's Weekly senior features creator, tells you why you'll love Reykjavik and what to do in Iceland
Where I went
Reykjavik, Iceland’s coastal capital, is home to around 122,000 Icelanders, about a third of the country’s population. It is also the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world.
Ingólfur Arnarson founded the city. A Norwegian fugitive who became the first official Icelander in AD 871, he named the city after the Icelandic for ‘Smoky Bay’ due to geothermal springs in the area.
What I did
My other half and I landed at Keflavik Airport on a weekend evening.
After boarding a bus to the capital and checking in at our hotel, our first mission was to head to the main shopping and bar street of Laugavegur for a few drinks.
In particular, we loved sampling Brennivín, a traditional Icelandic schnapps.
The next day we decided to explore the city on foot. So we headed to the National Museum of Iceland to find out more about Reykjavik’s history.
That evening we took a coach to Laugarvatn Fontana. It is one of Iceland’s many natural hot springs and 50 miles away from the capital.
The strong smell of sulphur didn’t put us off spending a couple of relaxing hours there.
We were even brave enough to jump into the freezing water of the nearby lake – before running straight back into the heat of the 38-degree springs!
Afterwards, we’d planned to take a trip to see the Northern Lights, but due to cloudy weather, we had to postpone. Hopefully we’ll go back and try to see them again.
Of course, no trip to Iceland is complete without seeing the stunning natural landmarks. Finally, we visited the Golden Circle – Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park, where Iceland’s parliament was first founded.
We left in awe of the gorgeous landscapes.
Where I stayed
The Hótel Leifur Eiríksson is a family-run B&B handily situated opposite Reykjavik’s main landmark, the Hallgrímskirkja church and only a few minutes’ walk from Laugavegur.
It was the perfect base for exploring the city on foot.
What I ate
It was my birthday while we were there, so my partner kindly treated me to dinner. And not just any dinner – a nine-course tasting menu at Kopar restaurant on the harbour.
The highlights were Icelandic lamb, delicate scallops and a trio of delicious desserts made with skyr, a dairy product similar to yogurt.
Food in Reykjavik can be a bit on the pricey side, so we kept our wallets happy when we discovered Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. This is arguably the most famous hot dog stand in the world.
Iceland’s unofficial national dish is one of these ‘with everything’!
We chose the ‘Warm Baths and Cool Lights’ deal from Icelandair, which included flights, hot spring excursion and hotel.
For more information on the various packages the airline offers, visit icelandair.co.uk/holidays