How to spend a stopover in Iceland
Iceland is a destination that is bucket list worthy and easily achievable. Not only because it is just two and a half hours from the UK, but also because it's perfectly located for a stopover on your way to the USA or Canada.
Iceland’s national flag airline, Icelandair, offers daily flights from Glasgow to some of North America’s most popular tourist destinations such as New York City, Boston, Washington DC and Orlando. All flights are via Iceland and offer the opportunity for a stopover of up to seven nights at no additional cost. This makes Iceland ideal for a two-stop holiday – here is how to make the most of your stopover.
Get cultured in Reykjavik
Iceland’s capital offers culture by the bucket load and – even better – its compact size means you’ll easily fit a lot in without too much effort. The city is full of museums, ranging from The National Film Archive of Iceland to The Settlement Exhibition, featuring the oldest relics of human habitation in Reykjavík. There’s also no shortage of performance art either – with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Icelandic Dance Company, the National Theatre, and the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, all of impeccable quality.
Relax in the Blue Lagoon
If you’re craving a bit of downtime before your North American adventure, then stop by the Blue Lagoon in the southwest of the island. The water has a unique composition, featuring the three active ingredients Silica, Algae & Minerals (all of which combine it to give the lagoon its vivid blue colour). The temperature varies between 37°C and 40°C, and is created by the merging of freshwater and seawater at 2,000 metres below the surface. The lagoon and the surrounding spa are very popular with tourists and locals alike, and advance booking is recommended.
Game of Thrones
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you probably already know that Iceland is used for most filming that takes place Beyond the Wall. The filmmakers shot scenes across the country, but some of the most memorable locations were Dimmuborgir (Wildling Camp), Vatnajökull (general backdrop for most of the glacial scenes), Höfðabrekka (Frostfang Mountains) and Grjótagjá (a spring cave you’ll recognise from Season 3). Thingvellir National Park was also used as a backdrop for mid-Westeros when Arya and Sandor Clegane's were moving from village to village.
Witness the Northern Lights
This natural phenomenon is one of the biggest reasons many holidaymakers make the trip across to Iceland. At their most visible from September to mid-April and away from the city lights, an appearance from the aurora borealis isn’t guaranteed but anyone who has been lucky enough to witness them will tell you that it is worth the journey.