Otherworldly doesn’t begin to describe a country famous for its stunning light display and geothermal spas
Situated somewhere between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, Iceland, one would say, is aptly named. “I knew it was going to be cold, but this weather was crazy. I had to buy additional thermals to keep me warm,” says Andrea Martel. But don’t be put off by the biting temperature. Andy describes Iceland’s beauty as ethereal, otherworldly—as if you were in another planet, she swears.
Traveling with friends in a rented 4x4, Andy soaked up her surroundings, stopping over occasionally to get a good view of natural and man-made landmarks like the Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral, an architectural wonder comparable to the legendary Norse City Asgard. She also saw the Great Geysir, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the glaciers at Skálanes. “I thought Iceland was going to be all white,” she says, “but it’s actually very lush.”
Bláa Iónio, or the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa, is one of her favorites. The water was a perfect 37°C, a refreshing outtake from the 2°C weather. Guests can rent a private lagoon and enjoy cocktails at the pool bar.
The highlight of her trip: witnessing the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, from a rented villa by Glymur, Iceland’s tallest waterfall. It was perfect timing for Andy who happened to be in the country in the year when the natural phenomenon was said to appear at its best because of the way the stars are aligned.
“My friends and I went out to see the Northern Lights three more times during the trip,” she says. “We’re hoping to go to Finland next, where we hope to see more of its glory.”