From volcanoes and glaciers to black beaches, geothermal pools and the Northern Lights, Iceland is one of the world’s wildest, weirdest destinations. A paradise for adventurous travellers.
Recommended place to stay:
Ion Adventure Hotel
Official star rating:
This striking hotel sums up so much about Iceland: it’s architecturally bold, effortlessly stylish and situated only a stone’s throw from a geothermal power station.
Perched on stilts, with a projecting, glass-fronted wing that looks out over the landscapes of Thingvellir National Park, it’s the epitome of Icelandic industrial chic. It’s luxury with an edge of austerity, and feels a little bit like staying inside a lunar space station.
Everything here is designed to make the most of the hotel’s setting – through every window there are views of barren lava fields, tufty hills and the nearby Nesjavellir Power Plant.
The hotel’s Silfra restaurant specialises in Icelandic ‘slow food’, with many of the ingredients (including Arctic char) sourced within the local area.
This is a truly wild spot, with no near neighbours apart from the blinking lights and steaming towers of Nesjavellir Power Plant.
The hotel is perfectly placed for exploring Thingvellir National Park: it’s just south of Thingvallatn Lake, so ideal for combining with a visit to see the Althingi (ancient Icelandic parliament) and a snorkelling adventure in the Silfra Rift.
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