23 April 2012

Iceland in a weekend

You’ve taken Friday off for a three day weekend. You want to find good food, rich culture, thrilling outdoor activities, great locals, nightlife and somewhere you can put your feet up and relax. All in the same place…Welcome to Iceland.

PINCH Magazine went on location to this brumal beauty and filled three days with activities that tick every box.


Arguably Iceland’s most famous landmark – the Blue Lagoon is also conveniently on the way between the main airport and Reykjavik making it the perfect first stop before you have even dropped your bags (be sure to pack your bathing suit on top for easy access…). Catch the early flight and be one of the Lagoon’s first arrivals for the morning to avoid the mid-afternoon crowds and steam away in the blue geothermal waters in peace. Stop by the waterside bar for something bubbly then lie back and let the professionals get to work making sure you and your muscles are completely relaxed and ready for the rest of your weekend. A blissful start.


On your first day, head to the lava fields and among the rocks, you’ll find openings to a mysterious underground world of tunnels. Watch your head and climb into the pitch black lava tubes created thousands of years ago as lava flowed through the earth. Then back into the sunlight, jump onto your quad bike and conquer the mountains around you. Through lakes, over impossible boulders and rocks, and at the end you’ll have views across half the country; enough to take your breath away.


The Golden Circle tour is well known in Iceland. But do it in a super Jeep and it becomes a whole new experience. Climb into your vehicle (the wheels will come up to your waist – you will literally have to climb), and charge over the land. There aren’t many other places (okay, none actually) where you can stand on the Eurasian plate and North American plate in a single morning across the Rift Valley. Stand in the mist of the never ending Golden Waterfall, then stand a risk getting wet next to exploding geysers (or keep your distance and get the zoom lens out if you like staying dry).


Icelanders, like most people, love their food. And this island nation has a cuisine you won’t find anywhere else. As well as the literally caught–this-day fresh seafood, PINCH highly recommends you try whale, puffin and shag. How often will you find those on a menu? Not often. And they’re good. Very good.


Do you fancy a trip to Iceland? How about an Icelandic volcano adventure? With bespoke travel operator Black Tomato you can descend into the magma chamber of a dormant volcano. There is nowhere else in the world where the inside of a volcano is accessible to humans and this incredible experience is only possible for a tiny six week window in 2012; time to get packing. Visit Black Tomato for information and booking.

By Marianne McPhee