In the far reaches of Iceland’s untamed wilderness, a land of otherworldly volcanic craters, sprawling lava fields, and bubbling thermal pools unfolds like a lunar dreamscape. This is northern Iceland, a region as elemental and dramatic as the very essence of the country itself. Yet, for years, this remote corner of Iceland remained a well-kept secret, known to only a select few. Its seclusion was, in part, due to the arduous journey it entailed—either a lengthy five-hour drive from the capital, Reykjavík, or a brief 40-minute connecting flight. However, the tides are changing, and this autumn, northern Iceland is stepping into the limelight, all thanks to the eagerly anticipated direct flights by EasyJet, poised to take off on the 31st of October.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays, eager travelers will now be able to board EasyJet’s flights, whisking them away from Gatwick Airport to Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city, in just two and a half hours. This convenient new route will place visitors within arm’s reach of Akureyri’s charming turf-roofed houses and the awe-inspiring Goðafoss waterfall. Additionally, tour operator Discover the World has unveiled the “Adventure in North Iceland” tour—a four-night, self-drive expedition that promises to showcase the best of this enigmatic region, including the volcanic wonders of Lake Myvatn and the vibrant fishing village of Siglufjörður.
Siglufjörður: A Kaleidoscope of Colors on the Trollaskagi Peninsula
Nestled on the Trollaskagi peninsula, Siglufjörður is a fishing town famed for its picturesque and vibrantly hued houses. The backdrop of mountains and fjords adds a touch of magic to the town’s ambiance, making it a photographer’s paradise. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset, you’ll witness the landscape bathed in an ethereal, soft glow, transforming Siglufjörður into an enchanting wonderland.
What to Do in Iceland’s Northern Coast
- Forest Bathing at the Forest Lagoon
Imagine immersing yourself in the lap of nature in a country where woodlands are a rare find. The Forest Lagoon, a destination spa nestled in Vaðlaskógur, breathed new life into northern Iceland when it opened its doors last year. Surrounded by birch and pine trees, this complex is an oasis of tranquility. Take a dip in the infinity pool, where geothermal waters from nearby mountains provide a warm embrace, all while gazing out over the Eyjafjörður, one of Iceland’s longest fjords. It’s the epitome of serenity amidst the stark beauty of the north.
- Unleash Your Inner Adventurer
Northern Iceland has always been a magnet for adventure seekers, and recent developments have only amped up the excitement. Localtours ATV Iceland offers adrenaline-pumping excursions in all-terrain vehicles, guiding you through the wonders of Vatnajökull National Park. From birdwatching tours to seal-spotting trips, there’s something for everyone. For those seeking a heart-pounding thrill, don’t miss the zip-line experience in Akureyri, where you can zoom across the Glerárgil canyon on five exhilarating runs.
- Destination Hotels Redefined
Iceland’s northern coast isn’t just about breathtaking landscapes; it’s also about the evolving hospitality scene. Hotel Blönduós, located in the town of the same name, celebrated its 80th anniversary this year with a stylish makeover. One of Iceland’s oldest lodges, its rooms now boast rich, inviting colors, and there’s even a suite located in a former church next door. Looking ahead to 2024, Höfði Lodge is set to open on the cliffs of the Eyjafjörður. With a rooftop bar offering panoramic views, a rejuvenating spa, and the opportunity for heliskiing, it’s poised to become northern Iceland’s first luxury hotel, redefining the region’s hospitality standards.
As the spotlight turns toward northern Iceland, this remote paradise is primed to captivate the hearts of travelers seeking the raw and untouched beauty of this land. With EasyJet’s new flights and a plethora of thrilling activities, northern Iceland is ready to unveil its secrets to the world, inviting all who dare to explore its mystical landscapes. Don’t miss the chance to be among the first to experience the magic of this enigmatic region.
Published in the October 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unlocking Northern Iceland
Q: What is the main focus of this article about northern Iceland?
A: This article primarily focuses on how new direct flights by EasyJet to Akureyri in northern Iceland are opening up this remote region to travelers. It highlights the unique natural beauty and attractions of northern Iceland, as well as the convenience of the new flight route from Gatwick Airport.
Q: When will the EasyJet flights to Akureyri begin?
A: The EasyJet flights to Akureyri are scheduled to begin on the 31st of October.
Q: How often will the EasyJet flights operate to Akureyri?
A: The EasyJet flights to Akureyri will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Q: What are some of the notable attractions mentioned in the article in northern Iceland?
A: The article mentions several attractions in northern Iceland, including the turf-roofed houses of Laufás, the mighty Goðafoss waterfall, the picturesque fishing village of Siglufjörður, and the Forest Lagoon in Vaðlaskógur. It also highlights adventure activities like ATV tours and zip-lining in the region.
Q: Are there any notable developments in the hospitality sector in northern Iceland?
A: Yes, the article mentions two noteworthy developments in the hospitality sector. Hotel Blönduós, one of Iceland’s oldest lodges, has undergone a renovation, offering rooms with rich colors. Additionally, Höfði Lodge is set to open in 2024, becoming northern Iceland’s first luxury hotel, complete with a rooftop bar, spa, and heliskiing.
Q: When was this article published?
A: This article was published in the October 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).
Q: How can I subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine?
A: To subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine, you can follow the provided link in the article. Please note that availability may vary by country.
More about Unlocking Northern Iceland
- National Geographic Traveller (UK): The official website of National Geographic Traveller (UK) where you can explore more travel articles and subscribe to the magazine.
- EasyJet: EasyJet’s official website for booking flights and checking schedules, including information on flights to Akureyri.
- Discover the World: The tour operator mentioned in the article that offers the “Adventure in North Iceland” tour.
- [Forest Lagoon](Link to relevant page not available): Information about the Forest Lagoon destination spa in northern Iceland.
- [Localtours ATV Iceland](Link to relevant page not available): Details on the ATV excursions and activities in Vatnajökull National Park.
- [Hotel Blönduós](Link to relevant page not available): Information about Hotel Blönduós, one of Iceland’s oldest lodges.
- [Höfði Lodge](Link to relevant page not available): Details about Höfði Lodge, the upcoming luxury hotel in northern Iceland.