Celebrating New Year in Iceland

Iceland isn’t called the land of fire and ice for nothing, with shooting geysers at the geothermal field sprouting up to 30 metres (98ft) high. Then during winter see the spectacular Gullfoss Falls (Golden Falls) turned into ice. Not forgetting it’s an active volcanic hotspot!

Celebrating New Year in Iceland: Tjornin Lake ©MDHarding
Tjornin Lake ©MDHarding

Iceland is a great place to visit all year round but in winter it is extra magical, with the landscape covered in a blanket of snow and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. Going away for New Year why not visit Reykjavik? As well as great places of beauty to visit, the city boasts gentler pursuits to rebalance after celebrating the traditions of New years Eve.

Celebrating New Year in Iceland

What to visit

One of the most popular tours to do in Iceland is the Golden Circle Tour. This covers some of the must see highlights including Gullfoss Falls and the Geyser Field.

Celebrating New Year in Iceland: Above Gullfoss Falls. ©MDHarding
Above Gullfoss Falls. ©MDHarding

Another one of the main highlights not to be missed is the Blue Lagoon. As well as being one of the 25 wonders of the world, the waters of the geothermal pool are said to have great effects on the skin. Following the opening in 1976, many innovations and technologies have advanced but still today, the silica mud produced within the lagoon is still applied with many boasting about its wellness properties.  Why not go for a leisurely dip on New Years Day and enjoy its many properties. (The Blue lagoon will be closed between January 5th – 21st 2016 for renovations).

Celebrating New Year in Iceland: Treat yourself to a cocktail while relaxing at the Blue Lagoon. ©MDHarding
Treat yourself to a cocktail while relaxing at the Blue Lagoon. ©MDHarding

New Years Eve Traditions

On New years Eve the tradition is bonfires, dating back to the late eighteenth century. The first bonfire to be recorded was in 1791.  The fires are normally alight by 20.30pm. Don’t forget your winter walking boots as during winter there can be lots of snow and ice!

Celebrating New Year in Iceland: View from Hallgrimskirkja Church towards The Perlan Restaurant. ©MDHarding
View from Hallgrimskirkja Church towards The Perlan Restaurant. ©MDHarding

Why not start the evening at the revolving restaurant The Perlan. The futuristic glass dome stands at 25.7 metres (84.3 feet) with incredible views across the landscape. As well as offering an incredible menu with impeccable service, you never know who is going to be celebrating with you. We were amazed to be sitting opposite Quentin Tarantino!

Celebrating New Year in Iceland: The ice that never melts. ©MDHarding
The ice that never melts. ©MDHarding

Shopping

Some of the local crafted items that would make great gifts/presents include wool jumpers, mittens and blankets.  There is of course music – Bjork or skill crafted jewellery.  Two items we picked up on our travels were a handcrafted bowl by artist Viddy Marr and an Icelandic Glassware Angel said to have volcanic stone within, another unique gift is that of the Viking Rune pendants.  The Vikings believed these were a magical gift from the gods.  The Icelandic Magic Staves are said to endow the wearer with certain qualities or what about some Icelandic Gabbro, cut into cubes that act as ice that never melts.  Fantastic and unique all at the same time!

Celebrating New Year in Iceland: Just landed at Reykjavik. ©MDHarding
Just landed at Reykjavik. ©MDHarding

How to reach Iceland

Icelandair connects 26 European cities and 16 cities within North America from its main hub in Reykjavik.  With over 75 years flying and offering some great benefits to its passengers including a generous luggage allowance. For more details please visit the Icelandair website.

Where to stay

There is a variety of accommodation available throughout Iceland from the modern hotel, apartments, guest house and the budget hostel or perhaps the traditional cottage or wooden cabin to explore the great outdoors of Iceland.  If exploring further afield than Reykjavik the best way to get around and see more of scenic Iceland is by car rental.

Whatever you decide to do and wherever you are this New Year’s Eve, we wish you a fantastic 2016! Happy travels:) x

About MichelleDeansHarding

Website: http://WWW.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via: www.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

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