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Travelzoo Experience: Other-Worldly Iceland

One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.

Last winter, my Travelzoo Experience in the land of fire and ice was also a mix of urban adventures and seemingly supernatural ones in the countryside. I was fortunate enough to catch the Northern Lights on my December trip to Iceland, and the thermospheric storms of the aurora borealis were as unbelievably bright and colorful as promised.

Not to be outdone, the Blue Lagoon -- a vast thermal pool about an hour away from the city -- also offered another other-worldly experience. Both stops on my long weekend away were incredibly worthwhile and very magical ways to take in the country.

Tips for your own Icelandic adventure:

  • Dress for the weather; Iceland was very extreme, kind of like Chicago. We had very chilly temperatures with high winds one day, then milder temperatures and sunny skies the rest of the trip.
  • I’d advise that it’s best to have a hotel near the center of the city as taking cabs is extremely pricey. Downtown Reykjavik is very walkable.
  • There are many dining options; our meals varied from hot dogs (made from beef, pork and lamb) at a place that is so famous even Bill Clinton has eaten them, to a luxurious 10-course tasting feast at Fish Market, recommended by Conde Nast Traveler and The New York Times. Dining can definitely be an experience in itself here.
  • Thursday-Saturday the city is popping with night life, but after Saturday, it’s very quiet at night.
  • There are a ton of activities; it is really easy to plan as you go depending on what you feel like doing -- planning far in advance (at least during winter travel) is not really necessary; it was great having extras included with our package, including a walking tour, bus/museum pass as well as a three-course dinner with a show.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Thursday, May 17, 2012
See more Tips from
Kelsey Mesher