As one of the hottest travel destinations, Iceland is largely uninhabited and is the place of mythical fairies and trolls. A friend of Frey and world traveller, @mlobrien1 recently explored this incredible country and shares her highlights from this winter wonderland.
You've no doubt seen countless images of Iceland's most popular tourist destination, the Blue Lagoon. The beautiful milky-blue water is unlike anything else found on earth and makes a stark contrast to the surrounding black lava field and its creeping grey moss. It sits at 39°C (102°F) year-round, making it the perfect temperature for bathing. Touted by National Geographic as one of the top 25 Wonders of the World and Condé Nast Traveller awarding it one of the top 10 spas in the world. For a serious dose of luxury, The Retreat Hotel opened in 2018 as the Blue Lagoon's first 5-star hotel.
With oversized picture windows that look out to 800-year-old moss-covered lava and tiered pools of pastel blue water, modern matte black pendant chandeliers and sleek concrete walls are juxtaposed against warm wood panelling and leather seating. The sunken dining area, where complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea are served daily—is soft and largely neutral, with beige and cornflower blue furniture. The hotel seamlessly folds itself into Iceland's landscape so as not to impact the area's natural beauty.
Iceland's capital, Reykjavik is home to a thriving and prevalent street art scene and you can lose yourself for days in the sea of creativity as @artlovinggeek recently did. One of the most visible street art projects has been the Airwaves Music Festival called 'Wall Poetry'. It brings together artists from all over the world to create their artworks inspired by music. It pairs 10 artists with 10 musicians to interpret songs and combine artistic styles.
Inspired by the song, "Tuttugu og Eitthvao" by Ulfur Ulfur this is a collaboration between @ELLEstreetart and Ulfur Ulfur.
German art duo @Herakut partnered with American string quartet Kronos Quartet and @urbannationberlin to create this striking mural in 2016
"Pale Green Ghosts" by @li_hill and John Gent
Glaciers are one of the world's natural wonders and with 11% of the total land area covered by ice caps, Iceland is a glacier paradise and home to Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajokull which covers an area of approximately 8,100 square kilometres (close to the size of the islands Corsica or Cyprus!) and a maximum thickness of 1,000 metres. If venturing onto a glacier isn't for you, soak in the stunning landscapes of the East coast and if the sun is out, sunbathe on the black stones at the base of the glacier.
Drone footage thanks to aichkaye.com
DILL Restaurant is nestled on the edge of Vatnsmyri, Reykjavik's urban wetland and wild bird reserve and is the first restaurant in Iceland to be awarded a Michelin star. DILL embraces new Nordic cuisine focussing on fresh, local ingredients.
What makes Dill special is the unique venue, located on Hverfisgata 12 in the small annex behind the main house. Local film set designer; Hálfdán Pedersen is responsible for the interior design that includes steel bars supported by ropes hanging from the ceiling against a backdrop of raw concrete walls complete with small, natural cracks that have been left in their natural state. Traces of an old warehouse is still evident with a large, arched window and a wooden door stuck high up on the wall. Military green coloured lamps and bar stools, with details in wood and brown leather dot the space throughout.
Images courtesy @mlobrien1, @artlovinggeek, @aichkaye