Take An Armchair Trip To Iceland, One Of The Best Travel Destinations On The Planet

iceland

Photo: Þorkell via Flickr

Vast landscapes featuring ice and fire, a wild nightlife and appreciation for the arts has made Iceland the best place to travel in 2012, according to a new Lonely Planet reader’s choice survey.Iceland is often overlooked as a hot destination spot, said Warren Fernandes of Up, Up and Away Travel, based in New York. But the nation’s natural beauty and emerging nightlife scene have made it the new hotspot for travellers.

“The weak local currency also make sit an attractive location to party for the least amount of buck,” said Fernandes.

With cheap prices and great views, you can see why Iceland is the place to go.

You can get there in no time — the capital, Reykjavik is just a five-hour flight from the East Coast. Temperatures vary from 34 degrees to 14 degrees this time of year, depending where in the country you are, so pack warmly!

Urban Reykjavik is the best place to find bars, museums and sports. If you’d prefer to stay away from civilisation, head to Þingvellir National Park for some hiking.

This is Iceland from above, and the view you'll get when your flight starts its descent.

Iceland's terrain drastically varies throughout the country, so you'll get to see every aspect of nature while you're there.

Definitely pack a parka for when you explore the icy regions.

Recently erupted Eyjafjallajökull is not Iceland's only volcano. The countryside has plenty of volcanic spots that make for great sightseeing.

Hike through the Central Highlands of Iceland. This waterfall is Gýgjarfoss, near Kerli.

A-Hús draws a ton of tourists. This architectural gem circa 1906 is made entirely of wood and tin.

Source: Lonely Planet

Iceland has a lot of great architecture, like this church in Saudarkrokur with a red roof and glass windows.

Bar 11 spurns Reykjavik's DJ scene in favour of a jukebox and live music on certain nights.

In the mood for some cheap beer? Nelly's is know for its pub feel and inexpensive brews in Reykjavik.

Grab a pick-me up at Kaffi Mokka, Reykjavík's oldest coffee shop. Order a giant waffle while your there and people-watch the artists sitting in the cafe.

Indian Mango is the No. 1 rated restaurant in Reykjavik. It specialises in Goan food, serving beef, duck, fish, and some vegetable mains.

The Suncraft, an abstract sculpture, captivates tourists on the shores of Reykjavik.

There's plenty of culture in Iceland, too. Check out the Reykjavik Art Museum while you're there.

Iceland Symphony Orchestra is rated No. 2 in entertainment in Iceland. Right now construction on the building's exterior is stalled due to hard economic times. There are about 60 performances during the season.

The Tjörnin is a placid lake at the centre of the capital where swans, geese, and arctic terns flock. There are pretty sculptures around the water, and the lake turns into a skating rink come winter.

Iceland loves its football (soccer). Take in a game at Laugardalsvöllur National Stadium.

If you visit in warm weather, you an scuba dive in the waters off the coast of Iceland.

Before you leave check out the famous Northern Lights. Also called Aurora Borealis, they turn the sky green and white. The lights occur at high altitudes where pressure is low and oxygen molecules explode.

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