Reykjavik, Iceland

Months of dreaming of a classic European vacation have finally turned into planning. Strolling through the City of Lights? Better brush up on high-school French. Sipping wine at a Tuscan vineyard? Only if followed by long, leisurely lunches. Watching the sun set over Santorini’s caldera? Very romantic. Hotels have been chosen, and a basic itinerary mapped out. But before booking flights to turn this into a reality, you happen to see an article about Reykjavik.

Photo: N Preseault
Photo: N Preseault

Suddenly cafes and museums and siestas are exchanged for glaciers and geysers in the world’s northernmost capital. But don’t pack for the Arctic. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream provide Reykjavik with moderate temperatures, similar to Ireland. But since it’s so far north, expect long, dark winters and light almost 24-hours a day during the short summer.

Photo: 101 Hotel
Photo: 101 Hotel

101 Hotel , named after downtown’s postal code, is a sleek, stylish hotel and the perfect place to get your bearings. It’s within easy walking distance of shopping, restaurants, and bars, but one of the trendiest lounges is located within the hotel. The hotel is full of Icelandic artwork, and a steam room, jacuzzi, and fireplaces further enhance the relaxing atmosphere. The 38 open-plan rooms  have walk-in showers and heated floors.

You could stay at the hotel your entire trip, but you’re in Iceland! It’s time to hike a glacier, walk under waterfalls, and ride a famous Icelandic horse. Sitting in cafes and watching the sun set can wait until your next trip.

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