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5th April 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50
Iceland

Iceland

Best time to go: See the northern lights from late August. Almost constant daylight from May to August, while winters can be bitterly cold

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Craig Doyle
Iceland volcanic landscape came in at a respectable 44 of the top 50 places to visit in a lifetime.

A place which has a landscape that could body-double for the moon and where winter temperatures can get as low as minus 15C.

Iceland has wild volcanic landscapes, mountains, glaciers, hot springs, geysers and pure clean air, but what you went mad for was bathing in the Blue Lagoon, a pool of mineral-rich geothermal seawater in a lava field in the Reykjanes peninsula.

The visual effect of the geothermal beach and the lava caves of the Blue Lagoon is quite breathtaking, and a visit to the lagoon is widely reported to be an invigorating and exciting experience.

The lagoon is actually a pool of effluent from the Svartsengi power plant.

It might not sound particularly appealing, but it attracts 300,000 visitors a year, and many satisfied patrons swear by its healing power. The pool of mineral-rich geothermal seawater is packed with natural active ingredients such as salt, silica and blue green algae.

Visitors are encouraged to swim in the warm waters and soak up the atmosphere filled with clouds of mineral laden vapours. The bottom of the lagoon is lined with chalky rocks, white silica mud and algae which gives the lagoon its rich azure hue, and the mud is used as a body scrub which is supposed to gently exfoliate the skin.

The combination of the minerals is credited with curing or relieving the effects of psoriasis, and it has been officially sanctioned by the Icelandic surgeon general.

Read more about Iceland.

   

All prices are approximate, and provided as a guide only. Always double-check prices with individual organisations. Please note that the BBC is neither responsible for, nor endorses the external sites shown on this page.

Price: Flight prices vary enormously - from low cost to scheduled prices. Average about £275

Approx flight time: About 2 and a half hours from London

  • the Icelandic phone directory lists people by their first names
  • Iceland claims to have less pollution as much of its power is from geothermal energy
  • Iceland is probably the biggest banana growing country in Europe (they are grown in greenhouses)
  • the entire population speaks English
  • Iceland is growing at 2cm a year (nearly an inch). 350 million years from now, Iceland will be as big as North America apparently!
What's your holiday money worth?
"Hi, I'm thinking of doing the Sydney to Cairns trip and back again sometime next year. But it's on a budget, so I'm really looking for a bus company that you pay before travelling and just jump on and jump off it when you want. Something like a travel pass. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it! Ta!"

Can you help Wenny T?
See when your favourite Holiday programmes are next on TV.
Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 1 hour ahead

Visa (with UK passport)
Not required

Iceland Embassy

Inoculations & health
None

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Currency
Kronor
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Language
Icelandic

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