Our #TTOT chat (Travel Talk on Twitter) posed an interesting question (by @SonjaSwissLife) to the enthusiastic, constant-itchy-feet, world-travelling participants: “Predict the next big destination and why?”
What did this group have to say about it? They come from all over the world and travel it regularly, criss-crossing the globe to experience as much adventure as possible so better listen quick to these suggestions as if the experts say it’s gonna get big, then you don’t have much time before EVERYONE soon gets in on the terribly-kept secret…
First on our list of destinations that are blowing up is Iceland suggested by @MalloryOnTravel & @SonjaSwissLife, and here’s why:
Party scene: You’ll surely know some friends who have already hopped over to Reykjavik for a stag do (personally haven’t heard of any hens there yet but I’m sure they’re coming) to take advantage of the kroner, the craft liquors and thumping nightlife. Here are some must-see bars we recommend:
- Snaps Bistro — cool and cosy, great food, tasty drinks, great atmosphere
- Kaldi Bar — sprung from the loins of the Kaldi microbrewery, a local hotspot with Kaldi beers on tap
- Slippbarinn — cocktail bar complete with mixologists and situated in cultural hotel Reykjavik Hotel Marina; mix with locals and hotel guests alike for a swanky start to the evening
- Paloma — end your night by dancing your socks off with a lively crowd of tourists and locals
In the news: Remember we all were made very aware of this little island when in 2010, its impossibly-named Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and created an ash cloud that disrupted millions of travellers’ air journeys when about 20 countries closed their airspace for a period of 6 days.
Football & fan prowess: Even more recently, we applauded Iceland, an island of ~330,000 inhabitants, when their national football team beat England 2–1 to make it to the quarter-finals of the Euros 2016 (where they then lost to hosts, France). Matching the team in statistics, the Icelandic fans had some of their own: that 10% of their population bought stadium tickets to watch their team advance and an astonishing 99.8% of Iceland’s TV-audience tuned in to watch the final match. To put that into actual numbers: just 298 individual viewers in the entire country were tuned to channels not showing the game. So when you visit Iceland next, you should definitely congratulate them on their impressive skills on the football field and in the fan seats!
Nature & scenery: Two words. Aurora borealis. Only the most amazing spot to watch this phenomenon. Best time to go is in the dark months of the year, so September to April (although of course November to February are the very darkest) and since the lights tend to go in cycles of few days on, few days off, you may want to plan to hang around for a week in order to ensure a sighting. It’d be such a pity to be so close yet not see all its glory. Since the Northern Lights work on an 11-year cycle which is just coming to an end, 2016 is supposed to be a spectacular year to see them; don’t worry, they’re not going away, just may be dimmer and so harder to spot in the coming years.
To keep the chills at bay after staying up all night looking for lights in the sky, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located in a lava field about an hour’s drive from the capital. With mineral-rich water reputed to alleviate skin ailments such as psoriasis, it’s a treat you won’t want to miss.
Festival scene: We recently showcased the Secret Solstice festival in Reykjavik which looks like the most amazing 3 days of constant sunshine (due to the sun not setting!), electronic dance music beats and no camping required :D
Food Scene: It’s more than just puffin, whale and sheep faces…here are some recommended spots to dine:
- Grillmarkadurinn — for meat-lovers, get your impeccably cooked steak here. Local produce combined to make traditional and modern cuisine.
- Forréttabarinn — for a light meal of delicious appetisers and brewskies in their self-proclaimed ‘friendly, funky and inimitably Icelandic in style’ atmosphere
- Perlan — Panoramic views of the city with tasting menus as well as a la carte, check out the building during the day before dining in the exquisite restaurant at night
- Kaffi (Cafe) Vinyl — record shop/cafe with live DJ, fully vegan menu from lasagna to cakes
- Kruska — beautiful, clear space with self-service counter to pick and choose your clearly-market vegan meal or alternatively, substituting other dishes to make them vegan
- Pylsa/Pulsa — Being a sausage restaurant, you might not expect to find this on a vegan eateries list but there you have it, a barley and kidney bean sausage served with a whopping portion of curly fries and coconut-creamed kale. If the vegan in you can bear to be around so many sausage-munching folk, then it’s worth the visit.
- Secret travel tip: Thanks to advice by @travelettes, make sure you head to this secret unnamed pizza joint or ‘Pizza with no Name’ just identifiable by its address: Hverfisgata 12. It’s a must! For more things to do in Reykjavik, here’s a handy article giving you 25 Things to Do.
There were other recommended destinations out of that #TTOT chat, I swear! But Iceland proved to be so interesting, so much going on, so many must-see places and things that I got a little carried away. Will have to tell you all about the other hot destinations in another blog post! Until then…
Originally published at www.concierge99.com.