Everybody you recognize might be in Iceland straight away. They usually’re obsessive about it—for good reason. The Nordic island could also be just a fast flight from the East Coast (lower than six hours, to be exact), but from the moment you arrive it looks like one other planet. Specifically, Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik is a wonderful place to call home, whether you’re a first-time visitor or repeat traveler.
We recently had the posh of cruising around its Instagrammable landscapes in the brand new Mercedes EQE 500 4MATIC Sedan, which features its own augmented reality navigation system to make sure we didn’t wander away, even on the windiest no-name roads. What’s more, the automotive comes equipped with OLED screens stocked with programs that boost your attentiveness via soothing seems like the forest and summer rain—jet lag be damned.
Whether on wheels or on foot, explore waterfalls, horseback ride up lively volcanoes, visit the Ring of Fire, or go on a full Game of Thrones tour of the country…the opportunities to spend time in mind-blowing nature are limitless. Here’s what to not miss.
Did you recognize the frontman of Icelandic band Sigur Rós had a perfumery in the middle of Reykjavik? Neither did we until our most up-to-date visit. Situated within the third oldest house in town, the family-run Fischersund sells special transportive scents that make the right gifts.
The SPA At The Reykjavik EDITION
Inspired by the Icelandic tradition of community bathing (think: hot springs), this subterranean spa’s crown jewel is the shared hammam, steam room, and sauna. Lounge with friends (smoothie in hand) pre-treatment and check out the Icelandic salt body scrub. The remaining of the spa menu hits all of the classics (facials, massages, etc.) but all with a distinctly Nordic twist, complete with ingredients like seaweed and locally sourced oils.
No trip to Iceland is complete with out a visit to certainly one of its biggest waterfalls. Featuring an 82-feet-wide and 200-feet-tall drop, Skógafoss is the sight to behold. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to walk behind within the the summertime, but be prepared to get drenched.
Uniqlo Nylon Parka (Theory)
Alo Yoga It Girl Pant – Dark Cactus
La Primavera Ristorante
Italian food? In Iceland? It’s true. You’ll find bowls of black squid ink pasta and tiramisu on the menu of this restaurant positioned inside Harpa Concert Hall, in addition to a stunning view of the Old Harbor.
If you happen to feel yourself fading fast, re-up on caffeine at Kaffi Ó-le. This coffee shop not only has all the pieces from a latte to vegan banana bread—it’s also positioned a couple of two-minute walk from the bizarrely amusing Iceland Phallological Museum.
Naturally, seafood is a specialty in Iceland. Chefs Gústav Axel Gunnlaugsson and Lárus Gunnar Jónasson offer an upscale tackle classic dishes—try the Taste of Iceland adventure menu to go all in—or order à la carte if something strikes your fancy. Every seat in the home has a view of Hallgrímskirkja church, so it’s a meal and cultural experience in a single.
Ganni Ribbed Crop Halter Top
Ganni Georgette Plissé Maxi Skirt in Floral Shadow Flan
Staud Pucky Medallion Shoulder Bag
Bragi Þór Jósefsson
This contemporary indoor-outdoor space was made for taking within the view with a cocktail in hand. Stop by for a sunset cocktail throughout the summer, or if you happen to’re visiting throughout the colder months, check this Northern Lights tracker to see if you happen to’ll be lucky enough to catch the phenomena.
For a solid collection of local beer and cocktails, head to Einstök Bar. The no-frills establishment has tons of drink options, including a shot of Black Death—Iceland’s signature spirit comprised of of schnapps flavored with caraway—if you happen to dare.
Jungle Cocktail Bar
The cocktail masters at Jungle are bringing tiki bar energy to Iceland, and we like to see it. Amidst the plush wildlife decorations you’ll be able to order spins on the mai tai, painkiller, and all several types of martinis. For individuals who crave simplicity, there’s also wine and beer on tap.
Hildur Yeoman The Wave Dress in Tides
STONE AND STRAND XL Pave Oval Hoop Earrings
Kalda Fory Pointed Toe Boots
The Reykjavik EDITION
Nestled on the sting of the Old Harbor port, The EDITION gets an Icelandic spin with plush couches and a restaurant by Chef Gunnar Karl Gíslasson (his other restaurant, Dill, is Iceland’s only Michelin-starred eatery). The downtown shopping mall (Laugavegur Street has great bars and boutiques), Harpa Concert Hall, and the statue of Ingolfur Arnarson are all inside walking distance.
When surrounded by nature, it’s value getting as near it as possible. That’s why we drove an hour and a half from Reykjavik to remain on the UMI Hotel, near the famous Ring Road. There, you’ll be able to enjoy some R&R within the countryside with views of the mountains, Eyjafjallajökull volcano, and the truly unbelievable stars.
Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel
One in every of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks is the Blue Lagoon hot springs—and this hotel literally sits on the sting of it. Room options include walk-up suites to the silica-rich pool, which suggests you’ll be able to make the most of the nice and cozy, skin-beautifying water each time you desire. (Also, fodder for the fanciest room Reels ever.)
Patagonia Black Hole® Pack 25L
Apple World Travel Adapter Kit
Nécessaire The Sunscreen
Each sunscreen and skincare, this light, mineral-based cream will keep you shielded from volcano to beach plunge.
Andrea Maack Craft Eau de Parfum
Icelandic-born Andrea Maack expanded her visual arts profession to incorporate fragrances inspired by her homeland. This universal scent smells like wet moss and spices—and can remind you of horseback riding through the Icelandic countryside.
Megababe Thigh Rescue Anti-Chafe Stick
Banish thigh chafe (and the resulting irritation) so you’ll be able to enjoy the nice outdoors in peace.
Claire Stern is the Deputy Editor of ELLE.com. Previously, she served as Editor at Bergdorf Goodman. Her interests include fashion, food, travel, music, Peloton, and The Hills—not necessarily in that order. She used to have a Harriet the Spy notebook and isn’t ashamed to confess it.