Experience Iceland’s wild side on an adrenaline-fuelled and adventure-packed luxury short break while staying in an amazing wilderness hotel and seriously stylish Art Deco gem. You’ll be able to explore at your own pace on a self-drive road trip, summit a volcano, join a SuperJeep safari, scuba dive between tectonic plates, search for the Northern Lights and even just simply sink into a thermal spring in the most extraordinary surrounds. And that’s all before you arrive in the capital to uncover Reykjavik’s cultured and quirky side, try contemporary Nordic cuisine and caught up in the heady whirl that happens here after dark.
After a comfortable, complimentary chauffeur-driven ride to the airport, connect with your flight to Keflavik. Once on the ground, collect your hire car and set out on a short road trip through the Thingvellir National Park to the exceptional ION Hotel. Situated at the foot of Mount Hengill and surrounded by unspoiled wilderness, the sleek, stilted property stood amid lava fields justifies the tag ‘The Adventure Hotel’.
Before you throw yourself into the outdoor activities and incredible experiences that Iceland is renowned for, ease any aches in the partially exposed Lava Spa, where a languid sauna might lead to an Icelandic massage with herbs and ash from the notorious Eyjafjallajokull volcano and a long soak in the outdoor, naturally heated hot pool, when you might be lucky enough to catch a swirling glimpse of the Northern Lights overhead. Later, settle into the modern Silfra restaurant for a sumptuous four-course menu of sophisticated Nordic cuisine accompanied by a well-curated wine list.
Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Icelandic landscape. Under your own steam, you’ll have the flexibility and freedom to explore as you see fit. We suggest that you start with a road trip around the famed Golden Circle, taking in the Kerio Crater, cascades at Gulfoss Waterfall and the impressive geysers at Strokkur.
Additionally, ION offers a range of thrilling activities. Sink between tectonic plates in the icy waters of the Silfra Rift, snug in a dry suit. Go glacier hiking, ice climbing and ascend a volcano – you can even descend into the crater of a dormant cone as well. Try horse riding, SuperJeep safaris, helicopter expeditions, white water rafting and fishing. In the summer spot puffins on the coast. After a day of outdoor adventure, sink into a thermal hot spring to recharge. Back at the hotel, retire to the glass-walled Northern Lights bar to sip perfectly-prepared cocktails or Icelandic Schnapps and swap stories or listen to the Icelandic folk tunes being performed. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to view the Aurora Borealis break across the sky in a spectacular display.
Squeeze in a final adventure and excursion into the surreal landscape nearby. Then continue your exploration of Iceland and drive to the capital Reykjavik. From the out-there, removed wildness of ION, vibrant Reykjavik can come as a striking contrast. Console yourself with the knowledge that we’ve set you up in Iceland’s original luxury property. Hotel Borg may be Iceland’s Art Deco Grande Dame but it still fuses top-end elegance with extravagant amenities like no other place.
Spend two days discovering the city from your stylish, central base. Stroll through the atmospheric streets looking for secret corners, stop in to the striking Icelandic parliament building and Reykjavik cathedral, try hidden bars and meet the spirited locals. After a day out in the city exploring, stroll back to the Hotel Borg and try the spacious spa, where you can indulge in a hot tub, sauna and signature massage. We recommend popping a bottle of champagne on one of the beautiful balconies overlooking downtown and watching the fiery colours of an Icelandic sunset before you sally forth to sample the vibrant nightlife.
After a leisurely start, make the short journey to the airport to return your car and catch an onward flight home.
"I’ve designed this itinerary to showcase the highlights of Iceland’s dramatic southwest. And, in between taking in the Northern Lights, Reykjavik’s historic charm and the region’s national-park wonders, you’ll stay in one of Scandinavia’s most iconic hotels. This ultra-modernist jewel offers everything from unique spa treatments to floor-to-ceiling views of its gorgeous surrounds."
Winter 2019-20 from: £1,210 pp