When you grow up on the water, as I did in a small town in Essex, appreciating the all-consuming freezing cold seaside mist becomes more than a little bit addictive. It's good for the lungs and the soul. Now living in the suburbs of Surrey (nowhere near water) whenever I travel to somewhere new, whether hot or cold, I simply gravitate to be near the water. In Iceland's case, a lagoon.
Iceland is an incredible place for scenery. Shopping, not so much. But exploring the rustic landscape, floating in the outdoor thermal spas, munching on local delicacies, absolutely.
Where to stay? I couldn't recommend Icelandair Hotels Reykavik Marina
more. It's very easy to hunker down with a good bottle of red and some magazines in the little snugs on the hotel's ground floor. The bar is very welcoming too, and main town centre only a stroll away.
The marina view outside our hotel.
The ultimate Icelandic wardrobe...
Food. I'm all about the food! Trying the homemade ice cream, fresh from the farm at Efstidalur
(can you spy those cows through the window?) is a must.
Ok, a rotating restaurant is a bit gimicky, but Perlan's
traditional Icelandic lobster soup makes any motion sickness worth while!
At Kopar restaurant
on the harbour, try The Holy Crab, a medley of rock crab soup, crab cake and crab salad. Admittedly, I'm a crab fiend (we have fresh dressed crab from the shell on Christmas day in my house) and this dish has persuaded me to try cooking with it more. Usually I take my crab with nothing more than vinegar and a little buttered brown bread, but this Kopar dish was sensational.
is a great stop off for warming up and devouring coffee, hot chocolate and Icelandic twisted doughnuts.
Traditional Icelandic twisted doughnuts.
And Skyr. Don't forget the Skyr. Probably one of Iceland's most famous exports, this creamy, out-of-this-world yoghurt is so good.
, don't miss seeing this incredible sight. Part of The Golden Circle tour (we took ours with Pink Iceland
who were brilliant), whereelse are you going to get this close to a volcanic sprouting hot spring? It's quite an experience, and you'll jump the first time it blows! Then there's Gullfoss waterfall, with its never ending rainbow.
My one and only Iceland shopping tip - The Little Christmas Shop on Laugavegur, Reykavik's main shopping street. I spent about £50 on Christmas decorations in about five minutes.
Team Iceland. A huge thanks to these lovely ladies who made my Iceland experience so memorable. A extra special thank you to Yumi
for making it all possible.