From hot springs to great hikes the Nordic wonderland of East Iceland is not to be missed

READY to be transported to a world of snow-covered landscapes, the freshest air ever and the chance to see the magical Northern Lights?

In the lesser-visited East Iceland, Egilsstaðir Airport is just a 45-minute flight from the capital Reykjavik, and offers all the breathtaking vistas without the tourist hordes.

You’ll marvel at twinkling fjords, waterfalls and rugged mountains.

Hire a car to work your way around, or sit back and spend a day taking in stunning scenery on a guided Jeep tour, £224 for up to 10 people ( 

Horse around

At the family-run Finnsstaðir ranch, embrace your inner Viking and trot over the icy terrain on one of their small, stoic native steeds.

A one-hour horse ride costs £54.

There are also dogs, ducks and pigs on the ranch, and it’s worth visiting for the hot chocolate and Icelandic doughnuts alone (included in the price).

Just 20 minutes’ drive into the forest, you’ll have a chance to release some pent-up anger, with a spot of axe throwing, £14 for 30 minutes ( We highly recommend!

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Thaw out

Iceland has some of the world’s best geothermal hot springs, and Vök Baths in Urriðavatn are particularly special, as they sit in the middle of a natural lake.

For £31 you can bathe for as long as you like, sipping on prosecco, £5 a glass, from the pool-side bar.

Feeling brave? Invigorate yourself with a dip in the ice-cold lake, then warm back up in the steam room.

Nearby Baðhúsið Spa has an indoor hot tub, sauna and ice bath, plus beautiful restaurant Eldhúsið, meaning “fire room”.

Enjoy the most succulent local salmon with lentils and roasted veg, £23.50 (

The restaurant overlooks the epic Lagarfljót Lake, which you can walk around in 30 minutes.

Or for something more adventurous, hike the ice-capped Hengifoss mountain, home to Iceland’s third-highest waterfall.

Paint the town

A 30-minute drive from the airport, the colourful town of Seyðisfjörður sits at the bottom of a fairy-tale-like fjord, overlooked by a mountain believed to have a crystal core that protects all nearby.

Rest your head at family-run Hotel Aldan – choose from spacious modern rooms or a fully equipped apartment.

A double room costs from £73 per night (

Kick off your day with coffee, £2.95, and a sweet bun, £3.80, at the hotel’s cafe, and prep your Insta shot on nearby Rainbow Walk – the most snapped spot in East Iceland.

For dinner, Skaftfell Bistro round the corner does the best pizza – try pepperoni, pineapple and cream cheese, £13.90.

Then bliss out with a glass of wine over a board game in the cosy seating area ( 


Fly from London Stansted to Iceland from £60 return (

Plan your trip at

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