Simply Abu Dhabi XXX

Iceland comes straight out of a fantasy movie. If a director could stage a background for a fairytale, Iceland would make it to the Oscars for Best Production Design—and all with natural props stealing the show. Indeed the gold plated ‘statuette’ would be theirs for the taking, with the spouting geysers and steamy waters making for the added special effects. The outdoor thrills Of course, with a landscape like Iceland, hikes, walks and adventures are nearby and for the thrillseekers and nature lovers the destination is a midsummer must. For those enjoying water sports, Iceland offers the finest of wildlife in a concentrated area—head out for glacial river-rafting, a swim and snorkel between two tectonic plates, or experience a dive in the clear glacier waters surrounded by lava rock formations. It is not uncommon to visit an 18-hole golf course at midnight with sweeping mountains, lava surfaces and majestic ocean views characterising its vistas. Alternatively, climb a mountain, hike a glacier or even surf the waves at night, adding to a whole new level of summer sensation. Midnight Summer The warmest months to visit are June through to September, when the Gulf Streamwarms the island to a mild, coastal climate. This time, when the sunlit nights are the longest, Iceland features plenty a festival and outdoor activity to make the most of this whimsical midsummer dream. Invigorated by the energy of the midnight sun, the Nordic countries celebrate the summer’s longest day of the calendar and Iceland does not stay behind. With Icelandic towns in festive spirit, and urban landscapes forming the backdrops for traditional music and arts extravaganza. According to folklore, seals become human, cows speak in human tongue and elves come out of their hiding places on this magical night—for most islanders though it simply means enjoying a beautiful day of Vitamin D with friends and family. Designed to withstand It almost feels as if the rough scenery of the island landscape tones down the stylish buildings in the cities. The colourful houses along the harbour fronts and along the streets mix with the slick, white cubicle shapes within city centres; a peculiar blend of rustic commercial fronts and quaint homes filling urban spaces—marking a pleasant surprise around each corner. The only building restriction seems that of withstanding the ever-changing weather conditions, as the most striking designs are plotted along the urban landscapes—some build in solitude, preferring to weather the elements alone. These places make for perfect holiday spots away from the inner-city vibes, showcasing the beauty of the remote landscapes and it natural sources. Capital Reykjavik With such an array of natural marvel, the scenic towns are almost forgotten. Reykjavik being the most Northern capital of Europe offers sweeping views of the sea and flowing landscapes absorb creativity; the capital builds on its surroundings, tradition and forward-thinking (and uber-friendly) residents. With futuristic buildings and ever-changing weather conditions, some of its must-see places are just as much a treat on the outside as they are inside the structures. The striking and award-winning conference centre and concert hall Harpa, designed by architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects— 9 2 S I M P LY A B U DH A B I