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Ask the travel expert: Is Christmas a good time to visit Iceland?

Iceland during Christmas will get you in the holiday spirit with its festive decorations, Christmas markets, carols and concerts and Icelandic Christmas traditions.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 07.19 AM IST
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Hafnarfjordur, Iceland by night.

Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions India, Flight Centre Travel Group Australia’s Indian subsidiary, answers your questions on Travel — howtos, trends, recommendations and more. Send in your questions to: askrakshit@in.fcm.travel.

I and my wife are senior citizens. We plan to travel to Russia with our relatives and friends for nine days trip covering Sochi, Moscow and St. Petersburg for 3 nights each. Can you advise if this this is a good route, places to see in and around these cities and about the weather at this time of the year?
Sochi, the Russian Riviera on the Black Sea coast, with its stunning views will be a great start for your holiday. Here you can visit Stalin's Summer Residence, Ekzarkho Farm which offers a great culinary experience and the Olympic Park accessible with golf carts. Back in the city, I recommend dining at a harbour restaurant with a view. From Sochi, head to St Petersburg where you can visit great art museums, stroll through the Summer Garden, discover little neighborhood churches, or take a boat cruise through the canals - there are plenty of options to spend your days. From here, make your way to Moscow, Russia's vibrant capital which houses the famous Red Square, the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral. Here you can soak in the rich cultural scene of Russia with visits to The Moscow Philharmonic, Bolshoi Theatre as well as art exhibitions and a thriving live music scene.
Sochi, Moscow and St. Petersburg​ are great places to visit in Russia.

Sochi, Moscow and St. Petersburg are great places to visit in Russia.


Is Christmas time conducive to travelling to Iceland? What travelling gear should we carry and what should we include in our one week plan. Do you suggest any health cautionary?
Iceland during Christmas will get you in the holiday spirit with its festive decorations, Christmas markets, carols and concerts and Icelandic Christmas traditions. In fact, this will also be the best to time to witness the magical Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. While some of Iceland may be inaccessible in the winter, popular spots including the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, Glaciers, Black sand beaches, museums and much more are still open and will show you a good time. You will enjoy Blue Lagoon (with its average water temperature of 39°C all year round) and Golden Circle (covering several popular landmarks including the mighty 2-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, the bubbling pools and geysers of the Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park) even more in the winter season. However, keep in mind that Icelandic winters are quite cold and temperatures can drop down to about -10°C. Make sure you carry warm clothes especially designed for colder countries and thermal gear.

I am travelling solo to Spain for 20 days in last week of March 2020. Will it be the best time to travel? Should I add Portugal as well and cover both in 20 days? Please help.
March is spring season in Spain and a good time to be in the country! In 20 days, you can explore various cities in Spain and Portugal at leisure starting with Barcelona and trips to Costa Brava, Figueres, Montserrat, Sitges and Frexinet. Spend a few days in Madrid, Granada, Cordoba and Seville before heading to Lisbon in Portugal, easily accessible by a short flight. In Portugal, you should add the cities of Sintra, Cascais and Estoril to your plan. I would also recommend a short stay in Porto, known for its opulent architecture and picturesque locales. Don't forget to bring back a bottle of wine from the famous wine regions surrounding the city.

Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions India, Flight Centre Travel Group Australia's Indian subsidiary, answers your questions
Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions India, Flight Centre Travel Group Australia's Indian subsidiary, answers your questions.

Flight Centre Travel Group, headquartered in Australia, is one of the world’s largest travel management companies. In India, the group operates an extensive portfolio of corporate and retail travel brands including FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller (corporate travel management),Travel Tours (leisure travel), FCM MICE (incentive travel and events) Travel Money India (foreign exchange), FCM InComing (inbound travel) and Travel Air Representations (travel wholesalers).

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