15 reasons why you should travel to Iceland right now
The Land of Fire and Ice is an island with one of the most unstable Iceland landscapes on the planet. Iceland. A fantastic combination of hot lava, exploding geysers and real impressive glaciers, which, incidentally, are among the largest in Europe. A considerable number of tourists, photo hunters regularly come here. After all, here you can find a variety of types - landscapes - it is a country of striking contrasts.
Where is Iceland?
Iceland on the map takes its place in the North Atlantic Ocean, just above the Arctic Circle. Just because the island is located at the junction of the two oceans - the North Atlantic and the Arctic and just above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland has become a place of concentration of thirty active volcanoes, thirteen massive glaciers and countless kicking geysers. Also here quite often there are earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, so the trip to this beautiful but unpredictable land has to be planned very carefully.
Although Iceland does not take up much space on the map and is a sparsely populated country, it has collected on its territory an unimaginable number of beautiful places. There is a famous recreational centre with curative waters - Blue Lagoon Iceland. And there are many other reasons to come to the island. So, let's talk about the reasons why you should go to Iceland right now.
1. Thingvellir National Park
First, these are, of course, the best sights of Iceland. One of these attractions is the Thingvellir National Park. In this park is located Altin - Iceland's Parliament, the oldest in the world. It was first assembled as a public meeting in the open air in 930 and continued to meet continuously until 1798. Later Alting became a full-fledged modern parliament. As for the National Park itself, it is located in a volcanically active zone, part of its territory is an object of UNESCO World Heritage. It is located only 49 kilometres from Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Due to a huge rift, this place is the best way to show how mobile tectonic plates are and how unstable the landscape on the ground of fire and ice. In addition to significant historical and national significance, Thingvellir is just an incredibly spectacular and beautiful place. Impressive Iceland landscapes with many faults and cracks, ancient ruins of stone structures, incredible lakes and rivers. On the territory of the park is also located Thingvellir church. Another curious fact, this is the location of the filming of the series "Game of Thrones".
2. Jokulsarlon lake
This glacial lagoon is delightful and unique because Iceland landscape changes from year to year. The lagoon is filled with icebergs, which are in constant motion because of the continuous departure of meltwater. Quite close is located Diamond Beach. It is so-called because of the unusual ice formations scattered on the beach. Small icebergs crumbling from the glacier fall into the water and slowly melt. Then they are thrown ashore, polished by waves. In the rays of the Sun, these transparent and clear ice crystals look like real diamonds.
3. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
It is a great spa centre, open to the public all year round. These hot springs are filled with all kinds of minerals, a lot of useful substances and therapeutic muds. Here you will get acquainted with rejuvenating procedures that you have never heard of. The combination of two minerals in the water of the Blue Lagoon - sulphur and silica - gives the water a delicate sky blue colour. And the presence of rare algae in the mixture with the minerals mentioned above provides excellent skincare. The main reasons that attract visitors here all year round are, of course, rejuvenation and treatment of various diseases. Besides that, the Blue Lagoon Iceland is also an unusually beautiful place, as if from some fairytale or fantastic film. The magic colour of water, the steam is coming out surrounded by picturesque mountains, clean air. Even more, impressions can be obtained by watching the Sunrise in the early morning. When it rises from behind the mountain horizon, it captures the spirit of such unearthly beauty. And in winter, right here, at the hot springs, you can observe the incredible Northern Lights Iceland. Although the spa centre is a fifteen-minute drive from the airport, you will need to make reservations in advance, so that you can surely enjoy the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon Iceland.
4. The best sights of Iceland, Reykjavik
The capital of Iceland may qualify for a different place in the list of reasons for a mandatory visit to Iceland. Many tourists start their journey here. It is here where the part of the stunning wonders of this island located, originating in many tours to Iceland and the country, the famous Golden Circle. Of course, modern galleries, museums, restaurants with fine national cuisine, bars and pubs. This is an excellent cultural capital of Iceland with its attractions. One of them is Hadlgrimskirkja. It is the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the most influential in Iceland. The building rises to 73 meters, and from there you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city. This church is a national reserve of Iceland. It has become the main tourist centre in the capital. Interestingly, when creating the project, the architect was inspired by another attraction - the famous waterfall Svartifoss. And if you compare them, you can find direct similarities. The architecture of the church is very unusual, made without any stained-glass windows, in monochrome colour, but this does not make it boring. On the contrary, it attracts with its greatness and dignity. The interior decoration is also made without any unnecessary elements. Here is the largest pipe organ in Iceland. The best organists admire the sound and beautiful play on this instrument.
Perlan is another outstanding sight of Reykjavik. When it was just hot water tanks, and now it is a real futuristic centre with an observation deck, an exhibition, a planetarium, and a restaurant with fine cuisine. A delightful mixture of the most modern interactive technologies, exciting exhibits, exciting and informative excursions with unique stories and unusually beautiful expositions is an ideal recipe for a great pastime. Be sure to visit 100-meter real Ice Cave; learn about the most famous glaciers. The planetarium Arra allows you to take a virtual trip through space, through the little-explored corners of the Solar System, and then enjoy the beautiful northern lights. It is an exciting and unique experience. There is also a 360-degree observation deck and the restaurant's rotating dome on the territory of Perlan.
Laugavegur is one of the oldest streets in Reykjavik and the main shopping street today. It is the real centre of bar and nightlife of the capital of Iceland, and perhaps the whole of Iceland. Keeping the historical spirit and delightful atmosphere of the lively shopping street, it is filled with a lot of exclusive stores, pubs, bars, night clubs and restaurants. On weekends, Laugavegur is full of people all night long. In unique boutiques, you can buy goods, designed and manufactured directly in Iceland. There are two museums on this street. The first one is the only phallological museum in the world that attracts visitors with its not relatively standard exhibits. And the second one is a small, but cosy and funny punk museum.
A geyser or, as it is sometimes called, probably to separate the Great Geyser, famous in Iceland, and the world. It is located in the Haukadalur Valley and is the very first geyser in the world. It was first mentioned in 1294, during the terrible earthquakes, which caused the formation of such a phenomenon as a geyser. At some point, it was quiet for forty years, but a powerful earthquake in 1630 brought it back to life. Once it erupted to the height of 170 meters, but soon it reached only 40-50 meters. Since 2000 the geyser erupted to the size of 122 meters, which made it the highest geyser in history and the world. But after a few years, the activity has subsided and now it is unlikely that its majestic eruption can be caught. Although, who knows, maybe he will wake up again after a long hibernation? In the meantime, the Iceland people are delighted by the spectacular performances of neighbouring geysers, such as Strockur. They put on a show every 4-10 minutes and can reach heights up to 40 meters. But remember that you have to be careful when visiting such a show and carefully read all the safety rules.
8. Famous Northern Lights
One of the most beautiful natural phenomena on our planet. And here in Iceland, you can fully enjoy it if you go there at a suitable time of year. You should visit the country from September to April, choosing the darkest night without cloud cover. And, of course, there should be enough sunny activity to see the northern lights. These conditions become known only a few days before the event. But even so, in all favourable circumstances, the unpredictable and unstable nature may not allow seeing this beautiful glow. You have a better chance to enjoy this spectacle on a more extended trip, in Northern Iceland or the western fjords. But I think seeing live the colourful, shimmering lights above your head will be an unforgettable experience for the rest of your life. It would seem that scientists and science have long explained the phenomenon, but we still can not get rid of the magical atmosphere and mysterious thrills inside us.
9. Snaefellsnes Peninsula
It is the most beautiful peninsula in Western Iceland, which stretches for 90 kilometres. It is rich in magnificent picturesque Iceland landscapes, cosy sandy beaches, majestic mountain ranges, mysterious caves, delightful Iceland waterfalls. The remains of ancient relics and objects of life of Iceland people, who once lived here, are scattered all over the peninsula, here and there. In the western part of the arm, there is the Snaefellsjokull National Park, where there are many beautiful sights, including the Snaefellsjokull glacier, around which the park is organized. This glacier is often called supernatural or mystical, and it is considered to be the famous entrance to the centre of the Earth from the work of Jules Verne "Journey to the centre of the Earth". Around this place, there are many more legends, old stories and stories. Ask locals to tell you about the mystical side of the glacier, and I'm sure that at least one of the information will seem to you to be pure truth. Or, maybe, it is? Who knows what is under the glacier?
Husavik is the most famous and best place for whale watching. It is the real whale watching capital of Iceland. This is the oldest settlement in Iceland, in the local bay can be found about 23 species of whales and, if lucky, to meet rare species of blue whales, killer whales and Narwhales. In summer, the flora and fauna blooms and almost every day you will have the opportunity to see humpback whales, dolphins, guinea pigs, and many different rare migratory birds. It is in the summer that you can buy a lot of Iceland tours to watch these beautiful creatures, and the best one is said to be a tour with gentle giants. Among other things, this small, but the very cosy and friendly town is surrounded by unchangeable beautiful nature; it is unusually hospitable and picturesque. On its territory, there are geothermal sea baths - very popular local leisure, as well as Husawick Whale Museum.
11. Vatnajokull Glacier
the largest glacier in Iceland and the enormous glacier massif in Europe. Around it was formed a vast National Park Vatnajokull, which includes an incredible number of natural attractions. Under the glacier's ice thickness there are several active volcanoes, and the highest point of the island - Mount Hvanadalsnukur - is located here. Iceland on the map is almost completely covered with an ice cap, which is the reason for its name. But the size of the ice cap of Vatnajokull is incomparable with any other on this island. Because of the proximity to the active volcano, giant ice crystals of snow and blue colour are covered by volcanic ash and create stunning beauty of the scenery, rather than stop the formation of new ice formations build beautiful, skilful Iceland landscapes.
12. The East Fjords
The East Fjords is the farthest point from Reykjavik, which can be a bit inconvenient for a trip around the island. But if you have ordered a trip to all parts of the country or go on the Ring Road, only then you can visit it. But to see this place is worth it. Because it is not easy to get here, the crowds of tourists and hunters for pictures you will not see here. This is a place filled with peace, tranquillity and delightful natural beauty. The majestic rocks, surrounding almost from all sides, create a sense of isolation from the rest of the world and give an unforgettable feeling of unity with nature. Passing through the high mountain passes, you will enjoy the views of the magnificent Iceland sea landscapes, the wonderful world around you, the wild animals. Birds are weaving their nests in the rocks, sea mammals, deer wandering freely in the area. Visiting this remote corner of outstanding beauty, you will want to come back here again.
13. Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beach Iceland is a beach on the southern coast of Iceland, once considered one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world. Again, there are excellent excursions along this coastline, including visits to volcanoes, glaciers, Iceland waterfalls. Still, I advise you to walk along the beach on your own this time and enjoy the beautiful views. Because of the black sand, unusual shape of rocks, wild sea creates an atmosphere of intriguing mystery, which is incredibly exciting and makes you experience bright emotions and awe. Walking in the rays of the setting sun, you can take beautiful most liked Instagram photos. Just remember that you shouldn't go close to the sea, because it is wild, no kidding. Unpredictable waves with great force hit the coastal cliffs, time and again, bursting out a little further than usual.
14. Asbyrgi Canyon
This stunning place, with its unusual and complex structure, gave rise to many fantastic stories and myths. The ancient inhabitants of Iceland believed that only the Gods could create such tremendous beauty. The canyon has a horseshoe shape, and there is a legend that this eight-legged horse of God Odin stepped on the ground and left such a trace. The rocks of the canyon reach a height of 100 meters, and in the length of the trough extends for 3, 5 kilometres. All this beauty is a part of the Watnaiküdl National Park, but we should speak about it separately. Because the valley below is protected and isolated from cold and severe Iceland weather by high rocks, there are a lot of different trees - birch, willow, larch, spruce and pine trees. It is very unusual that in Iceland you can find such a thick, vegetation-rich thicket. You can get here by car, or by ordering a unique 10-day tour with or without a guide and see at the same time many more sights and beautiful places along the way.
15. Iceland cuisine
Yes, it is possible that local food will not play a significant role in deciding to visit Iceland, but given all the above reasons, I hope you will decide to come here after all. And then you should not miss the opportunity to try the original dishes of Iceland cuisine. Perhaps next time it is this factor that will lead you back. Let's start with the fact that the products for all words here are always as fresh as possible, without any artificial additives. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources around for their extraction. Particular attention should be paid to seafood. Their production for many years has supported the economy of the country and fed all Icelanders. And even today, local Iceland people eat fish in unimaginable quantities: tender lobster, cod, salmon, fermented shark (and there is one, aha). Naturally, a lot of delicacies, not related to seafood, you can try on this island. Locals are very fond of ice cream, literally go crazy about it and eat it all year round. That's why you will find enough stores on the island with this delicious dessert, which is made of natural products by various recipes.
As mentioned in the beginning, all these wonderful and unique places and phenomena are not the only reasons why you should go to this fantastic island. Fortunately, there are tours to Iceland with excursions, events and a well-planned trip plan. The most popular times in Iceland are multi-day trips to the most famous and attractive places of this fantastic island.
Do not forget about the Iceland weather conditions and season. The most favourable period for visiting the country in July and August. But if you are a Northern Lights Iceland hunter, it is better to choose earlier months.
It is worth remembering that where is Iceland located, the movement of tectonic plates does not stop, and therefore there is a danger that may be waiting for you on this island. Safety should come first in any journey. So that you can return here and the best sights of Iceland will please you again with its splendour. Good luck to you and take care of yourself!
Darya was born in 1999 in the Crimea, and for the fifth year already lives in Sevastopol. She knows that the Crimea is a real pearl and a treasure trove of historical treasures. She is sure that she still does not know all the secrets of the peninsula. She dreams of travelling around the most hidden corners of the planet and believes that it is necessary to start with her home country. Above all, Darya loves to write about her short trips and share experiences with others.